Health and Fitness

Can a long-life soup really be good for you? A dietician assesses manufacturers’ health claims 


As more of us buy tinned and long-life soups — sales rose by more than 35 million last year — maybe it’s no surprise that manufacturers are launching products which promise extra health benefits. We asked dietitian Ruth Kander, of the Fleet Street Clinic in London, to assess some. We then rated them.

Heinz Plant Proteinz Coconut Curry and Jackfruit

HIGH IN PLANT PROTEIN

Heinz Plant Proteinz Coconut Curry and Jackfruit, 400g, £1.50, morrisons.com (Available from November 1)

Per 100g: Calories, 59; saturated fat, 0.7g; protein, 3.6g; fibre, 1.4g; sugar, 1.7g; salt, 0.39g

CLAIM: ‘Provides plant protein. Source of fibre. Two of your five-a-day.’

EXPERT VERDICT: This offers 14g of muscle-building protein, from the beans, chickpeas and pea protein (dried and powdered split peas). Pea protein contains a useful mix of essential amino acids, which are important for tissue repair and nutrient absorption. This soup will make quite a satisfying light meal on its own; add a slice of wholemeal bread or a serving of quinoa if you’re hungry. 8/10

TASTE: A bit like spicy baby food. 5/10

Baxters Super Good Tomato, Orange and Ginger

Baxters Super Good Tomato, Orange and Ginger

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY

Baxters Super Good Tomato, Orange and Ginger, 400g, £1.35, sainsburys.co.uk

Per 100g: Calories, 70; saturated fat, 0.5g; protein, 1.1g; fibre, <0.5g; sugar, 7.3g; salt, 0.34g

CLAIM: ‘With cleansing ginger. One of your five-a-day. Low-fat. Gluten-free.’

EXPERT VERDICT: The brightly coloured fruit and vegetables provide one of your five-a-day and are a good source of carotenoids — plant pigments with protective antioxidant properties. The plant compound gingerol in ginger has anti-inflammatory properties — but refined sugar, like that in the preserved ginger here, promotes inflammation, so there’s a bit of a clash there. 4/10

TASTE: Sweet and velvety, with warm ginger and citrus. 8/10

Coppola Find Balance! Soup with Peas, Leek and Ginger

Coppola Find Balance! Soup with Peas, Leek and Ginger

RICH IN FIBRE

Coppola Find Balance! Soup with Peas, Leek and Ginger, 6x350g, £20, amazon.co.uk

Per 100g: Calories, 63; saturated fat, 0.6g; protein, 1.6g; fibre, 2.5g; sugar, 1.5g; salt, 0.42g

CLAIM: ‘Contains dietary fibres. Three of your five-a-day.’

EXPERT VERDICT: This provides 8.8g of filling, gut-friendly fibre — 29 per cent of your daily recommendation, and the highest of all the soups here. Dietary fibre can help to keep blood sugar levels steady. It has also been linked to lower blood cholesterol and good gut health. No added sugar and a nice, short list of natural ingredients. 9/10

TASTE: ‘Healthy’, like a thick green smoothie, but bland. 4/10

Fodmapped For You! Minestrone

Fodmapped For You! Minestrone

IBS FRIENDLY

Fodmapped For You! Minestrone, 500g, £6.75, ocado.com

Per 100g: Calories, 39; saturated fat, 0.1g; protein, 1.2g; fibre, 1.3g; sugar, 4.5g; salt, 0.4g

CLAIM: ‘Low FODMAP [fermentable oligo-, di, mono-saccharides and polyols, carbohydrates that some people find hard to digest]. Gluten and dairy free. A source of fibre.’

EXPERT VERDICT: A low FODMAP diet can help reduce IBS symptoms for some people. This smaller-than- average 250g half-pack serving provides just 98 calories and 3g (half an egg’s worth) of protein, plus 3.3g fibre — about a tenth of your daily needs. This would make a good alternative to tea or coffee, but it won’t fill you up for long unless you add some FODMAP-friendly buckwheat, wholegrain rice or quinoa to boost the fibre. 6/10

TASTE: Spicy tomato flavour. 6/10 

Ocean¿s Halo Miso Broth

Ocean’s Halo Miso Broth

BOOSTS VITAMIN D

Ocean’s Halo Miso Broth, 946ml, £3.99, ocado.com

Per 100g: Calories, 16; saturated fat, 0g; protein, 1.2g; fibre, 0.8g; sugar, 0g; salt, 0.7g

CLAIM: ‘An excellent source of vitamin D and iodine.’

EXPERT VERDICT: Made from fermented soya beans, miso contains probiotic bacteria which can be beneficial for the gut, although it’s difficult to tell how many live bacteria will be preserved in this long-life carton. The kelp extract will provide about 20 per cent of your daily iodine needs — iodine is vital for thyroid function. The mushroom powder supplies useful vitamin D. 7/10

TASTE: Deep savoury flavour — warm and comforting. 8/10

Morrisons Counted Carrot and Coriander Soup

Morrisons Counted Carrot and Coriander Soup

FOR WEIGHT LOSS

Morrisons Counted Carrot and Coriander Soup, 400g, 60p, morrisons.com

Per 100g: Calories, 42; saturated fat, 0.4g; protein, 1.8g; fibre, 1.5g; sugar, 2.5g; salt, 0.38g

CLAIM: ‘Calorie controlled. One of your five-a-day. Low-fat.’

EXPERT VERDICT: Soups can be a useful meal for people trying to lose weight; as well as being fairly low in calories and packed with healthy vegetables, they fill the stomach quickly, reducing hunger pangs. The recommended small portion of 200ml — half a can — would provide just 85 calories. You’ll get one of your five-a-day and the lentils provide fibre and protein but too little to keep you full for long. 6/10

TASTE: Sweet flavour; hearty lentil texture. 7/10

Tesco Low Fat Tomato Soup

Tesco Low Fat Tomato Soup

LOW FAT

Tesco Low Fat Tomato Soup, 400g, 45p,

Per 100g: Calories, 31; saturated fat, 0.1g; protein, 0.6g; fibre, 0.8g; sugar, 3.9g; salt, 0.3g

CLAIM: ‘Low fat. Half a can serving provides one of your five-a-day.’

EXPERT VERDICT: Most soups, including normal tinned tomato soup, fall into the low-fat category — but this one could almost count as ‘fat-free’, as it has less than 0.5g per 100g. There’s a short and simple ingredients list here. Half a can is a very small recommended serving — you’re more likely to eat the whole tin, which will give you three teaspoons of sugar from the tomatoes, plus some added sugar. You’ll need to eat a sandwich or roll filled with a lean protein with this if you want to fill yourself up. 5/10

TASTE: Watered-down classic tomato flavour. 7/10

Jarmino Fish Bone Broth

Jarmino Fish Bone Broth

FULL OF NUTRIENTS

Jarmino Fish Bone Broth, 6x 350ml jars, £29.99, jarmino.co.uk

Per 100g: Calories, 4; saturated fat, 0.0g; protein, 0.8g; fibre, 0g; sugar, 0g; salt, 0.4g

CLAIM: ‘Drink daily to supply your body with nutrients and minerals. Collagen rich. Sugar free. Low in calories.’

EXPERT VERDICT: This long-life jar is made by simmering organic salmon carcasses for 20 hours with star anise, fennel and celery to produce a broth that the manufacturers claim is rich in nutrients, minerals and collagen. Collagen is responsible for healthy joints and skin elasticity. As we age, we produce less of it. There is some evidence that taking daily collagen supplements — perhaps in a broth like this — may help to correct any imbalance, but much more research is needed. 4/10

TASTE: Subtle salmon flavour with aniseed notes. 7/10

We asked dietitian Ruth Kander, of the Fleet Street Clinic in London, to assess some. We then rated them (stock picture)

We asked dietitian Ruth Kander, of the Fleet Street Clinic in London, to assess some. We then rated them (stock picture)



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