Welcome to the first Body Fusion Product Review! Whilst we encourage most of the food you eat to be fresh wholefoods prepared at home, there are sometimes that this just isn’t possible. We get it, life is busy, time is short and that’s ok. Therefore, we are starting some product reviews to help you select better, nutritionally balanced options at the supermarket.
To coincide with the cooler temperatures, there’s no better place to start than with soups. There is such a large range now there are a few golden rules when it comes to selecting soups.
1. INGREDIENTS – choose soups with at least 30 – 50% of the ingredients being vegetables. Then look for an added lean protein option for example chicken, beef or quinoa. Keep the ingredients list as short as you can, the more added salt, sugars and preservatives means the more the product is processed (something we want to steer away from). You should also be mindful about the ‘fillers’ that are added for bulk. Try and avoid high GI, refined carbohydrates like white rice, potato starch, maize and other thickeners. It’s best to get as many vegetables as you can and add a piece of low GI wholegrain bread to your meal instead.
2. SODIUM – any form of processing or packaging requires salt to be added to preserve the product. However soups can easily have over half of your daily recommended intake of sodium (2300mg). Aim for as low as possible! <400mg/100ml is ideal, but generally this isn’t available in packaged soups. So our goal is <600mg/100ml (or as close as possible). If the sodium is around or over 1000mg per 100g put it back! Always look for the ‘salt reduced’ varieties.
3. ENERGY DENSITY – soups are generally pretty low calorie meals, however you need to be mindful whether you are using the soup as a snack or a meal. Energy guide for a snack (if looking for weight loss or maintenance) is between 100 – 150 calories. Make sure you check the ‘number of serves’ in each package as some contain 2 -3 per pack. If the soup is going to be your main meal, your total for this meal should be approx. 300 calories, so if your soup is less than that, add a wholegrain slice of bread, extra side salad or serve of steamed vegetables.
- Ingredients: vegetables, lean protein, not too many ‘fillers’ or refined carbohydrates.
- Sodium <600mg/100ml
- SNACK: 100 – 150cals (usually ½ bowl/tetra pack)
- MEAL: 300 cals (usually ½ bowl/tetra pack + 1 slice wholegrain bread or extra vegetables).
Here are our top three picks:
Pitango Organic Vegetable and Quinoa Soup
Serving: 300g = ½ tetra pack
Energy: 114 cals – Protein: 3g – Carbs: 22.8g – Sodium: 420mg (140mg/100ml)
Ingredients: Water, Vegetables (45%) (Tomato, Sweet Potato, Potato, Carrot, Celery, Onion, Broccoli, Red Pepper, Green Pepper, Garlic), Quinoa (3%), Tomato Paste, Parsley, Corn Starch, Spices, Salt, Sunflower Oil, Lemon Juice Concentrate.
Added bonus: Gluten and dairy free.
Woolworths Home style Chicken & Vegetable (Fresh)
Serving: 300g = 1 bowl
Energy: 152 cal – Protein: 12.9g – Carbs: 13.5g – Sodium: 630mg
Ingredients: Water, Vegetables (35%) (Carrot, Onion, Potato, Leek, Cabbage, Pumpkin, Celery, Green Peas, Spinach), Chicken (15%), Thickener (1422, from Maize), Canola Oil, Tomato (Acidity Regulator (Citric Acid)), Sugar, Salt, Chicken Flavour StockPowder (Spices (contains Natural Colour (Curcumin)), Soy, Wheat, Fish), Garlic, Spices.
La Zuppa Kale, Quinoa & Vegetable Tetra Pack
Serving: 270ml = ½ tetra pack
Cal: 92 cal – Protein: 5.2g – Carbs: 12.2 (g) – Sodium (mg) 694
Ingredients: Chicken Stock, Lentil, Onion (8%), Sweet Corn (5%), Kale (4%), Brown Rice, Quinoa, Herbs.