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This vs that: Single-serve packet soups

Both of these soups take just seconds to prepare, but what do we get for this minimal effort? We compare one serve of each.

Asian Home Gourmet Thai Tom Yum Instant Noodle Soup

985kJ energy, 4g protein, 3.5g fat, 45.3g carbs

Could be a high-energy snack or the base for a light meal, but is low in protein and fat for that amount of energy (kilojoules) so won’t keep us going for long. Energy is mainly from carbohydrate.

15.4g sugars

Contains the equivalent of over 3 1/2 teaspoons sugar, mostly added.

3760mg sodium

This soup really ought to come with a warning along these lines: contains more than 160 per cent of your recommended maximum amount of daily sodium! A high-sodium diet is strongly linked to high blood pressure and associated health problems.

Maggie Golden Pumpkin Soup for a Cup

300kJ energy, 0.4g protein, 1.4g fat, 13.7g carbs

Low in kJ, it’s more of a warming drink – but is higher in energy than a cup of tea and lacking the goodness of a hot milky drink (200ml of trim milk has similar kJ). Energy is mainly from carbohydrate.

3.1g sugars

While a small part of this will be from the pumpkin (which comprises just 13 per cent of the ingredient weight), there is also sugar added.

640mg sodium

While this soup may look better given it is so low in energy, it is also very high in sodium. Beware.

Winner: Neither!

A homemade or fresh soup based on real ingredients will be a lot more nourishing.

First published: Aug 2015
Last updated: April 3 2017
Last science review: October 10 2016



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