There are so many benefits of making your own soup at home with fresh ingredients. Store-bought soup from the supermarket typically has more sodium and less fiber, and they tend to contain a lot of preservatives and extra, unnecessary ingredients to maintain their shelf-life. That is because store-bought soup is typically very processed. (Here are tips to find healthier soup at the supermarket.)
Additionally, homemade soup simply tastes better. The veggies have a crisp and pleasant texture, the colors are vibrant, and the flavors are enticing.
Let’s focus on the benefits for your health. When you make your own soup at home, you can control the ingredients. The benefits include:
Less salt. That’s important because people with diabetes have an elevated risk of heart disease, and a diet high in sodium has negative effects on cardiovascular health. FYI, soup is one of the top six sources of sodium in Americans’ diets, according to the American Heart Association, so being able to control the salt levels in your soup is a big deal.
Fresh veggies. Canned soup may often have veggies, but it’s still low in fiber. That’s because the veggies lose so much fiber during processing. Fiber is important for everyone, but especially for people with diabetes because fiber helps slow down digestion and improve blood sugar levels.
Brown rice. Many soups at the supermarket use white rice (a simple carb). When you make soup at home, you can use brown rice (a complex carb), which has more fiber and is better for your blood sugar. Learn more about the best and worst carbs for diabetes.
More protein. Store-bought soup never seems filling, and one of the reasons is that it skimps on protein. Protein may help you feel more satisfied after a meal (so you’re less likely to reach for chips an hour later). You can certainly buy chicken and rice soup from the store, but let’s be honest, it only contains two tiny chunks of ultra-processed chicken per serving.
For example, this recipe for chicken and rice soup has 600 mg of salt and 3 g of fiber. Canned chicken and rice soup from the supermarket (like Campbell’s) has almost 800 mg of salt and 0 g of fiber. Store-bought soup may be more convenient, but the health benefits of homemade soup are obvious.
However, if convenience is important for you, you’re in luck. This recipe for chicken and rice soup is made in just one pot, which means you’ll have fewer plates to wash afterwards (win!). Additionally, you only need about half an hour to prepare this recipe. Who said homemade soup has to be a chore?
In the mood for soup? Dish up these other soup recipes from HealthiNation: