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How To Choose The Healthiest Soup?

How To Choose The Healthiest Soup?

There’s nothing that could warm us up at home, more than some tasty soup on a cold day, it is one of the best way to get warm.

•Soup is a quick, hot meal that offers plenty of health benefits.
•Not all soups are equal in their nutritional value, but soups can help you to decrease your food intake if you eat them before meals.
•Soups can be low in calories and high in nutritional values. However, it can also be high in calories.

1.Health benefits of the soups:whether with proteins or vegetables or both, soups are very healthy loaded with vitamins and minerals., supplying us with a lot of carbohydrates, dietary fiber, potassium, iron, magnesium, B group vitamins, vitamin E and beta-carotene.

•Specially good for immunity; with their antioxidant content: vitamin C and E and beta-carotene, and selenium and zinc
•It is one way to assure the 5 portions of fruits and vegetables / day
•Soups allow vegetables to maintain almost all the nutrients in them, the vitamins and minerals are washed away into the stock but we still eat them and we don’t spill out the water-soluble vitamins.
•Cooking kale, spinach or Swiss chard in a soup rather than steaming them in water increases the amount of the folate.
•Although this won’t spare us from losing the really sensitive vitamins, such as vitamin C, in this case, the best sources are still in fresh fruit and vegetables.
•They also contain water, a crucially important element to avoid dehydration, especially for people who don’t like to drink water because soup contains so much water it fills you up with fewer calories.

2.Calories and fat content:From another side, Soups often enter weight loss diet plans, but not all soups are created equal. Which soup to choose?

•Soups can be very healthy but can be loaded with calories
•It is best to choose water based soups which are lower in fats and calories than cream based soups
•Depending on the ingredients chosen and adds-on, you can make your soup very light from 100 calories per cup like 1 cup of tomato soup to 400 calories per cup like the onion soup because we add bread cubes and cheese .. so make sure you choose the lighter ones

3.Texture/ thickening agents / preparation method:

There are two main groups: clear soups and thick soups

a-Clear soups are bouillon or broth
b-Thick soups are classified depending upon the type of thickening agent used
•Purées are vegetable soups thickened with starch
•Cream soups may be thickened with béchamel sauce or cream
•Veloutés are thickened with eggs, butter, and cream.
•Other ingredients commonly used to thicken soups and broths include egg, rice, lentils, flour, and grains

4.Adds on/ toppings / condiments for flavoring:
•Herbs: cumin- oregano
•Cilantro leaves
•If you need some warming options If you like extra spicy, pass some chili sauce at the table or add ginger that is known to increase the metabolism

Stay away from:
•Cheese : attention to calories and fat
•Bread or kaak with the soups

5.Here are some things to consider when choosing a healthy soup:

•Stay away from creamy, thick and cheesy soups, prefer clear soups to thick soups
•Use light cream and small quantity
•To thicken soup or creamy soup use skimmed milk for cream soups and use pureed white beans to thick soups.
•Attention to oil used quantity; stay away from butter
•Attention to salt used; canned soups are very high in sodium they contain about a third of the daily-recommended intake for sodium
•Boxed soups are healthier than canned soups because the canned ones contain chemicals and hidden preservatives.
•Be aware of soups with high sugar content because sugar is added to many processed foods.
•Go for soups with vegetables because it increases the volume, fiber, bulk, and nutrients of the soup. You can eat a large portion of a vegetable based soup that leaves you feeling satisfied and is nutrient dense
•Use In-Season Produce: Fall produce is made for soups, carrots, beets, winter squash, turnips

Christelle Bedrossian
Beirut, Lebanon



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Dietitian Christelle Bedrossian