I wrote a thing recently about Campbell’s soup and how it’s mostly bad for diabetes. Campbell’s has tons of different varieties of soups ranging from condensed to “Chunky” to “Homestyle” to “Healthy Request” (which is just “low” sodium) and probably a dozen others. Naturally, that begs the question of whether it’s really just a few Campbell’s soups that are unsafe for diabetics or if the problem is bigger than that.
First, I’d like to say that I actually LOVE Campbell’s soup. Before I got goddam diabetes, I literally used to buy cans of Chunky New England Clam Chowder by the dozen.
I also used to stockpile Condensed Chicken Noodle Soup because I liked it as a hangover remedy! I ate two cans at a time. Shit, maybe that’s why I’m diabetic.
Anyway, the point is that I’m not “out to get” Campbell’s. I like eating their various soups, and in a way, I’m actually trying to convince myself that some of their soups are OK for diabetics to eat.
The only nutrition info numbers that I personally care about are carbohydrates and sugars, so that’s mainly what I’m going to focus on here.
Also, Campbell’s soups are notorious for being loaded with crazy amounts of sodium, so I will include that as a %DV figure just for fun.
According to Campbell’s:
The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
That’s straight from the can. So if a can of soup contains 95% Daily Value of sodium (not an exaggeration!), that’s very, very bad. You’re not supposed to get an entire day’s worth of salt from eating one thing.
Below is a somewhat random sampling of a whole bunch of Campbell’s soups of different varieties. There are different tables for Chunky, Condensed, Healthy Request, and Homestyle. The Homestyle table is brief because I guess Campbell’s only makes a few of them.
The main factor that guided which soups I included here is how much I wish I could eat them without dying. Some are included based on my assumption that they’re probably really popular.
All of the values below are “per container.” That means the whole can, not “one serving” which we all know is bullshit. For condensed soups, I multiplied the nutrition info by 2 or 2.5, depending on how many “servings” are in that little can.
Nutrition info comes from the Campbell’s website.
|Campbell’s Chunky Soup||Total Carbs (grams)||Total Sugars (grams)||Sodium % DV|
|Baked Potato with Cheddar & Bacon Bits Soup||48||5||75%|
|Beef Burrito Soup||42||5||74%|
|Beef with Country Vegetables Soup||35||8||81%|
|Classic Chicken Noodle Soup||30||2||74%|
|Grilled Sirloin Steak & Hearty Vegetables Soup||34||7||84%|
|Hearty Cheeseburger Soup||33||2||75%|
|Hearty Chicken with Vegetables Soup||27||5||78%|
|Old Fashioned Potato Ham Chowder||37||2||76%|
|Chicken Pot Pie||34||4||75%|
|Savory Vegetable Soup||43||11||73%|
|Chili Mac Soup||56||15||75%|
|Minestrone with Italian Sausage||40||11||65%|
|Campbell’s Condensed Soup||Total Carbs (grams)||Total Sugars (grams)||Sodium % DV|
|25% Less Sodium Chicken Noodle Soup||22.5||0||73%|
|Beef Noodle Soup||22.5||0||90%|
|Chicken with Rice Soup||32.5||0||85%|
|Chicken Wonton Soup||17.5||2.5||95%|
|Cream of Broccoli Soup||22.5||7.5||85%|
|Cream of Chicken & Mushroom Soup||22.5||2.5||85%|
|Cream of Mushroom Soup||20||2.5||95%|
|Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup||30||2.5||95%|
|Old-Fashioned Vegetable Soup||37.5||5||98%|
|New England Clam Chowder||32.5||<2.5||85%|
|Campbell’s Healthy Request Soup (“low” sodium)||Total Carbs (grams)||Total Sugars (grams)||Sodium % DV|
|Healthy Request® Tomato Soup||42.5||25||43%|
|Healthy Request® Cream of Mushroom Soup||25||5||43%|
|Healthy Request® Vegetable Soup||47.5||12.5||43%|
|Healthy Request® Vegetable Beef Soup||37.5||5||43%|
|Healthy Request® Chicken with Rice Soup||32.5||0||43%|
|Healthy Request® Cream of Celery Soup||25||5||43%|
|Healthy Request® Minestrone Soup||47.5||12.5||43%|
|Healthy Request® Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup||25||2.5||43%|
|Healthy Request® Mexican-Style Chicken Tortilla Soup||52.5||5||43%|
|Healthy Request® Tuscan-Style Lentil Soup||62.5||7.5||43%|
|Healthy Request® Southwest-Style Bean & Barley Soup||45||5||43%|
|Healthy Request® Chicken Noodle Soup||20||2.5||43%|
|Campbell’s Homestyle Soup||Total Carbs (grams)||Total Sugars (grams)||Sodium % DV|
|Savory Chicken with Brown Rice Soup||32||8||34%|
|Italian-Style Wedding Soup||28||8||38%|
|Chicken with Whole Grain Pasta Soup||26||6||34%|
|Harvest Tomato with Basil Soup||50||26||39%|
|Mexican-Style Chicken Tortilla Soup||48||6||38%|
What do all these numbers mean?
For reference, consider the following:
A can of Creamy Chicken & Dumplings sent my blood sugar from 101 → 232. That is not good! An increase of 131 is terrible. You don’t want that. And that can of soup contains 29g of carbs and 3g of sugars.
Compare that to a can of condensed Chicken Noodle Soup, which sent my blood sugar from 111 → 149. That soup, with 20g carbs and 0g sugars, resulted in a blood sugar increase of just 38. Note that Campbell’s “Chicken Noodle Soup” has slightly different nutrition info than “25% Less Sodium Chicken Noodle Soup” as shown in the condensed soup list above. The tradeoff for 25% less sodium is apparently a slightly higher carb count.
Also, I recently ate HALF a can of Chicken Corn Chowder, which contains an enormous 47g carbs and 7g sugars. The result? 104 → 171. That’s an increase of 67 from ONE HALF OF A CAN OF SOUP! That’s probably about the size of a “cup of soup” you might get as an appetizer at a restaurant. Eating the whole can would have been very bad.
Holy shit. Campbell’s soup is, for the most part, really bad for diabetics!! And how does a can of tomato soup manage to have 50g carbs AND 30g of sugar??
It looks to me like there are only a few soups that won’t murder you immediately, and they’re all around 20g carbs or less. Incidentally, they’re also all condensed, including Healthy Request® Chicken Noodle Soup.
As for Campbell’s Chunky Soup … BAD BAD BAD! If you have goddam diabetes, I strongly suggest you either limit yourself to half a can at a time, or you should just stay far, far away.
And obviously, if sodium is a big concern for you, never eat Campbell’s soup again for as long as you live! The lowest sodium %DVs are in the 30s, which still sounds like way too much.
Classic Beef Barley soup with crackers spiked my blood sugar over 400.
Haha yeahhhhhh sounds about right!
Can you limit some soup for a once or twice yearly treat
Hi Nichola, I don’t think it matters how many times PER YEAR you eat this soup. What matters is how much you eat in one sitting. Half a can? Sure, maybe. But I’d avoid eating a whole can. The huge glucose increase just isn’t worth it!
Haven’t looked at any campbells products in a decade at least. Hopefully the rest of America starts to do the same. What a joke of an unhealthy product. All of them.
Very true! Campbell’s soups are filled with carbs and sugars and a shitload of sodium. Not healthy at all. I just wish their New England Clam Chowder didn’t taste so damn good T_T
I’m certain you’re right about the sugar and carbs and sodium, but I suspect there are other factors at play. These soups list monosodium glutamate as an ingredient if they’re being honest, or “natural flavors” or ” salt flavorings” if they’re not. MSG is a flavor enhancer and it can be slightly addictive, which is why they use it. But MSG is also used to make lab rats fat to intentionally GIVE them diabetes so they can be used in diabetes drug studies. Like you, I love Campbell’s soups, but I feel terrible after I eat them now. Really, the best option for one’s health is to not eat them at all, not to cut back to half a can. Yes, no slander or liable intended against Campbell’s, but these soups are VERY VERY bad for diabetics.
Thanks for commenting! Yes, just avoiding the soups is the best policy. I confess to still eating condensed chicken noodle from time to time. That one is easier on the glucose than any of the others.
I can tell there is a lot flour used in campbells soups. That quickly converts to sugars.
You’d be better off investing in a slow cooker and making your own soups. Can of broth, some veggies and a meat… isn’t that difficult.
And if you notice diarreah, the soup likely has carrageenan in it, that causes inflammation of digestive tract that can lead to a laundry list of health issues.
Making your own soup is probably best! Too bad my soups always suck, so I don’t do that very often.
Campbells Soups is all American unhealthy in the sodium content department. Campbells, based in Camden NJ also owns and produces Bird’s Eye frozen veggie products all with sodium laden sauces. I truly believe Campbells has ties to the Big Pharma companies that make billions in the USA manufacturing their anti-blood pressure diuretic Rx meds. Oh..the Campbell Soup Board of directors are the heirs to the company and all Bilionaires. Mary Alice Malone bering the wealthiest single woman in PA. Her cousin, Charlotte Weber owns one of the biggest Thoroughbred race horse farms and racing stables in the USA.
You think they care about the health of Americans? HA HA Money is what they care about. By the way the chicken in their soups are brought to their plant as almost dead egg laying hens that they pay 25 cents a head for from factory farm poultry egg businesses in NJ, PA and Delaware. I know..family in the business.
Hi Pat, thanks for commenting! I don’t know about all of those entanglements, but no matter how “healthy” they claim to be, money is definitely the name of the game.