SC teaches you to read your labels or make your own!

By Bianca Tamburello, Dietetics Student, Sargent College


Soup can be a fast, nutritious and simple meal to make for those bitter cold nights that are already upon us. But before you reach for the can of soup in your cupboard, read the label! Canned soups and other processed foods are often loaded with sodium.

The rule of thumb for label reading is that 5% or less of the daily value is considered low and 20% or more is considered high. But packages often have labels such as “low sodium” and “sodium-free” on the front paneling. How is a consumer supposed to interpret this information?

Mayo Clinic defines these misleading labels so that you’re not fooled on your next trip to the grocery store.

Sodium-free or salt-free. Each serving in this product contains less than 5 mg of sodium.

Very low sodium. Each serving contains 35 mg of sodium or less.

Low sodium. Each serving contains 140 mg of sodium or less.

Reduced or less sodium. The product contains at least 25 percent less sodium than the regular version. You should check the label to see how much sodium is in a serving.

Lite or light in sodium. The sodium content has been reduced by at least 50 percent from the regular version. You should check the label to see how much sodium is in a serving.

Unsalted or no salt added. No salt is added during processing of a food that normally contains salt. However, some foods with these labels may still be high in sodium because some of the ingredients may be high in sodium.

To make your life even easier, make your own soup and avoid roaming down the soup isle reading labels. Plus, homemade soup is far more nutritious than any option found in a can. Make a large portion when you have the time and freeze the soup into smaller batches to make a fast and healthy meal on one of your most hectic days.

This SC Minestrone Soup will keep your body warm and your stomach full. Bonus: It’s loaded with whole grains, protein and vegies!

Sargent Choice Minestrone Soup
Yields 8 servings

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups vegetable broth
2 ½ cups (3/4-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
2 ½ cups (3/4-inch) cubed peeled baking potato
1 cup (1-inch) cut green beans (about ¼ lb)
½ cup diced carrot
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ teaspoon salt
4 cups chopped kale (leaves only, remove stem)
½ cup whole wheat elbow macaroni
1 (16-ounce) can cannellini beans or navy beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese


1.  Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add onion and garlic; sauté 2 ½ minutes or until tender.

2.  Add broth and the next 7 ingredients (through salt); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.

3. Add kale, elbow macaroni, and beans; cook 10 minutes or until pasta is done and vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with cheese.


1 Serving (~1..5 cups)
Calories 250
Fat 4 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Protein 11 g
Carbohydrates 44 g
Fiber 7 g





Adapted from


One Comment

distillery equipment posted on July 27, 2022 at 2:02 am

Good article

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