How to Lower the Sodium Content of Canned Soup
Excessive dietary sodium is a significant health issue. MayoClinic.com states that most Americans consume twice the salt they should, and that lowering your sodium can decrease your risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease. One source of excessive sodium is processed food. The Center for Science in the Public Interest notes that canned soup is one of the most problematic processed foods when it comes to sodium content. But many people love the convenience, flavor and comfort-food factor of canned soup and are reluctant to give it up for their health. Luckily, there are ways to decrease sodium in canned soup.
Dilute canned soup with water. You don't have to obliterate the flavor, but adding even a moderate amount of water to your canned soup can spread out the high sodium content in the soup's subsequent greater volume. You might be surprised how little you notice the flavor change. Try 1/2 cup of extra water to start and adjust up or down to suit your taste. Over time, as you get used to the less-salty flavor, you might find you can add more water without feeling that you are sacrificing flavor.
A Low Sodium 1800-Calorie Diet
Add extra vegetables, pasta or cubed potatoes to your canned soup. Like adding water, plumping up the volume of canned soup with extra healthy ingredients can reduce the sodium content of each soup serving. Vegetables, whole-wheat pasta and potatoes are naturally low in sodium, and the more you add to high-salt canned soup, the less salty the overall result.
Try lower-sodium canned soup options. Many more low-salt versions of canned soup are available now than in the past, with improved flavor in comparison with previous low-sodium products. Processed foods are virtually always higher in sodium than fresh, whole foods, but lower-sodium canned soups are certainly healthier for your heart and blood pressure than conventional canned soups.
Speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your sodium intake and health.
A Low Sodium 1800-Calorie Diet
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- Kuroda M, Ohta M, Okufuji T, et al. Frequency of soup intake is inversely associated with body mass index, waist circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio, but not with other metabolic risk factors in Japanese men. J Am Diet Assoc. 2011;111(1):137-42. doi:10.1016/j.jada.2010.10.004
- Zhu Y, Hollis JH. Soup consumption is associated with a reduced risk of overweight and obesity but not metabolic syndrome in US adults: NHANES 2003-2006. PLoS One. 2013;8(9):e75630. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0075630
- Wright N, Wilson L, Smith M, Duncan B, Mchugh P. The BROAD study: A randomised controlled trial using a whole food plant-based diet in the community for obesity, ischaemic heart disease or diabetes. Nutr Diabetes. 2017;7(3):e256. doi:10.1038/nutd.2017.3
- Pan A, Hu F. Effects of carbohydrates on satiety: Differences between liquid and solid food. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2011;14(4):385-390. doi:10.1097/mco.0b013e328346df36
Shannon Hyland-Tassava has more than 16 years experience as a clinical health psychologist, wellness coach and writer. She is a health columnist for the "Northfield (Minn.) News" and has also contributed to "Motherwords," "Macalester Today" and two essay anthologies, among other publications. Hyland-Tassava holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Illinois.