There's nothing better than a hot bowl of soup during a cold day – or at any time for that matter. Usually, whenever we enjoy a can of a broth based, vegetable filled soup it seems like we are making a healthy choice. As it turns out, this is usually not the case when it comes to canned soup for multiple reasons.

Sodium Content

cookie, cake
Laura Wang

Comparing the nutrition facts of different types of soup, the sodium content ranged from 750mg - 850mg of sodium in just one cup! Even the cans of soup labeled as healthier still contained 480mg of sodium. This is very high considering that the daily recommended amount of sodium is 2300mg. When you make your own soup at home it allows you to control the amount of salt that goes in – as long as you're not the type to drown your food in salt, you would be better off with the homemade stuff.

Sugar Content

dairy product, chocolate, cappuccino, sweet, espresso, cream, milk, coffee
Christine Chang

Most people expect that when something is savory or salty, the sugar content would be zero. This is not the case with canned soup – the sugar content per cup can go all the way up to 16g of sugar per cup! 16g of sugar is insanely high for something that isn't even a dessert. It is recommended that we only have 23g of sugar in total in one day by the WHO. Avoidin the soup cans means we can use up our daily allotment of sugar for something that's actually sweet.


coffee, tea
Hana Baig

The ingredients on the label of some canned soup showed that they contained Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) which is an additive found in many processed foods – not an ingredient you often see in homemade soup. This may be an issue because the safety of MSG has not yet been proven. There is even some speculation that MSG causes symptoms such as headaches, sweating, nausea, weakness, and more. 

It's clear that soup from a can may not be a much better dinner option than some ramen noodles. This doesn't mean you need to give up canned soup entirely, once in a while when you can't avoid it or just because you want some is fine – everything in moderation. Homemade soup can be a great option and since you can control what goes in it, you know exactly how healthy your meal is. Next time you have a soup craving, think about making your own instead.