Are you looking at your nutrition panels?
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Are you looking at your nutrition panels?

Are you looking at your nutrition panels?

We’ve been feeling the cold here at BSSC, so we’ve been looking for something to warm us up. As the mercury drops, no food screams winter more than soup. The ultimate comfort food, soup can be a delicious and healthy way to warm up. With so much variety on supermarket shelves, which is healthier? Our in-house dietitian Amy Peng has been looking at the soups in the supermarket and the results of her audit are in.

Energy:

On average, all soups were fairly low in energy, with an average of 480kJ/250g serve. Dried soups were the lowest (average 450kJ/250g), while pouch/container soups were the highest with 530kJ/250g.

Protein:

Refrigerated soups were the highest in protein of all categories, with an average of 5.3g/250g – three times more than dried soups, which had 1.8g/250g serve on average – protein is important in keeping us full between meals.

Fat, total and saturated:

97% of all soups were eligible to make a fat-related claim (with less than ≤3 g per 100g), so understandably this was a popular claim made on pack. 80% were also low in saturated fat (≤1.5 g per 100 g).

Dietary Fibre:

Key for digestive health, and to make a meal more satisfying. Pouch/container soups had the highest average fibre content (3.5g/250g), compared to dried soup, which had at least half the fibre of all other categories (average 1.3g/250g).

Sodium

Many soups are high in sodium, as it helps with shelf stability, and boosts flavour. Sodium was highest in canned soup (701mg/250g), and lowest in refrigerated soup (567mg/250g).

Top tips:

  • When buying soups, look for varieties with quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat, barley, and wholegrain pasta to meet your whole grain target.
  • Pre-prepared soups contain legumes, which are rich in protein and fibre. Check for ingredients such as chickpeas, lentils, peas, beans.
  • Packaged soups can be high in salt. Refrigerated soups have less sodium than other soups. Aim for options with less than 290mg sodium/100ml (1).

References:

  1. Food Category Targets and Action Plans – soups: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/soups

If you’d like more information, or need some help with your diet, make an appointment with our Dietitian Amy Peng.