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Is eating soup every day worth it and which one is the healthiest

Oleg ShvetsFood
Many Ukrainians cannot imagine their meals without soup
Many Ukrainians cannot imagine their meals without soup

As lunchtime approaches, our hunger centers in our brains force us to focus our thoughts on food choices. The traditions of Slavic peoples associate lunch with eating a hot dish such as borscht or soup. Ukrainian cuisine offers a wide variety of first courses. Many Ukrainians can't imagine their meals without soup, and grandmothers continue to promote the idea that healthy eating for their grandchildren is impossible without soup. Is it really true?

Soup is usually an easy-to-prepare dish that can help you add a lot of nutrients to your diet. The most important thing for soup is the right ingredients like vegetables and lean proteins, which makes it a healthy dish with many beneficial properties. Soups made with bone, vegetable, or meat broths contain vitamins, minerals, and nutrients such as collagen. At the same time, they have a minimum of added fat and calories.

Eating soup helps to increase your vegetable intake. In large quantities, they reduce the risk of weight gain, which is a factor in the development of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer. The statement that vegetables cooked in soup are low in nutrients is not true. In fact, they contain less than fresh ones, but still quite a lot of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and other plant nutrients.

Soups can be made from almost anything in your kitchen. However, certain ingredients, such as thickeners and excessive amounts of salt, increase the calorie and sodium content of soup and turn it into an unhealthy meal.

BENEFITS OF EATING SOUP

Promotes weight control

Daily calorie intake is generally lower in people who eat soup. One study found that people who ate soup regularly had lower body weight than those who did not. Soup also improves nutritional quality, which is associated with lower fat and higher protein and fiber intake.

Increases the feeling of satiety

This is partly due to psychological factors: people believe that soup is more satisfying. On the other hand, many soups are high in fiber. Dietary fiber increases the feeling of satiety by delaying the emptying of the stomach after a meal and increasing its volume by absorbing water and swelling when it enters the stomach. All this leads to a longer feeling of satiety.

Increases fluid intake

Water is essential for our health and normal functioning. It can come from drinking water, water in drinks, or water in food, as in the case of soups, fruits, and vegetables.

WHAT TO AVOID AND WHAT TO LIMIT WHEN MAKING SOUP

Some ingredients used to improve the texture or flavor of soup can turn it into an unhealthy dish.

Thickeners. Some of the most popular ingredients used to thicken soups include whole fat milk, heavy cream, coconut cream, cornstarch, bread, cheese, egg yolks, and a mixture of butter and flour. In small amounts, these ingredients are not harmful. But beware of the amount used in creamy soups. Most thickeners are high energy density products, meaning they contain a large number of calories per gram. Therefore, you risk consuming more calories than your body needs, which can lead to weight gain. Some of these ingredients also tend to be high in saturated fatty acids. According to some studies, when consumed in excessive amounts, they are a risk factor for those with cardiovascular diseases.

You can improve the texture of the soup without high-calorie thickeners by adding yogurt or mashed legumes (beans, chickpeas, or lentils). At the same time, you will improve the nutritional value of your soup.

High sodium content

Instant soups and canned soups are often high in sodium, or salt. Excessive sodium intake is associated with high blood pressure, a risk factor for those with heart and kidney diseases, as well as those susceptible to strokes. Adding salt to a dish is the most common way to improve its flavor. However, it is better to use spices such as oregano, garlic, and basil.

POPULAR TYPES OF HEALTHY SOUPS

Tomato soup

The most useful thing in this soup is lycopene, an antioxidant pigment that gives tomatoes their red color. Lycopene is an antioxidant that helps fight the negative effects of free radicals in your body. High levels of free radicals are associated with the development of chronic diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Lycopene also stimulates the immune system, improves male fertility and heart health, and reduces the risk of certain cancers.

Ready-to-eat tomato soups sold in stores may contain unwanted ingredients: thickeners, added fats, and sugar. So it's best to make your own soup.

Chicken noodle soup

Chicken will increase the protein content of your meal, a nutrient that is not found in vegetable soups. Eating protein helps regulate appetite, speed up metabolism, and even reduce fat. It is best to add more vegetables to this soup and choose whole grain noodles to increase the fiber content.

Do not buy canned versions of this soup. They usually contain a lot of sodium, which is a risk factor for high blood pressure in people who are sensitive to dietary salt. One serving of canned chicken noodle soup (106 grams) contains as much as 80% of the recommended daily value of sodium.

Soups based on bone broth

Bone broth has gained popularity due to its nutritional value. It contains, in particular, calcium, magnesium and collagen, the most abundant protein in our body. It is thanks to collagen that bone broth has a positive effect on the health of joints, bones, and skin. It is used as a base for many soups and can also be consumed as a separate dish.

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