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Cold weather means hot soups, stews and chili. These meals are easy to prepare in bulk, can be personalized based on your favorite ingredients, and freeze well for a meal that’s easy to reheat and eat on busy nights.

While soups can be well balanced and provide important nutrients, like fiber, protein, and antioxidants, certain soup eating habits can negatively affect these notable healthy characteristics. Here are the habits you need to minimize so that your soups can positively contribute to your weight loss goals. Read on and to learn more about how to eat healthy, don’t miss The # 1 Best Soup for a Flat Stomach, According to Dietitian.

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The bisques, chowders and, of course, the cream of (insert ingredient here) soups are usually made with high fat dairy products, like whole milk and cream. While these soups may contain healthy ingredients like vegetables and lean protein, the fat content in milk and cream skyrockets the calories. Indeed, it is not uncommon to see a cream-based soup providing more than 300 calories per cup!

While fat is a satiating ingredient, helping you feel full after meals, dairy fat is high in saturated fat, which is said to negatively impact heart health, lower cholesterol, and promote inflammation in the body. If weight loss is a goal that you are working towards, you might be better off skipping the cream-based soups and opting for broth-based soups instead.

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bacon potato soup
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Who doesn’t love potato soup? While many find this soup comforting on a cold, rainy day, it’s likely that enjoying it on a regular basis can hamper your weight loss goals. Often made with whole milk, cream, butter, and bacon, this soup is definitely calorie-dense. Another downside to this type of soup is that it is low in protein, which prevents it from being as well balanced and filling as other soups that contain plant or animal protein sources. This is also true for soups which are mainly made of noodles with little protein.

Meals that are low in protein are less likely to fill you up, and in turn, you’re more likely to over-serve at meals or have extra snacks throughout the day. This likely defeats a weight loss goal, so choose soups that provide protein, carbohydrates, fat, and fiber to maximize satiety.

RELATED: 18 Best Broth Soups For Weight Loss

bowl of bread soup
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I mean, it looks so delicious, and bread doesn’t have to be missing to lose weight, but enjoying soup in a bread bowl is going to add a lot of calories to your meal and may slow you down. your weight loss. The hundreds of calories that one can consume from eating the bowl of bread with their soup are likely to raise blood sugar and will be digested faster than protein and fat, leaving you hungry after a meal faster.

You’d better stick with a broth-based soup that has protein, fat, and veg, and add a small roll to the side for a more modest amount of carbs.

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Most soups contain sodium, and many are considered quite high in salt. While sodium probably won’t impact your long-term weight loss goals, it will cause your weight to fluctuate more on an acute basis. Sodium helps store water in the body, so the more sodium you consume, the more water your body will store. This fluctuation in water weight is often seen the day after eating foods high in sodium and usually goes away the next day or two.

However, when you eat foods high in sodium frequently, it will likely result in ever heavier weight and can even contribute to serious health problems like high blood pressure. When choosing soups, look for options below 500 milligrams of sodium per serving to minimize the impact on water weight and health status.

READ MORE: 14 best low sodium canned soups for heart health, approved by dietitians

protein beef soup
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Sausages and fatty cuts of beef and pork are often found in soups, and while they provide great flavor and protein, the fat content will increase the total number of calories in your soup. Not only will these high-fat meats provide concentrated calories, but they’re also likely to provide high amounts of cholesterol and saturated fat, two nutrients known to negatively impact heart health. When evaluating the sources of protein in different soups, look for leaner options, like turkey, chicken, and seafood, or those that provide plant-based protein, like beans and lentils.

Soups can be a great meal option and when prepared with the right ingredients can be very healthy and help with weight loss goals. To make sure your soups aren’t holding you back from reaching your health goals, choose broth-based soups that contain lean protein, good quality carbohydrates, and lots of vegetables for their vitamin, mineral, and fiber content.

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