Soups can be a great winter warmer. However they can be deceiving in terms of fat, carbohydrate and salt levels. Here are our top tips to help ensure that your winter soup helps you slim down this winter rather than adding any ‘winter warming’ kilos.
- Use chickpeas or beans to thicken soups such as pumpkin soup instead of large amounts of potatoes. This increases the protein of the soup to help keep you full, whilst keeping the energy content down.
- Swap cream for skim milk or greek yoghurt to reduce the saturated fat content. This will help your heart health and your waist line.
- The more vegetables the better. Vegetables mix so well with soup. The fibre in vegetables help keep you full as well as providing you with lots of vitamins and minerals to help fight off colds. They are also extremely low in energy so add as many as you can when making homemade soups.
- Experiment with legumes and pulses – lentils, barley, chickpeas & beans are all low GI, meaning they help give you slow steady release of energy as well as keeping you fuller for longer. They also add extra protein and texture.
- Use reduced salt stock to help keep the salt levels down to asist in heart health and lowering blood pressure.
- Limit the bread and noodles – fill up on vegetables and protein instead to help prevent winter weight gain.
- Choose lean cuts of meat when cooking soups. Often soup recipes request fatty cuts of meat however this is not good for preventing your risk of cardiovascular disease. Choose the cuts of meat with the least visible fat and remove any excess fat prior to cooking.
- Make your own or choose fresh premade deli soups to keep the salt and preservative levels down. Making your own soup can be very easy and extremely cheap meal options. See our favourite soup recipes here.