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Tasty store-bought soups for slimming down

January 11, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
A bowl of homemade soup sure does the body good, but if making it yourself isn't your thing, we'll show you the best of what your market has to offer.

Just because it's in a can, doesn't mean it's good for you. Take for example a cheese, potato and bacon bit soup. It is well over 200 calories for half the can and has nearly 800 milligrams of sodium and some saturated fat.

Most market soups are swimming in salt, so you'll want to check the nutrition fact label in two spots - the amount of sodium and the serving size.

That's because half the can is often the serving size. If you're downing it all, double what you see on the label.

You will also want to check that your soup is MSG-free, a common allergen. And if you are making soup your meal, look to see it has some protein to help keep you full for a while.

Prevention magazine taste-tested Kettle Cuisine Chicken Soup with Rice Noodles. It not only tastes great, it has just a handful of real ingredients and the sodium is under 500 milligrams per cup.

Easy to transport and zap in the microwave is Healthy Choice Chicken Noodle soup. Taste testers found the soup to be free of that "tinny" taste. The protein is decent at 8 grams and the sodium relatively low at 390 milligrams for the cup.

Kudos also went to Progresso's Traditional Chicken Noodle soup with tender chicken and big chunks of carrots although the sodium is a bit high at 690 per half can.

Also popular are Healthy Valley Organic Chicken Noodle and Amy's No Chicken Noodle Soup for vegetarians.

If you do find a brand you like, but it has a little bit too much salt or other things you don't need, the trick is to dilute it with things that have flavor like low sodium tomato sauce, some broth, loads of produce, maybe a little juice or vinegar, and lots and lots of herbs.

The taste test was featured in the January 2012 Prevention magazine. It also features a good recipe for homemade chicken noodle soup.

See photos of healthy soups found at stores.

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