You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat it Too

February 20, 2014   27 Comments

Have I confused you by mentioning cake and then showing a can of soup?

Progresso Light Soup Review

When I see something that states – "Brownies Only 50 Calories" or "Low Calorie Crème Brûlée" – I wonder how that can be achieved. Is the brownie the size of a quarter? Did they forget the cream in the Crème Brûlée?

When I saw this can of soup proclaiming that “Chicken and Cheese Enchilada” flavored soup was only 90 calories per serving, I had to check it out. I want 90 calorie chicken and cheese enchiladas.

Right away, I have a problem with the calorie amount. The serving size is one cup which is HALF the can. Who buys a can of soup and eats half of it?

Here are the nutrition facts for a full can of Progresso Light Chicken and Cheese Enchilada soup:

180 calories, 8 g fat, 2.0 g saturated fat, 24.0 g carbohydrates, 4.0 g sugar, 8.0 g protein, 12.0 g fiber, 1320 mg sodium, 4 Points+

180 calories is still really good for anything that has chicken and cheese but you can see right away that this can of soup has 56% of your daily value of sodium. Holy heart disease, Batman!

But, maybe you are okay with the sodium because the rest of the day will be low sodium.

Here is a photo of the soup:

Looks cheesy, doesn’t it. Don’t get too excited because there is more “modified food starch” than cheese.

I tasted this can of soup and I have to tell you that it was lacking. Why?

  1. Where is the chicken? My whole can had five pieces (did I get a bum can?)
  2. Salty, salty, salty
  3. Not many vegetables either. It was mostly broth with starch.

Yes, I want low calorie enchiladas, crème brûlée, and brownies but it isn’t gonna happen!

A light soup that WILL taste good is a vegetable soup not a cheese or cream based variety.

What do you think of heavy food that manufacturers try to make into low calorie options?

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First 20 Comments: ( See all 27 )

The only safe soup is a homemade one..a healthy homemade one :-)

I bought a can of this very soup, and it tasted like dishwater. Never again. I think I'll stick with my usual Trader Joes soup in the carton, with a big handful of spinach added. They also have low sodium varieties.

I think it's too good to be true. You have to carefully read the labels, not only for the calories, fat grams, sodium, etc., but also the ingredients.

Amy's Kitchen (Organic and Natural Foods) makes a line of soups (canned) that are good, but again, you have to read the labels. I have found their Lentils w/Vegetables; French Country Vegetable and Italian Vegetable are the healthier alternatives. I can eat half for one meal and be satisfied.

I gave up processed foods last summer. I won't touch this stuff. It isn't good for you, nor does it taste good. There are so many healthy, quick and homemade recipes for soups and other things that it is totally unnecessary to purchase these kinds of things. I thought I was going to spend more money on groceries when I made the switch but I actually spend less and I'm down 34lbs. :)

I like homemade soups best too, Debra, and make/freeze in pt. containers, all varieties for quick meals. It is best to control our salt/sugar and fat ourselves. There is one exception, I don't like making tomato soup so I keep 1 or 2 boxes of Pacific's organic tom. soup around for when I get a grilled cheese/tomato soup attack! :)

Eloquent post, Snack Girl, but I think the only real knock against this is sodium. If it's tasty, which it is, then people will enjoy it. If heart disease isn't a concern and you enjoy a healthy diet aside from sodium then it's fine. Actually, it's more than fine. The can is only 180 calories. That gets you 8g of protein, which is decent. That also gets you 12g of fiber, which is stellar. For only 2g of saturated fat and 4g of sugar? Pretty darned good, I say! If you are also keeping potassium consumption high then there's even less to worry about with regard to the sodium.

I just bought last night Trader Joe's Organic Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Low Sodium soup to use as a base for vegetable soup. Also Pacific Organic mushroom broth is a great one to use. Never buy can soup nor do I eat soup out because of the salt.

I love the taste of this soup. I'm on WW and for 4 points, I can eat the whole can. When I realized the sodium content, I was dissapointed and now only eat it once in a while.

Also - there is WAY MORE than 2 servings in a whole can. More like 2.5. I measured it and was shocked.

Snack Girl, ya made me look! :) Since I rarely venture into the bowels of my traditional grocery store I hadn't noticed the very enticing pictures of homey goodness on Progresso cans! So a quick google of and I can understand why someone might pick one up, they sure do look yummy esp. if you're hungry that day. My method for shopping is ''keep to my list''. First I get inspired by my cravings, or I go on-line for ideas, recipes, etc. including your site. I try to not get excited by a package's picture which usually disappoints on taste, nutrition, and chemical ingredients. I was surprised that the nutritional info on your featured soup wasn't all that bad but then a peek at all those crazy ingredients convinces me to just make it at home and freeze a bunch for convenience! Very nice expose' on Progresso. Thanks!

I am a weight watcher, I work in a supermarket, and I am a high school lunch lady. The first and last require I read labels. Now, I read labels obsessively. Sometimes, it is overwhelming. Now, when I shop, I look at the ingredients list. If it is huge, or had stuff that I cannot identify, I generally don't buy it. Do I cheat? Yep! But I figure how much less is getting into my body than before I became aware.

At least a can of soup you are likely to open & heat on the stove at home -- you could divide it between two people. What bugs me are the microwaveable bowls one might take to work that are 2 servings. I called Healthy Choice one time to suggest that if they want us to believe that 2 people will share they should put a divider down the middle of the bowl!

Makes one wonder just what they used to come up with the soup photographed on their label. It certainly looks nothing like the soup in the bowl!

We eat alot of soup in the winter and Progresso has always been one of my favorites cause they have a couple different vegetarian options that are pretty good. My son has always liked the chicken soup they have that is mostly noddles and carrots and broth. A couple of weeks ago he was sick and I was making some homemade vegetable soup which he did not want. Wanted the Progresso which we did not have. I ended up taking a couple of chicken bouillion cubes and making a broth adding some vegetables that I was using for my soup and then some leftover fettucine noodles and chicken breast from dinner the night before. It took about 20 minutes and he loved it! He has asked for it since and I will probably not be buying the canned soup again. It was so easy!!

Cannot thank you enough for all the research you do on everyone's behalf ! You rock snack girl !

I eat this soup for lunch and/or dinner when I'm in a hurry or simply just too tired to cook after a long day. I think the taste is pretty good but I spice it up with some cayenne pepper and regular pepper. As long as you don't eat it every day. Sorry, Snack Girl but it's probably WAY better for you than the KFC to go cup full of fried chicken and French fries. Just sayin'...

I recently had a craving for soup and didn't want to make it at home, so I thought SURELY there has to be a low-sodium canned soup at the grocery store. I was wrong. So very, very wrong. EVERY can I picked up had a boatload of sodium, even the organic and vegetarian soups. Now, this was at my local Walmart - there might be low sodium versions at a health food store, but the closest health food store for me is 30 miles away. Needless to say, I left the store soupless. I don't need it that badly.

I take a box of cream of chicken (like Pacific), 1 c of low fat milk, 1 c of enchilada sauce (Kroger's jarred bottle is awesome), 1 c of shredded chicken, chopped onion and carrot, and garlic. Top with a little shredded cheese or sour cream and baked tortilla chips. I'm sure we all know that homemade is better and tastier, this is just as easy as opening a can of soup.

So glad you highlighted this, I would have bought one to try. I have low sodium so I do not have to watch my intake as much as some folks. AND I love the way your readers share their fixes. Soooooo in addition to trying your tips I think I will try Ginger Lee's and Laxmom's. Susan so great that you are down 34, when I 'go' off processed I too lose weight; I just need more will power! Thanks SG!!

I had this the other day and thought it was just "ok" and will probably have it again but add some broccoli to it to bulk it up.

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