Surprising HFCS food of the week

>> Thursday, November 13, 2008

I hate to admit this, but one of my all time favorite comfort foods is Campbells Condensed Tomato Soup with some canned peas and corn and maybe some onion and saltine cracker mixed in. It's one of those meals that my mom would make me as a child (though she was as likely to use whatever leftover vegetable was in the fridge) that I tend to turn to on cold winter days for a quick meal or when I'm feeling a little low.

Well, no more. Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup is our surprising HFCS-containing food of the week. Sigh. Besides being loaded with salt, many of the soups in the Campbells line contain HFCS. Not all, mind you, but many of them.

All is not lost, though! Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup might contain HFCS, but there are many tomato soups that do not contain HFCS - even in the Campbell's brand. For example, Campbell's Select Harvest Garden Recipes Harvest Tomato with Basil (whew! That's a mouthful!) is HFCS free. Amy's Cream of Tomato Soup is also HFCS free (as are all of Amy's soups).

Sadly, even the healthier canned soups are generally still loaded with sodium. The Campbell's Select Harvest tomato soup mentioned above has 20% of the recommended daily value of sodium in half a can of soup! And Amy's is even worse with 29% of the RDV of sodium in half a can of soup. Ouch! If you have any gumption, you're better off making a big batch of soup and freezing some for later. (Look for soup recipes here later this fall and winter.) It's likely to be better for you and taste better too.

Still, if you're in need of a quick soup fix and are set on buying a can of soup, watch the ingredients list! Lots of soups out there contain HFCS. Fortunately, there are also lots of HFCS-free soup options too if you're willing to search just a little bit.


Blake November 13, 2008 at 7:23 AM  

Thanks...this is good to know. I don't have tomato soup that often but I will look closer at the label now when I do!

James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. November 13, 2008 at 7:55 AM  

I love soups. They are comfort foods. Homemade is best. I love Campbell's chicken noodle, but it has a little too much salt for me. You can't go wrong with Amy's.

fatfighter November 13, 2008 at 8:06 AM  

The sodium in canned soups in absolutely nuts! I try to stay away because of that. But there are times when there's no time for homemade, huh?

Jehnie November 13, 2008 at 6:29 PM  

I love my Campbell's tomato soup and hated to put it back on the shelf when I saw HFCS. I did pick up the Harvest..w/Basil soup but didn't think about the sodium...

Rachel November 13, 2008 at 9:54 PM  

Nooooooo! Say it ain't so.

This is one of my favorite comfort foods. Tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches pulled me through many a pregnancy-nausea-filled evening.

Man, this HFCS stuff is insidious. ;)

MizFit November 14, 2008 at 3:50 AM  

that is totally me at least.

Mark November 14, 2008 at 4:13 AM  

Very nice to know and yes a surprise!

Super Healthy Kids November 14, 2008 at 4:41 AM  

I would make this from scratch if it didn't take so stinkin long!

Anya November 14, 2008 at 9:52 AM  

When I first learned that a lot of spaghetti sauce and tomato soup had sugar (or other sweeteners) in them I was floored. I make this stuff from scratch b/c I get buckets of tomatoes from my family farm and think it all tastes great without sugar. Of course, I've been accused of having weird taste buds, lol.

Sharon November 14, 2008 at 8:40 PM  

Wow, definitely need to read ingredients more often now! thanks!

cathy November 15, 2008 at 7:24 AM  

Thanks for the comments, everyone!

Jehnie - the sodium is obscene, but I still have a canned soup or 2 in my pantry. Some days it's just a welcome, quick meal. But certainly, if you have any reason to be concerned about your sodium intake, stay away from canned soups! (Stay away from canned goods in general, actually.)

Rachel - I know! I was pretty disappointed too. You can still find canned tomato soup for a quick tomato soup fix, but it won't be the condensed version and it almost certainly will be laden with salt!

Super Healthy Kids - I've never made tomato soup from scratch. We live in an area where really good fresh tomatoes are a novelty almost (though we do have Wyomatoes, and they're divine!). I wonder if I could make a decent tomato soup from canned tomatoes?

Anya - I have to admit that I like sugar in my tomato sauce. Shocking, isn't it? But still, when I make it myself, I add maybe 2 TBSP for a gallon of sauce - and my homemade tastes SO much better than store bought!

carriebojo January 25, 2011 at 9:59 AM  

imagine low sodium tomato soup is awesome!

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