All About Soup: A Diet Must-Have!

All About Soup: A Diet Must-Have!
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Soup: the solution to all of life’s troubles. Okay, fine, that's a slight exaggeration, but soup IS amazing! I’m Hungry Girl Lisa Lillien, and I'm going to tell you all about soup: Why it rocks, what to watch out for, how to make it, and more.

Why Soup Rocks

Soup enters the spotlight every winter. Warm and soothing, it’s the ideal food for this time of year. But I think everyone should be eating soup year round!

If you have a big appetite like I do, soup can tame hunger. It’s especially filling because of its high water content. And done right, soup can be very low in calories. Starting lunch or dinner with a bowl of soup can actually help you avoid overeating at your main meal. In fact, research shows doing this can help with weight loss! And it’s a perfect snack to stave off hunger between meals. Fun fact: In Japan, they eat soup for breakfast (and Japan has one of the world's lowest obesity rates)! For all of the above reasons, if you’re trying to lose weight or maintain your current weight, consider adding soup to your diet.

Need-to-Know Info

Beware, because not all soups are created equal. Buzzwords like chowder and bisque signify higher calorie and fat counts. These are often made with heavy cream, butter, and flour. Another not-so-safe bet: French onion soup. The oily cheese-topped soup can have over 500 calories per bowl!

Steer clear of these soups, unless nutritional info is available and they happen to be light. When in doubt, go for broth-based soups!

Another thing to look out for is sodium. Soup often contains a lot of salt, which means a lot of sodium. If you're watching your salt intake, it's a good idea to avoid restaurant soups.

Make your own soup at home, and look for reduced-sodium finds at the store.

One more warning: When it comes to store-bought selections, always check the servings per container, and do the math. The average serving of canned soup is 1 cup or 8 ounces. So those 15-oz. cans actually have closer to 2 cups each.

HG Tip: Double the per-serving stats for an easy estimate.

DIY Soup!

It's super—make that souper—easy to make soup. From chunky chicken to veggie chowder, I have enough Hungry Girl soup recipes to keep you going all year long! Taco soup, wonton soup… You're bound to find something you like. My chili recipes, which I’ll call "soup adjacent," are also smart choices. The hearty beans they contain can help with weight loss

Need some motivation to make your own soup? It’s the perfect Sunday afternoon activity! You could also make soup in a slow cooker (a kitchen must-have), and let it cook during a weekday. Keep your staple ingredients together in a convenient location, and soup will be an easy addition to your cooking rotation. That's a great li'l kitchen organization tip!

Store-Bought Favorites

Stock up on canned soup at the supermarket. It's a good way to make sure you always have soup on hand.

(Perfect for when it’s too cold to go outside!) Of course, some soups are better than others. Here are some all-stars in my book...

  • Pacific - Love the Organic Creamy Tomato Basil!
  • Amy’s - The Chunky Tomato Bisque is my favorite!
  • Tabatchnik - Find these in the freezer! 
  • Progresso Light - Zesty Santa Fe Style Chicken!
  • Mishima - Packets of Asian soup mix. Just stir into hot water!
  • Healthy Choice Microwaveable Bowls - Great for the workplace!

Spoons up! 

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