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While soup does not appear to be a convenience food there are actually some great choices available for dining in or take-out from some of America's leading chain restaurants. According to Hope S. Warshaw, a registered dietician and noted author of multiple food and nutrition reference books, Americans average six meals a week eaten away from home. These are meals prepared in diners, restaurants and fast food joints. She concedes it is our lifestyle driving this trend. "In today's fast-paced and convenience-focused world, Americans frequently choose restaurant meals, eaten in or out of restaurants, to get the job of eating done. When we eat out we surrender to the establishment how the food is prepared, the quality and freshness of the food, and the portion size. But, according to Warshaw, when we are informed we are better able to make smart food choices that support our health and nutrition goals.
From her 800-page 2009 book "What to Eat When You're Eating Out-2nd Edition" I present three national restaurants offering soup selections that are healthy for the general public and support our "Protein First" weight loss surgery diet.
Also good: Turkey Chickpea Chili Soup. 1 (1-cup) serving provides 180 calories, 10g protein, 7g fiber, 22g carbohydrate and is low in fat.
See pages 506-507 of "What to Eat".
A small serving of Wendy's Chili (about 1 cup) provides 190 calories with 14g protein, 5g fiber, 19g carbohydrate (again - low glycemic), and is low in fat. The sodium comes in high at 830mg in the small serving size. That is 36% of the total sodium intake (2,300mg/day) the general population should have in a day as set by the USDA Food & Drug Administration in May 2010. Be mindful to select meals with lower sodium values on days that you enjoy the famous Wendy's chili.
See pages 254-255 of What to Eat.
Try Boston Market's Chicken Noodle Soup next time you visit. A 6-ounce serving provides 170 calories with 13 grams protein and 17g carbohydrate. Like most commercially prepared soups the sodium is high at 930mg per serving (38% of your DV- daily value). This is a broth based thinner soup so it is very important to remember your liquid restrictions and avoid drinking fluids for 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after eating. This will help your pouch stay full longer and give your body a better opportunity to absorb the nutrients from the chicken noodle soup. A cup of soup is less than $5 at most locations.
See pages 358-359 of What to Eat.
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Valuable resource featuring nutritional counts for more than 60 of America's most popular restaurants. Learn strategies for selecting healthier restaurant meals. Get counts for calories, carbohydrate, fat, and protein; know the exchanges/choices and serving sizes for every menu item; and find complete menus from America's most popular restaurants. Also contains tips and facts for healthier restaurant eating. Great resource for eating out while trying to manage health, weight and wellness.
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