The Progress-Oh! diet

ProgressoTo capitalize on diet season, Progresso is running a cute TV ad to highlight the fact that many of its canned soups are 100 calories or less per serving.  Some are 110 calories, a minor difference.  Anything in that range would be a great choice as part of a low calorie meal (along with salad, fruit, yogurt, 1/2 sandwich or an afternoon snack.

The good thing about soup in general is that it’s obviously high water content, which makes it filling.  Plus typically soup is served hot, making it seem even more filling.  And it comes in lots of varieties and tastes good.  What’s not to like?

Soup as a diet food isn’t anything new, and Progresso doesn’t have a corner on that market.  There are plenty of canned or dry soups that would fit the 100-or-so calorie description.  But there are some other considerations for soup.  Progresso has lots of options for people looking to avoid MSG or control sodium intake.  There are many vegetable-based flavors, so you get the nutritional benefits of vegetables.  Plain chicken and noodle soup has less of that.

Pay attention to serving size.  Typically, Progresso soups have two servings per can, so the servings aren’t very large.  If your soup bowl is 1-1/2 to 2 cups (not uncommon these days), you could easily fit a whole can of soup, or two servings.  Meaning 200 calories.

And pay attention to the Nutrition Facts panel to verify that the soups you choose are in fact 100 calories per serving.  Some of the heavier duty/creamy soups have more calories.  Look for “light”, “no MSG” or “low sodium” labels as well.

Progresso soups are fine: lots of variety, ready to heat and eat, and plenty of vegetable-based flavors.  But there are other soups that fit this description, so if you’re going to use soup as a calorie control tool, check out other brands.  And maybe buy some smaller soup bowls.

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