Healthy Meals in a Snap

Soup is one of those food categories that can include almost anything. Soup can be a light appetizer or a full meal. It can include just about any type of meat, or no meat at all. It can be a warm, comfortable food on a cold day, or a nice, chilled side dish on a hot summer day.

Soups can be low in calories and fat while still being very filling, and that’s great for anyone trying to watch what they eat. Vegetable-based soups are a great option since they combine a high nutrient density with a low calorie density. In other words, they pack a lot of nutrition into a very few calories. A recent study found that, when people consume a low-calorie, vegetable-based soup before their main meal, they end up eating 20 percent fewer calories at that meal.

Naturally, homemade soups are the best option, and they are very easy to prepare. This is especially true if you use a slow cooker that will simmer the soup for hours. And, once you’ve put the ingredients into a slow cooker, you can spend your time doing something else while it cooks.

Prepackaged soups can also be used. I tend to use simple, canned soups as a “base” for a healthy soup. You can start with a simple prepackaged tomato-basil soup, for example, and then add pasta, vegetables and beans. Or, start with a basic chicken broth and add shredded chicken, corn, beans, and spices to make a wonderful Mexican-flavored soup that can be a whole meal.

When using prepackaged soups, be sure to read the ingredients, though. Some soups, especially dry packaged soup mixes, are very high in sodium. Prepackaged soups also tend to be low on protein. I find it better to start with a more basic canned soup and add your own protein.

For cooks who are in a hurry, there aren’t many healthy, low calorie meals that can beat soup – especially broth-style, vegetable-based soups. So, think about soup the next time you want to make a health meal in a snap!

Remember, healthy choices each day can transform your family for generations! What choices will you make today?
You may also want to read: True or False: 5 Food Myths Busted, Microwave Ovens and Healthy Cooking, Obesity Myths? Be Careful What You Read

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