You’ll spend less time washing dishes tonight.
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:
- 4 cups chicken broth (reduced sodium)
- Pinch of herbs (parsley, mixed Italian Seasoning)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1.5 lb chicken breast
- 1/2 cup celery (1 to 2 stalks), chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
- 1/2 cup carrots (about 1 medium carrot), chopped
- 1 cup potato (about 1 medium potato), peeled and cubed
- 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup brown rice, cooked
Instructions1. In a large pot put the chicken broth, herbs and onion to boil. 2. Once the broth is boiling add the chicken breast and let it cook until the meat is white and slightly pink in center. Do not cook meat all the way or it will be tough and rubbery. 3. Once the chicken is cooked take it out of the pot and put it on the side to cool off. 4. Add celery, peas, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes (with juice), and rice to broth. 5. While the vegetables cook, debone and shred the chicken. 6. Boil the soup until the potatoes and carrots are soft. Once they are soft add the shredded chicken. 7. Allow soup to boil for 5 more minutes and let stand before serving.
Nutrition Information Based on a Single Serving
*Percent Daily Value are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Get to know carbs. Arlington, VA: American Diabetes Association. (Accessed on March 12, 2020 at https://www.diabetes.org/nutrition/understanding-carbs/get-to-know-carbs.)
Healthy food choices made easy. Arlington, VA: American Diabetes Association. (Accessed on March 12, 2020 at https://www.diabetes.org/nutrition/healthy-food-choices-made-easy.)