As temperatures start to cool and brisk winds start blowing, those healthy soups for fall days regain the appeal they haven’t had in months. The idea of cozying up to a warm bowl while wrapped in a fuzzy sweater can bring a smile to just about anyone’s face. That said, not all recipes are as nutritious as they sound. When you want to make the right choice for your taste buds, mood, and nutrition, there are some great tips for you to remember.
Spotting Healthy Soups for Fall
If you’ve popped into a local café advertising healthy soups for fall, it’s up to you to have a good look at the menu to decide which one is the best for satisfying your craving and what your body needs. It’s important to take this decision seriously. Sounds silly, but when you see what some chain restaurants are packing into their bowls, you’ll understand why your choice is worth a second glance.
Panera Bread’s tomato soup, for example, clocks in at a massive 450 calories! Not looking quite as comforting anymore, right? Or the Cosi lentil soup? It has over 500 calories in every bowl! Those two chains are far from alone. They’re just great examples of how some dishes can look wholesome and innocent but could be sabotaging all your efforts to make smart eating choices for your health and weight control.
When the nutrition information is available to you at the restaurant where you’re dining, take advantage of that. Even if it’s not convenient to find that info while you’re there, many dining establishments share those details on their websites. This can help you to make sure that you can tuck into healthy soups for fall without any regrets.
Helpful Tips to Choose the Best Healthy Soups for Fall
The next time you head to a restaurant and skim the menu’s healthy soups for fall, use the following tips to help you choose the right one for your comforting meal.
1 – Leave the Toppings Behind
Many restaurants add toppings to the side of the bowl such as crackers, croutons or even tortillas. While they do add a temporary crunch, they also pack on easily avoidable calories that you can skip without sacrificing any flavors. Since the odds are that the bowl already contains 1.5 to 3 times more calories than what it would have if you prepared it at home, it’s best to shave off unnecessary calories where you can. Those toppings just aren’t worth it.
2 – Your Bowl Doesn’t Need Bread
Dipping bread or toast into soup is fun. However, keep in mind that each slice – even a small slice of French bread – contains around 100 calories or more. Let this figure help you to decide if you want bread and how many slices are appropriate if you do.
3 – Skip the Cream-Based Soups
This is one of the easiest tips for choosing the right healthy soups for fall within a certain calorie range. As is the case with creamy salad dressings, creamy soups are typically very high in calories. Bisques and chowders, for instance, can contain more calories than a cheeseburger. Choose options with a broth base or that are thickened with autumn veggies like squash.
4 – What’s in a Chili?
Chili can be a tricky one to debate when you’re deciding on healthy soups for fall. At its most basic level, it’s actually quite filling, comforting, and reasonable in calories – as the typical basic 8-ounce bowl contains 280-320 calories. That’s quite a reasonable lunch. However, it’s how the chili is served that can tip the scale. Get your chili in a bread bowl and top it with cheese, and you’ve suddenly turned that great choice into a single meal containing nearly all your daily calories, and far more than your daily fat intake should be.
Get the Inside Scoop on Healthy Soups for Fall
If you’re still not sure what you should be ordering when you’re craving healthy soups for fall, check out our helpful list of the Healthiest Restaurant Soups. They may sound rich and hearty, but they’re perfectly nutritious and calorically reasonable.