Shop-bought vs Homemade: Soup

It seems that supermarkets launch a new range of “healthy” products every week. Some contain a variety of vegetables but also unnecessary additives, varying from thickeners such as cornflour to vaguely titled flavourings such as “chicken extract”. Can these really be the healthy options?

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Here are some of the main reasons why I will always spend just half an hour making soup rather than buying a pre-made one:

 

Shop-bought Homemade
Low-calorie / low-fat –

Problem: Although progress is being made, the food industry still advertises calorie-controlled and low-fat products as part of a healthy and sustainable diet. Soups which boldly state these claims on the label are likely to contain excess table salt and, often, sugar, revealed in much smaller print on the back.

Tailored nutrition –

Benefit: By cooking a soup from scratch, you can alter how much of each ingredient goes in. All of my improvements in health have been due to adding more healthy fats into my diet so I avoid low-fat products like the plague.

Water –

Problem:
If the fluoride content of water is of concern to you, using water of specific quality is important.

Bone broth –

Benefit:
Homemade bone broth from organic, free-range chickens or 100% grass-fed beef/lamb is very high in nutrients.
Click here to read about them.

Salt –

Problem:
Table salt is often a mix of pure sodium and toxic aluminium anti-caking agents. These can lead to issues such as rheumatism and gout.

Sea salt / pink Himalayan salt –

Benefit:
Choosing a high-quality sea salt provides the body with the sodium it requires to function but without the harmful additives. You can also control how much salt you add to taste.

Flavourings –

Problem:
We cannot be sure of the origin of these flavours, how they were extracted, or what effects they have on the body.

Herbs and spices –

Benefit:
As well as providing health benefits, you can tailor the herbs and spices used in soups for a specific need i.e. if suffering from a cold, turmeric, garlic, ginger, and thyme will work wonders.

Vegetables –

Problem:
The fact that some soups contain whole vegetables is great. However, non-organic produce such as carrots (commonly used in soups) harbour a large amount of pesticides and artificial fertilisers.

Organic vegetables –

Benefits:
Organic produce is higher in vitamins and minerals.
By choosing organic produce, we can avoid the harmful chemicals so often sprayed on non-organic produce.

Thickeners e.g. cornflour –

Problem:
Unlike most corn products, cornflour possesses few mould toxins but this is the result of it being so heavily processed. It also negatively impacts blood sugar and isn’t an optimal food choice for gut bacteria.

High-quality fats, egg yolks, less liquid –

Benefit:
Using high-quality fats is a great way to thicken soup and add a velvety texture. I use, grass-fed butter / ghee, egg yolks, avocados in cold soup, and coconut oil in spicy soups. Alternatively, adding less liquid ensures a thicker soup.

 

G.

 

Sources:

Salt and cornflour: The Bulletproof Diet, Dave Asprey, 2014.

Herbs and spices: Neal’s Yard Remedies, Cook, Brew, and Blend Your Own Herbs, 2011 and Neal’s Yard Remedies, Healing Foods, 2011.

Organic produce: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20359265

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