Soup is the ultimate comfort food. But if you're watching your weight, it can also be an unexpected drain on your calorie and fat bank. This doesn't mean you have to give up your favorite cold-weather soup. With January being National Soup Month, how could you? Just avoid these five soups listed below, and swap them out for the healthier alternatives we've provided:
1. Clam chowder. Anything with the word "chowder" in it is probably going to be high in cream, fat, and calories. Campbell's Chunky New England Clam Chowder tops the list with 230 calories per serving, 13 grams of fat, and 890 milligrams of sodium. Plus each can contains two servings, so if you eat them at the same time, you're up to 1,780 grams of sodium.
2. Potato soup. Potato soup can be healthy, but it's often made with a cream base instead of a broth base, which means that it, like the chowder, can be loaded with calories and saturated fat.
3. Lobster bisque. With an average of 13.1 grams of fat (that's 20 percent of the daily recommended serving), most of it saturated, and 896 grams of sodium, this is a definite diet don't!
4. Chili. Chili's actually not that bad: It often contains a lot of fiber, protein, and vegetables. However, most of the time it's also accompanied by a huge chunk of cornbread on the side. If you're going to have chili, skip the bread, and have a salad instead.
5. Broccoli and cheese soup. Soup using broccoli as a base? Healthy! Dousing that broccoli in cheese? Not so healthy. Most restaurant versions tend to feature a few tiny broccoli florets drowning in a bowl of cheese, so if you see this one on the menu, skip it.
Try one of these instead:
1. Mushroom and barley soup. This low-cal recipe features plenty of vegetables as well as barley to make a hearty meal that will fill you up, not out.
2. Lumberjackie soup. Vegan-friendly and easy to make, this recipe calls for a hodge-podge of vegetables that's packed with antioxidants and minerals. Just throw the ingredients into your crockpot, let it cook, and you're done!
3. Creamy carrot and tomato soup. If you can brave the cold and want to try a chilled soup instead of a hot one, try this creamy carrot and tomato soup.
4. Chicken, zucchini and potato soup. For the days when you want more than a snack, this flavor-packed soup's sure to please. The chicken and potatoes will help fill you up, while the zucchinis provide a serving of veggies.
5. Homemade tomato soup. Who doesn't like tomato soup on a cold gray day? Skip the canned versions, which are packed with sodium, and go for this healthy homemade version instead.