13 Unhealthiest Store-Bought Soups

Cans of soup on shelves
Cans of soup on shelves - Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Store-bought soup is a convenient and simple meal that people often turn to when they're in a rush. Unfortunately, it also has the potential to be a surprisingly unhealthy meal thanks to the high amounts of sodium and saturated fat these products often contain. In this article, we highlight 13 store-bought soups that aren't as healthy as they could be, so you can make informed choices the next time you're buying.

We've focused on soups that are high in sodium and saturated fat because diets high in these two nutrients have been linked with a variety of illnesses and diseases. According to the American Heart Association, diets high in saturated fat cause cholesterol levels to rise which, in turn, increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Diets high in sodium also have negative impacts on health by driving up blood pressure which, as the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health notes, has also been linked with cardiovascular ill health.

The average American consistently consumes around 3,300 milligrams of sodium per day. That's 1000 milligrams more than the recommended level. A similar pattern is seen in saturated fat consumption. A study published in Food Surveys Research Group Dietary Data Briefs found that only one third of American adults consumed the recommended amount of saturated fats. We hope that the following article will enable some people to identify store-bought soup as a sneaky contributor to their high sodium and saturated fat intake.

Read more: 12 Canned Foods You Should Avoid At The Grocery Store

Campbell's Chunky Soup Chili Mac

Campbell's Chunky Soup Chili Mac
Campbell's Chunky Soup Chili Mac - Campbell's

Campbell's is a well-known brand that produces a variety of soup products. Campbell's Chunky Soup is a subgroup of these that focuses on hearty products that are packed full of bulky ingredients. Invariably, these chunky soups are not the healthiest store-bought soups around. In fact, they include some of the unhealthiest, as Campbell's Chunky Soup Chili Mac demonstrates.

One serving of Campbell's Chunky Soup Chili Mac contains 790 milligrams of sodium. This is 34% of an adult's daily value, a percentage of the standardized amount the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends adult's do not exceed per day. A cup of this soup also contains 2.5 grams of saturated fat, which is 13% of an adult's daily value.

While these numbers are not enormous, they represent a significant proportion of the saturated fat and sodium it's healthy for an adult to consume every day. What's more, these numbers pertain to a single cup of the soup, not the entire can. Many people consider this serving size unrealistic, and can easily eat an entire can in one sitting. As the can contains two cups of soup, the actual intake of sodium and saturated fat could be double the previously mentioned amounts.

Amy's Kitchen Organic Hearty Rustic Italian Vegetable Soup

A can of Amy's Kitchen soup
A can of Amy's Kitchen soup - Amy's Kitchen/Walmart

Amy's Kitchen markets itself as a pioneer of organic food in the United States and has sold products made from organic produce since 1987. In the U.S., organic foods are generally perceived as being healthier than non-organic foods, which often obscures the fact that organic food products can be just as unhealthy as similar, non-organic food products.

This is demonstrated by Amy's Kitchen Organic Hearty Rustic Italian Vegetable Soup, a canned soup that, per cup, contains 810 milligrams of sodium. This equates to 35% of an adult's daily value. When the whole can is consumed, this number jumps to 1,320 milligrams which is more than half an adult's daily value. Numbers this high mean Amy's Kitchen Organic Hearty Rustic Italian Vegetable Soup has to be included in our list despite it only containing a single gram of saturated fat per one cup serving.

Kroger Cream Of Chicken Condensed Soup

Can of Kroger cream of chicken soup
Can of Kroger cream of chicken soup - Kroger

Condensed soup is regular soup that has been boiled down to attain a deep flavor and thick consistency. These condensed soups are designed to be diluted with water, with a one-to-one ratio, prior to heating and serving. Thus, a one cup portion of condensed soup equates to a two cup serving of regular soup. Despite this dilution, many condensed soups remain unhealthy due to the high amounts of sodium and saturated fat found in a single, or even half, cup.

Kroger Cream of Chicken Condensed Soup is a great example of this. One cup of this condensed soup contains a shocking 1,320 milligrams of sodium and 4 grams of saturated fat. Even when diluted to make a two cup serving, this meal contains 20% of an adult's daily value for saturated fat and 58% of an adult's daily value for sodium. To put this into perspective, a cup of Kroger Cream of Chicken Condensed Soup contains 270 milligrams more sodium than a McDonald's Big Mac.

Progresso Rich & Hearty Three Cheese Tortellini Soup

Progresso three cheese tortellini soup
Progresso three cheese tortellini soup - Progresso/Walmart

Progresso is a brand that's been known for its soup since the 1970s. Now owned by General Mills, the brand is available in most major grocery stores in the United States and is a firm favorite of the public. As a result, Progresso currently produces a large range of canned soups, the Rich & Hearty Three Cheese Tortellini Soup among them.

As the name suggests, Progresso's Rich & Hearty Three Cheese Tortellini Soup contains a variety of ingredients including cheese tortellini, ricotta, and Asiago cheese which is produced in various parts of Veneto and Trentino-Adige. Given this collection of ingredients, it's not surprising to learn that the soup is high in saturated fat. A single cup of this soup contains 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 17% of an adult's daily value. If the whole can is consumed this number doubles.

The soup also contains a considerable amount of sodium; one cup of the soup contains 700 milligrams. This is a large amount that, when combined with the soup's high fat content, makes this product easily definable as unhealthy.

Trader Joe's Italian-Style Wedding Soup

Jar of Trader Joe's Italian-style wedding soup
Jar of Trader Joe's Italian-style wedding soup - m1245ax/X, formerly known as Twitter

Trader Joe's is one of many grocery store brands that stocks a large number of soups under its own name. Aside from being a good money maker for the grocery store, these private label products are usually as good as name brand alternatives. Trader Joe's Italian-Style Wedding Soup is an example of this; the product is packed with flavorful ingredients and has been well-received publicly.

While ingredients such as Italian-style meatballs with Romano and parmesan cheeses ensure Trader Joe's Italian Wedding Soup is tasty, they also mean that the soup is quite unhealthy. A single cup contains three grams of saturated fat, a relatively large amount which is due to those beef meatballs. At 480 milligrams of sodium per one-cup serving, this soup contains the lowest amount of sodium of any soup on our list. From a health perspective this is a huge boon. Despite this, the high levels of saturated fat mean that Trader Joe's Italian Wedding Soup is included in this article.

Panera Bread Gluten Free Ready-To-Heat Mexican Style Street Corn Chowder

Panera at home corn chowder
Panera at home corn chowder - Panera Bread

Most Americans have heard of Panera Bread, a bakery-café fast food chain that boasts over 2,000 locations. These bakery-cafés are known for their soups, and the company has long sold some of these soups for sale in grocery stores, some being tastier than others. Walmart and Kroger are just two of the grocery store brands that carry Panera Bread's range of ready-to-heat soups, ensuring that millions of Americans have access to them.

Panera Bread's soups are far from the healthiest products on the market. In fact, the brand's soups are decidedly unhealthy with two being included in this article. Per cup, the brand's Gluten Free Ready-to-Heat Mexican Style Street Corn Chowder contains 970 milligrams of sodium. This is 42% of an adult's daily value. If the whole container is consumed, this number jumps up to 1,800 milligrams. Aside from being 78% of an adult's daily value, this container of soup contains nearly 300 milligrams more sodium than Burger King's Double Whopper with Cheese.

Panera Bread's Gluten Free Ready-to-Heat Mexican Style Street Corn Chowder compounds this sky high sodium content by containing five grams of saturated fat — 25% of an adult's daily value — per cup. This is the second highest saturated fat content of any soup on our list, clearly marking Panera Bread's Gluten Free Ready-to-Heat Mexican Style Street Corn Chowder as one of the unhealthiest soups around.

Trader Joe's Organic Creamy Mushroom Soup

Tub of Trader Joe's vegan mushroom soup
Tub of Trader Joe's vegan mushroom soup - Trader Joe's

There are some flavors and textures that can be hard for vegan foods to attain. Creaminess is one of these, as its presence often relies on the inclusion of dairy. That being said, Trader Joe's Organic Creamy Mushroom Soup manages to be creamy thanks to the inclusion of coconut milk. Unfortunately, this creamy texture comes at a cost. Coconut milk contains a lot of saturated fat, which is reflected in the soup's nutritional profile; one cup of Trader Joe's Organic Creamy Mushroom Soup contains three grams of saturated fat or 15% of an adult's daily value.

As with many other soups in this article, this product contains a substantial amount of sodium, with 690 milligrams per cup serving. This equates to 30% of an adult's daily value and is the same amount found in Taco Bell's Double Decker Taco. While necessary for the soup's taste, this high sodium content clearly marks Trader Joe's Organic Creamy Mushroom Soup as an unhealthy store-bought soup.

Kroger Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup

Can of Kroger's chicken noodle soup
Can of Kroger's chicken noodle soup - Kroger

Chicken noodle soup is famously a warm, soothing dish. In an attempt to replicate these characteristics, Kroger's version of this classic soup features roasted white chicken meat, enriched egg noodles, and carrots all for under $2 a can. Thanks to these ingredients, Kroger Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup is low in saturated fat. You'll get just 0.5 grams of saturated fat from a one-cup serving, or 1.5 grams if the entire can is consumed. This is a more than reasonable amount that should not put anyone off.

The soup's sodium content is where its healthy credentials falter. A single cup of Kroger Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup contains 680 milligrams of salt which is 30% of an adult's daily value. The entire can, which many people will consume in one sitting, contains just under 1,500 milligrams of salt. This is an incredibly high amount given that, at only 200 calories, this soup will likely be consumed alongside other foods. This means that, unless people are careful, they could easily consume more than their daily value of sodium in a single meal thanks to Kroger's Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup.

Campbell's Condensed Cream Of Chicken Soup

Can of Campbell's condensed soup
Can of Campbell's condensed soup - Campbell's/Walmart

Campbell's Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup is the second condensed soup featured in this article. As with the last, this soup is designed to be diluted with a one-to-one ratio of soup to water, prior to eating. This means half a cup of Campbell's Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup will result in a one-cup serving of finished soup. Even this small amount boasts a surprisingly unhealthy nutritional profile, featuring two grams of saturated fat and 870 milligrams of sodium, making up 10% and 38% of an adult's daily value respectively.

When a whole cup of the condensed soup is eaten, these numbers become truly concerning. One cup of Campbell's Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup contains four grams of saturated fat and a staggering 1,740 milligrams of sodium. This is one of the highest sodium contents of any soup in this article, clearly marking Campbell's Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup as an unhealthy choice.

Progresso Rich & Hearty, Loaded Potato With Bacon Canned Soup

Progresso potato and bacon soup
Progresso potato and bacon soup - Progresso

Any soup that contains bacon and cream cheese is going to struggle to be classified as healthy. This is the case for Progresso's Rich & Hearty, Loaded Potato with Bacon Canned Soup. By all accounts, this soup is unhealthy. It's higher in calories than many other soups mentioned in this article and also contains substantial amounts of saturated fat and sodium.

Per cup, Progresso Rich & Hearty, Loaded Potato with Bacon Canned Soup contains three grams of saturated fat, a number that's doubled when the entire can is consumed in one sitting. Both bacon and soybean oil, one of the unhealthiest cooking oils around, are among the ingredients that contribute to this relatively high amount. The soup also contains 760 milligrams of sodium per cup. While less than some other soups included in this list, 760 milligrams is still a considerable amount which does more than enough to distance Progresso Rich & Hearty, Loaded Potato with Bacon Canned Soup from any claims of being a healthy product.

Panera Bread Ready-To-Heat Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Panera Bread broccoli cheddar soup
Panera Bread broccoli cheddar soup - Panera Bread/Target

Panera Bread's Ready-to-Heat Broccoli Cheddar Soup is the brand's second soup to be included in this article. It also has the dubious distinction of containing the most saturated fat of any soup featured in this article by far. This should not come as a surprise given that the soup contains cheddar cheese, heavy cream, and. Per cup, the soup contains nine grams of saturated fat which is 45% of an adult's daily value. If the entire container is eaten, this number climbs to 17 grams. This is two grams more than a McDonald's Quarter Pounder with cheese and bacon contains. The soup also includes 0.5 grams of trans fat per cup, accounting for almost a quarter of the recommended daily allowance.

Aside from the astronomical saturated fat content, Panera Bread's Ready-to-Heat Broccoli Cheddar Soup also contains 990 milligrams of sodium per cup. This is 43% of an adult's daily value. Of course, this number also balloons if the whole container is consumed as the entire thing contains 1,850 milligrams of sodium — 80% of an adult's daily value. Needless to say, Panera Bread's Ready-to-Heat Broccoli Cheddar Soup is one of, if not the, unhealthiest soup included in this article.

Campbell's Chunky Soup, Pub-Style Chicken Pot Pie

Can of Campbell's chunky soup
Can of Campbell's chunky soup - Campbell's

Campbell's range of chunky soups are known to be hearty, flavorful, and filling. When it comes to store-bought soups, though, this often means that the soup is laden with sodium and saturated fat, and Campbell's Chunky Soup, Pub-Style Chicken Pot Pie is no exception.

The most alarming aspect of this soup is its sodium content. One cup of Campbell's Chunky Soup, Pub-Style Chicken Pot Pie contains 790 milligrams of sodium, 34% of an adult's daily value. The entire 18.8 ounce can contains much more, clocking in 1,720 milligrams of sodium, accounts for three quarters of an adult's daily value. This is a huge amount that more than warrants the soup's inclusion in this article.

A cup of Campbell's Chunky Soup, Pub-Style Chicken Pot Pie also contains two grams of saturated fat. While not staggering, this number contributes to the soup's unhealthy nutritional profile. That being said, it's the sodium which is the real concern here.

Old El Paso Chicken Cheese Enchilada-Style Soup

Old El Paso chicken cheese soup
Old El Paso chicken cheese soup - Old El Paso

Old El Paso is a brand best known for its Tex-Mex meal kits, but it also produces a range of soups including Old El Paso Chicken Cheese Enchilada-Style Soup. The listed ingredients of this product include cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and vegetable oil. As such, it's no surprise that this soup boasts high levels of saturated fat, 3.5 grams per cup to be exact. This is 18% of an adult's daily value, climbing to 38% if the can's entire contents are eaten.

Old El Paso Chicken Cheese Enchilada-Style Soup also contains a considerable amount of salt, with 680 milligrams per cup serving. Again, this number grows substantially if the entire can is eaten, reaching a total of 1,450 milligrams. As 63% of an adult's daily value, this sodium content is the key reason why Old El Paso Chicken Cheese Enchilada-Style Soup is one of the unhealthiest store-bought soups around.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.