Which Canned Soups are the Healthiest: A Comprehensive Guide

As the temperature drops and the leaves begin to change color, it’s time to start thinking about soup season. But with so many options on the supermarket shelves, it can be hard to know which canned soups are the healthiest for your body. Don’t worry, though – we’ve got you covered!

After conducting extensive research, we’ve narrowed down the list of the healthiest canned soups on the market today. From low-sodium options to soups packed with vegetables and protein, we’ve found something for everyone. So whether you’re looking for a quick and easy lunch or a hearty dinner to warm you up on a chilly fall evening, we’ve got you covered.

Nutritional factors to consider in canned soups

When selecting canned soups, it’s essential to consider several key nutritional factors to make the healthiest choice. These factors include:

  • Sodium Content: Canned soups are known for their high level of sodium content. An excessive amount of sodium in your diet can lead to high blood pressure and other health issues. Therefore, always check the labels to find low-sodium options.
  • Fat Content: Many canned soups contain added fat, which can lead to harmful cholesterol levels and heart problems. Choose soups that have low levels of fat, saturated fat, and no trans fats.
  • Calories: Some canned soups contain more calories than others, mainly if they have high levels of meat, dairy, or added sugar. Make sure to check the calorie count before purchasing and consuming canned soups regularly.
  • Nutrient Content: Some canned soups contain essential nutrients like fiber, protein, and vitamins. Look for soups that have high levels of these nutrients, which can help support a healthy and balanced diet.

Making the healthiest canned soup choices requires careful consideration of nutritional factors. Always take time to read the label and understand the nutrient content of your favorite canned soups before consuming them frequently.

How to Read and Understand Food Labels on Canned Soups

When it comes to choosing the healthiest canned soups, reading and understanding food labels is key. Here are some things to look out for:

  • Serving Size: Pay attention to the serving size listed on the label. Many cans contain more than one serving, so be sure to adjust the nutrition information accordingly.
  • Calories: Aim for soups with 100-300 calories per serving. Anything higher may be too calorie-dense and may not fit into a balanced diet.
  • Fat: Look for soups with less than 3 grams of fat per serving and avoid soups with saturated and trans-fats.

In addition to these general guidelines, here are a few more specific tips for reading canned soup labels:

  • Watch out for sodium: Canned soups are often high in sodium. Aim for soups with less than 500 milligrams of sodium per serving.
  • Check the ingredient list: Look for soups made with whole ingredients and avoid those with added sugars, preservatives, and other artificial ingredients.
  • Look for added nutrients: Some canned soups may contain added vitamins and minerals. Look for soups that are fortified with nutrients like iron, calcium, and vitamin D.

To help make sense of all this information, here’s an example of how to read and understand the food label of a typical canned soup:

Label Item Amount per serving
Serving Size 1 cup (245g)
Amount per Serving
Calories 110
Total Fat 3.5g
Saturated Fat 1.5g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 5mg
Sodium 480mg
Total Carbohydrate 16g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 3g
Protein 5g

From this label, we can see that one serving of this soup contains 110 calories, which is within our recommended range. It also contains 3.5 grams of fat, which is slightly higher than our guideline but still acceptable. However, it’s important to note that this soup contains 480 milligrams of sodium, which is close to our recommended daily limit for sodium. Overall, this soup could be a decent choice, but it’s important to balance it with other low-sodium foods throughout the day.

The role of sodium in canned soups and its impact on health

Canned soups are a popular convenience food enjoyed by many. However, they often contain high levels of sodium, which can be detrimental to our health if consumed in excess. Sodium is an essential nutrient that plays a role in regulating blood pressure, fluid balance, and muscle and nerve function. However, too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

  • Most canned soups have high levels of sodium added to preserve the flavor and increase shelf life.
  • The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, with an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 milligrams per day for most adults.
  • It’s essential to read the nutrition label on canned soups and choose low-sodium options or ones labeled “no salt added.”

Reducing sodium intake is essential for good health, but it can be challenging when consuming processed foods like canned soups. Fortunately, there are several ways to help reduce sodium consumption when consuming canned soups, including:

  • Choosing low-sodium options or ones labeled “no salt added.”
  • Mixing canned soup with unsalted broth or water to dilute the sodium content.
  • Making homemade soup that uses fresh ingredients and low-sodium broth or seasoning.

Here is a list of the sodium content for some popular canned soups:

Soup Brand and Flavor Sodium Content (per serving)
Campbell’s Chicken Noodle 890mg
Campbell’s Tomato 480mg
Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom 870mg
Progresso Chicken Noodle 690mg
Progresso Tomato 480mg
Progresso Creamy Roasted Vegetable 660mg

By choosing low-sodium options and being mindful of the sodium content in canned soups, you can still enjoy the convenience without compromising your health.

Hidden sugar sources in canned soups to look out for

When it comes to canned soups, many people assume they are a healthy option. However, some canned soups contain hidden sources of sugar that can be detrimental to your health. Here are some hidden sugar sources in canned soups to look out for:

  • Corn syrup: Corn syrup is a common ingredient in many canned soups. It is often used as a sweetener and to enhance flavor. However, corn syrup is a highly processed sweetener that has been linked to obesity and other health problems.
  • High fructose corn syrup (HFCS): HFCS is a sweetener that is commonly used in many processed foods, including canned soups. It has been linked to an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other health problems. When looking at the ingredient list, make sure to avoid soups that contain HFCS.
  • Dextrose: Dextrose is a sweetener that is often used in canned soups to enhance flavor. It is a highly processed sugar that can lead to blood sugar imbalances and other health problems.

To avoid hidden sources of sugar in canned soups, it’s important to always read the ingredient list carefully. Look for soups that are low in added sugars and high in fiber and protein. You can also make your own homemade soups using fresh, wholesome ingredients.

For a quick reference guide, here is a table of some popular canned soups and their sugar content:

Soup Sugar Content (per serving)
Campbell’s Tomato Soup 12g
Progresso Chicken Noodle Soup 4g
Campbell’s Chunky Beef with Vegetables Soup 14g
Progresso Creamy Roasted Chicken with Herb Dumplings 8g

Always check the nutrition label before purchasing canned soups to ensure that you are making a healthy choice. By being aware of hidden sugar sources in canned soups, you can make informed decisions about the food you eat and take control of your health.

How to choose canned soups with quality protein sources

When looking for canned soups with quality protein sources, it’s important to read the ingredient labels carefully. Here are some tips:

  • Look for soups with whole food sources of protein, such as chicken, beef, or beans, as opposed to processed proteins like soy protein isolate or textured vegetable protein.
  • Check the protein content per serving. Aim for at least 10 grams of protein per serving, ideally closer to 15-20 grams.
  • Avoid soups with added sugar, as well as those with high amounts of sodium or preservatives.

Additionally, some soups may contain protein sources that are more easily digestible and absorbable by the body than others.

Here is a table outlining the protein sources found in commonly available canned soups:

Protein Source Description
Chicken A whole food source of protein that is easily digestible and absorbable by the body. A good source of essential amino acids.
Beef A whole food source of protein that is high in heme iron, vitamin B12, and zinc. Can be harder to digest than chicken.
Fish and seafood Provides protein as well as omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart and brain health. Can be high in sodium.
Beans and legumes A plant-based source of protein that is high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Can be a good option for vegetarians and vegans.
Tofu and soy A processed source of protein that is often used in vegetarian or vegan soups. Can be high in sodium and should be consumed in moderation.

By choosing canned soups with quality protein sources and reading the ingredient labels carefully, you can ensure that you are getting a nutritious and filling meal.

The Difference Between Condensed and Ready-to-Eat Canned Soups

Canned soups come in various forms, but the two most common types are condensed and ready-to-eat. Knowing the difference between the two can be helpful when choosing which soup to buy.

Condensed soup is a soup that has been cooked to remove a significant amount of water. This process results in a more concentrated soup that requires the addition of water or milk before heating and serving. As a result, a single can of condensed soup can produce multiple servings, making it a more economical option.

Ready-to-eat soup is prepared and cooked to the desired consistency, and does not require any additional water or milk before serving. This type of soup is perfect for individuals who do not have much time to cook or those who prefer a convenient and hassle-free meal.

Pros and Cons of Condensed Soup

  • Pros:
    • Economical – a single can can produce multiple servings
    • Long shelf life – can be stored for an extended period without spoiling
  • Cons:
    • High in sodium – the concentration process often involves salt as a preservative
    • Less convenient – additional preparation time is required before serving

Pros and Cons of Ready-to-Eat Soup

  • Pros:
    • Convenient – requires no additional preparation before serving
    • Lower in sodium – less salt is needed as there is no concentration process
  • Cons:
    • More expensive – ready-to-eat soups are often more expensive due to the additional preparation required
    • Short shelf life – due to the lack of preservatives, ready-to-eat soups usually have a shorter shelf life


Choosing between condensed and ready-to-eat soups can depend on your personal preferences and circumstances. If you have time to prepare your meals and want a more economic option, condensed soup may be a good choice. On the other hand, if you prefer convenience and do not mind spending a little extra, ready-to-eat soups may be the better choice. Regardless of your choice, always check the nutrition label to ensure you are making a healthy choice!

Soup Type Calories Total Fat (g) Sodium (mg) Protein (g)
Progresso Chicken Noodle Condensed Soup 110 2 690 7
Progresso Chicken Noodle Ready-to-Eat Soup 220 4 860 14

When comparing the nutritional information, it is important to note that the serving size for condensed soup is typically half a cup, while the serving size for ready-to-eat soup is one cup. This difference in serving size can affect the overall nutritional content of the soup.

Creative ways to boost the health benefits of canned soups.

While canned soups can be a convenient and affordable meal option, they often contain high amounts of sodium and preservatives. However, there are creative ways to boost the health benefits of canned soups and make them a more nutritious and satisfying meal. Here are some tips:

  • Enhance the Protein Content
    Adding a lean protein source like chicken or tofu can increase the protein content of canned soups and make them a more filling and satisfying meal.
  • Add Omega-3 Fatty Acids
    Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for optimal brain and heart health. Adding foods like salmon or chia seeds can increase the amount of omega-3s in canned soups.
  • Incorporate More Vegetables
    Adding vegetables to canned soups can increase their fiber and vitamin content. Veggies like spinach, kale, and carrots can make canned soups a more nutritious meal option.

Comparing the Nutritional Value of Popular Canned Soups

Brand Flavor Calories Sodium (mg) Protein (g) Fiber (g)
Campbell’s Healthy Request Chicken Noodle Soup 70 410 6 1
Progresso Light Chicken Noodle Soup 90 690 8 2
Pacific Foods Organic Vegetable Lentil & Roasted Red Pepper Soup 120 330 5 3

It’s important to note that while these canned soups may have varying nutritional values, they can all be made even healthier by adding protein, veggies, and other nutrient-dense ingredients. By using these creative ways to boost the health benefits of canned soups, you can make them a more satisfying and nutritious meal option.

FAQs: Which Canned Soups Are the Healthiest?

Q: Is tomato soup healthy?
A: Tomato soup can be healthy, but it depends on the brand and ingredients used. Look for soups that use whole, natural ingredients and have lower sodium and added sugar levels.

Q: Are vegetable soups healthy?
A: Vegetable soups can be a great source of vitamins and nutrients. Look for soups with a variety of vegetables and low levels of sodium and added sugars.

Q: What about chicken noodle soup?
A: Chicken noodle soup can be a good source of protein, but again, it depends on the brand and ingredients used. Look for soups with whole, natural ingredients and lower sodium levels.

Q: Can I eat canned soup on a diet?
A: Yes, you can incorporate canned soup into a healthy diet. Look for soups with lower calorie and sodium levels, and pair them with a salad or whole grain bread for a well-rounded meal.

Q: Are organic canned soups healthier?
A: Organic canned soups can be a good choice, as they are made with whole, natural ingredients and often have lower sodium and added sugar levels. However, it is still important to read the label and check for any high levels of sodium or added sugars.

Q: What are some of the healthiest canned soup brands?
A: Some healthy canned soup brands include Amy’s Kitchen, Pacific Foods, and Progresso Light. However, always check the label before purchasing to ensure the specific soup you choose is healthy.

Q: Can I make my own canned soup?
A: Yes, you can make your own canned soup by following proper canning techniques and using fresh, whole ingredients. This way, you can customize the soup to fit your dietary needs and preferences.

Closing: Thanks for Reading!

Now that you know more about which canned soups are the healthiest, you can make more informed choices when grocery shopping. Remember to always read the label and look for soups with whole, natural ingredients, lower sodium and added sugar levels, and a variety of vegetables or lean proteins. Thanks for reading, and be sure to check back for more helpful tips and information!