On a particularly chilly day there’s no better way to warm yourself up than by eating chicken noodle soup. Like most other Americans, you probably know chicken noodle soup as the presumably healthy kitchen staple always in stock in case anyone gets sick. But is chicken noodle soup even healthy? Or is it a myth that it is packed with vitamins and nutrients?

Chicken noodle soup – why it is not as healthy as you might have thought

Chicken noodle soup may contain some essential nutrients, but it is not a healthy option, particularly if you want your sodium levels to stay under control. Most canned chicken noodle soups are high in salt content and exceeding the recommended sodium amounts can lead to hypertension, heart disease, osteoporosis as well as kidney disease.

Another reason chicken noodle soup is not healthy is because of the meat it contains. Most restaurants use dark meat rather than white meat because it is cheaper. However, unlike white meat, dark meat doesn’t hold much nutritional value. First off, it is packed with unhealthy fats and secondly, it is not a rich source of proteins.

Next, noodle soup is also not healthy because of the main ingredient used – noodles. Again, most eateries make their chicken noodle soup using white pasta which is filled with carbohydrates. A healthier version is whole-wheat pasta. Too many carbohydrates in one’s diet can lead to obesity as carbs are converted into fats in the body even though they are a source of energy.

Moreover, white pasta doesn’t contain as much fiber as whole-wheat pasta. Fiber is needed by the body for many functions but mainly for digestion. Low fiber content in the body can lead to constipation and other digestive problems. Therefore, chicken noodle soup because of how it is traditionally made, is not as healthy as you might have believed it to be.

Can chicken noodle soup be made healthier?

Chicken noodle soup can also be made healthier. You see, if you take an organic approach to preparing chicken noodle soup, you can get many health benefits from it. You can prepare the broth by mixing a low-sodium one with a no-sodium broth. This way, you’ll be able to get the quantity of salt which is needed for the taste without it being harmfully too much.

If you’d like more taste pepper, garlic and herbs can serve the purpose. If you’re buying your broth readymade, make sure you check the sodium content on the label. Coming to the noodles, experts say the penne and rotini varieties are a lot better than noodles. What’s more, organic vegetables should also be added for fiber content and white meat should be used as it has more proteins.

Key takeaway

Chicken noodle soup has a reputation for being healthy and is often the comfort food that people rely on when they fall sick. However, this soup is not as healthy because it can be high in sodium, made using dark meat, with noodles that are of white pasta. To make chicken noodle soup healthier, white meat, low salt content, fresh herbs, organic veggies, and whole-wheat pasta must be used.