Let's be honest:Soapit's a great opportunityfill without filling. Soups are traditionally low in calories andhigh saturation factors. While the greatest benefits come when youmake soup at homeWith whole ingredients and little to no preservatives or artificial ingredients, eating homemade broth every week isn't exactly realistic. So if you're in trouble, it's worth keepingTin soup- like Progresso soup - kept in your pantry.
Canned soup saves time and effort, and considering Progresso is one of the most popular and readily available brands out there, you probably know that the brand offers nearly a hundred different varieties.
But how good or bad does the Progresso soup taste to you? Is buying it a surefire way to sabotage your diet, or just a convenient way to get protein and fiber?
We've put together a guide on how to buy the best canned Progresso soup flavorings and how some of your Progresso favorites rank in terms of nutritional value.
What Are the Benefits of Consuming Canned Soup?
The most obvious answer to why it's worth keeping canned soup in your pantry? cost and convenience.
If you have a few cans of Progresso Soup at home that will help you avoid going to the nearest drive-thru, this certainly isn't the worst choice you can makeDinner to lose weight. "I love homemade soups, but I realize it's not entirely reasonable to always have that option," she says.Cynthia Thurlow, a registered nurse specializing in nutrition.
Thurlow says canned soup can be a nice and easy way to make a meal in just minutes, but you have to be careful with the ingredients. As long as you choose the best soups that are low in sodium, have the right balance of protein, fiber and calories, and contain whole-food ingredients, this staple can be a great addition to a healthy diet.
How to Buy Progresso Soups
Arm yourself with the knowledge to choose the best Progresso brand soup flavors with these nutrition tips:
- Look for whole food ingredients.Thurlow recommends buying Progresso soups with recognizable ingredients listed on the label. For example vegetables andprotein sourcessuch as chicken, celery, barley and green beans. You're unlikely to find canned soups without other ingredients like soy protein concentrate and maltodextrin, but they should be at the bottom of the ingredients list. "Soy protein isolate and soybean oil is a difficult step from my nutritional point of view," says Thurlow. "I'm not suggesting consuming soy as a regular additive or ingredient in processed foods."
- Balance calories against nutrients.Don't automatically choose soups labeled "light" or "low-sodium," says Barbie Boules, RDN ofBarbie Boules Longevity Nutrition, Inc. - This is basically a marketing ploy. "Typically, when you see a product that says something 'low or reduced,' you compensate in some way... and not in a way that's good for your health," she says. Instead, Boules recommends focusing on nutrient density, or nutrients per calorie, and considering how much protein, fiber, and good fat you're getting with each option.
- Watch out for sodium.The sodium content in most canned soups is astronomically high. "One gram of salt per serving (1,000 milligrams) is a lot of salt, especially for people with problems related to high blood pressure, diabetes, or vascular disease," he says.
The 10 Best Progresso Soup Cans To Buy
If Progresso soup is a staple on your weekly grocery list, consider one of these 10 varieties - they're some of the healthiest options in the brand's massive range.
1.Low-sodium black beans and southwestern vegetables
Thurlow praises this soup for containing recognizable, healthy, and nutrient-dense ingredients like black beans, tomatoes, and peppers. As part of Progresso's low-sodium line, it packs 450 milligrams per cup. (That's a lot less than most of your traditional soups.)
2.Traditional butternut squash
This soup has one of the shortest nutrition labels of any Progresso variety and only three main ingredients: butternut squash, mashed carrots, and heavy cream. Thurlow appreciates that it focuses primarily on whole-food ingredients and is soy-free.
3.Organic chicken and wild rice
The organic version of this classic cold-weather favorite is soy-free and packed with high-protein carrots, celery and white meat chicken. A cup has only 80 calories and a gram and a half of fat (none of which is saturated). Although the sodium is high, surprise surprise, this soup has a decent nutritional profile.
4.Classic Tuscan-style white beans
"Vegetable soups are always my first choice because it's an easy way to increase the number of elements in your diet," says nutritionist Lauren Harris-Pincus, founder ofNutriciónStarringYou.comand author of The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club.
She adds that one can of this white bean soup has a ton of fiber (22 grams!), almost a whole day's worth, and is also a good source of iron, calcium, and vitamin A.
5.Healthy classic vegetable tomato
There's half a cup of vegetables in one cup of Progresso's Hearty Tomato Soup and almost no fat. It's not the most nutrient-dense soup in their offerings by nutritional standards, but if you limit the portion size and pair it with a high-protein or high-fiber side dish (like grilled chicken with leafy greens), I could make a meal of it together.
6.Lightly salted vegetable barley
Boules notes that vegetable and barley soup is a good source of protein and fiber, although she notes that one cup of this soup isn't exactly a balanced meal. Because it's low in calories and fat, consider pairing it with a lean protein or heart-healthy fat source like half an avocado to top it off.
7.Classic vegetable lentil
Lentils are a kind of superfood,Rich in protein, fiber and folic acid. Although this soup contains soybean oil, Boules recommends it for everything it contains, which are whole-food ingredients like lentils, celery, and spinach. As with the pumpkin soup, the ingredient list here is short (which works in its favor as it doesn't have a lot of artificial fillings or flavorings).
8.Lentil soup with roasted vegetables Classic vegetables
If you want a little more fiber and flavor in your lentil soup, one can of the roasted vegetable variety has 12 grams of plant-based protein and eight grams of fiber, says Harris-Pincus. That gives you a third of the amount of fiber (25 grams) you need each day if you're a woman.
9.Classic Vegetable French Onion
With mostly beef broth, water and onions, this isn't the most nutritious option in the Progresso range. However, it is also very low in calories, fat and carbohydrates. In addition, the onion asurprisingly beneficial food: contain vitamin C, fiber, folic acid and iron as well as plant-based antioxidants.
10Traditional cheese tortellini in tomato vegetables from the garden
Noodles are you kidding? You might be surprised to see canned noodle soup on our "healthiest" list, but take a look at the ingredients. This Progresso Soup meets many of the nutritionist-approved guidelines. It's soy-free and packed with fiber-rich tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, and onions. And for a soup that includes tortellini, it's actually lower in calories, fat, and sodium. You might not want it in your weekly rotation, but it won't destroy your diet goals to enjoy sometimes.
The Progresso Soup Flavors You Should Skip
Most canned soups, even "healthy" ones, come with a warning that they're high in sodium and other artificial ingredients. But some of Progresso's flavors are particularly bad for you. Ignore these three the next time you're weighing your options.
1.New England Light Clam Chowder
Thurlow highlights this clam chowder because it contains both types of soy (soy oil and soy protein isolate), highly processed ingredients, andoften causes inflammation. Combined with its other ingredients, like clams and dried potatoes, there's not enough nutritional value here to bother.
2.Rich and healthy bacon broccoli cheese
Harris-Pincus says that while most canned soups are high in sodium, some are too high. And that's especially bad if they don't include veggies, beans, or whole grains for added fiber. Unfortunately, this soup falls into that category.
“Cheese and broccoli soup usually has a healthy twist because it contains broccoli; however, this soup has a sodium excess of 1,760 milligrams,” says Harris-Pincus. He adds that it also has 26 grams of fat and nine grams of saturated fat.
3.Rich and healthy potato bacon
"It's no surprise that this soup is on the list of unhealthy foods," says Harris-Pincus. One can contains 1,660 milligrams of sodium. This includesSodium nitrate, a preservative that Harris-Pincus suggests avoiding. In addition, this Progresso soup is completely nutrient-free: there are essentially no sources of vitamins and minerals.