When you need a quick bite, nothing hits the spot like some canned soup. This ready-to-eat meal just takes a few minutes to microwave. And thanks to big box stores like Costco, you can make sure to have enough soup to get you through any tough or busy times. While these meals are definitely convenient, many of them can't qualify as healthy.
"Soups are a convenient way to take in a dense amount of nutrition with very little preparation, even more so for canned soups," says Trista Best, RD at Balance One Supplements. "Unfortunately, canned soups are not always as healthy as they market themselves to be. Chicken noodle and vegetable soups are commonly used to help alleviate many illness symptoms, but they can be quite high in sodium. Just one serving provides the consumer with over 400 milligrams of sodium which is nearly one-quarter of sodium recommendation for the day at 2,300 milligrams."
"What makes canned soup unhealthy generally is the high sodium content," says Lisa Young, PhD, RDN, author of Finally Full, Finally Slim and a member of our medical expert board. "It is very important to check the label for sodium."
Keeping an eye out for sodium plays an integral role in choosing the right soup, especially when you want to stock up at Costco. Following the advice of these experts, we assembled the master list of soups to watch out for when you hit Costco, ranked from bad to worst sodium count per serving.
On the hunt for healthier soup options? Opt for one of 14 Best Healthy Canned Soups and Soup Products next time you shop.
Campbell's Simply Chicken Noodle Soup
When you want some comfort food that can warm you up, nothing hits the spot like chicken noodle soup. But this feel-good staple can easily be overdone when it comes to sodium. A single cup serving of this soup contains 30% of your daily sodium, and if you decide to down a whole can, expect to consume 1460 milligrams of sodium in one go.
Cambell's Cream of Mushroom Soup
"Another thing that you want to look for with canned soups is to avoid soups made with cream," says Young. "It will add unnecessary calories and saturated fat."
Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup comes loaded with 860 milligrams of sodium per cup, while its cream content makes it a bit more unwholesome than its chicken noodle soup cousin.
For a healthier take on this classic try out the recipe for Creamy Whole30 Mushroom Soup.
Ivar's Cheddar Garden Medley Soup
Ivar's take on a Cheddar Garden Medley Soup raises the stakes in added cream and salt, bumping the saturated fat and sodium content up to eye-popping levels. This particular soup has 39% of your daily sodium per serving, but also clocks in with 40% of your saturated fat content for the day.
Nongshim Udon Noodle Soup Bowl
Instant noodle soup bowls offer some great conveniences and taste great when you don't have time to cook, but also pack in the most salt. This Nongshim Udon Noodle Soup Bowl crams in as much salt as possible and each serving comes with almost half a day's worth of sodium.
Ivar's Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Ivar's Loaded Baked Potato Soup clocks in at 900 mg of sodium, equalling that of the brand's take on Cheddar Garden Medley. While these items stack up equally when it comes to salt, this particular soup steps up its saturated fat game. Each serving comes loaded with 10 grams of this unwanted fat, making it an even worse choice when you visit Costco.
When a craving strikes, opt to whip up this soup at home with a recipe for Healthy, Hearty Baked Potato Soup. With this homemade offering, you can watch your salt intake and enjoy all the flavors this soup has to offer.
Nongshim Shin Noodle Soup Bowl
Nongshim Shin Noodle Soup Bowl takes the cake as the unhealthiest, most salt-laden Costco soup offering around. One serving of this instant soup contains 89% of your daily sodium, making it a no-go for anyone who needs to stay healthy. When you want soup and noodles with some Asian flare, skip this soup and make one of 20 Boss Ramen Recipes instead.