Last week, Campbell Soup Company reintroduced 12 of its popular canned soups for children, reformulated to be considered healthy by FDA standards:
…12 Campbell’s® Kids soups, reformulated to contain 480 milligrams of sodium per serving.
Now popular favorites [...] meet the government criteria for “healthy” foods – controlled for fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium and being a good source of a positive nutrient like vitamin A.
The newly-reformulated soups are the latest to come to market as part of Campbell’s ongoing commitment to wellness, for a total of 78 soups in the portfolio at the healthy levels for sodium. By leveraging a combination of unique, lower sodium natural sea salt and expertise in flavor design, Campbell has been able to deliver lower sodium options without sacrificing taste.
What you need to know:
For years, using salt was a cheap and easy way for manufacturers to mask the canned flavor of commercial soups. However, due to high levels of consumption, salt is now recognized as a serious threat to public health. Americans consume almost twice the recommended daily allowance of 2400mg (a teaspoon) a day. This leads to high blood pressure and related ailments.
Reducing salt is a good move by Campbell’s, in line with its strategy to refurbish a tarnished image of canned soup as a mega warehouse for MSG and sodium.
Taking for example, the Disney Princess Pasta Shapes soup, Campbell’s has reduced sodium from 580mg to 480mg per serving, and eliminated monosodium glutamate completely.
However, the bit about unique, lower sodium natural sea salt is marketing hype. There is no nutritional difference between sea salt and regular salt (derived from rock salt mineral deposits). True, the flavor may slightly differ when shaken on to food, due to tiny amounts of additional minerals found in sea salt. But the amount of sodium is the same.
Also in the reformulation, the calorie count actually went up from 70 to 80 calories per serving, but this is negligible.
What to do at the supermarket:
Thinking about making your own soup but afraid to try? Soup is actually one of the easiest foods to prepare because it is very tolerant to mistakes by beginners. Scoot on over to the produce section and get some carrots, celery, pumpkin, zucchini, and onions. At home, wash, peel, dice, and throw into a pot of boiling water. Let cook for a few hours, add pepper and salt, and your soup is ready. Much tastier than canned soup, and guaranteed to contain less sodium.
OK, this week you don’t have time. In this case, look for soups with a reduced sodium level, preferably 480mg or less per serving.