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Autumn is the perfect time to put healthful, warming soups back on your menu.

There are plenty of delicious and hearty soup choices just waiting to warm you as the weather gets cooler. Make the right choices and you can boost your intake of essential nutrients, dietary fiber and vegies, and even give your weight-loss efforts an edge. Check out our guide to the best gourmet products on offer. 

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Low-Gi legumes and whole grains

Chickpeas, lentils, split peas, cannellini and red kidney beans, along with grains like barley and quinoa, are staple soup ingredients. They bump up dietary fiber scores to between 3g to 6g per serve on average, provide soluble fiber which helps lower cholesterol, and have a low Gi to provide a sustained release of energy.

Chickpeas, lentils, split peas, cannellini and red kidney beans

Versatile vegetable

You can easily increase your vegetable intake when you're eating them as soup -just 75g of vegetables in a soup is equal to one serve. Seasonal autumn and winter vegetables include beetroot, broccoli, brussels sprouts, pumpkin, zucchini, sweet corn and squash.

Protein pep-up Meat turns your soup into a more satisfying meal and keeps you fuller for longer. It also boosts the protein, iron and zinc content of the meal.

Tuscan chicken & vegetable and Lentil vegetable

Tuscan chicken & vegetable and Lentil vegetable

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Salt and sodium

Compare the sodium content per 100g or 100ml of store-bought soups. Go as low as you can less than 300mg of sodium per 100ml is a good rule.

Fat and saturated fat

Many creamy and condensed soups can have about l0g of fat per serve, so check labels when shopping. Aim for low saturated fat figures, below 2g per serve, for everyday healthy eating, and save creamy versions for an occasional treat.

Gisborn tomato with basil pesto, tomato spinach & quinoa and Drganic lamb & barley

Gisborn tomato with basil pesto, tomato spinach & quinoa and Drganic lamb & barley

Slurp your way to weight loss

Due to their high water and fiber content, vegetable broth-based soups have a low-energy (kilojoule) density and high satiety or appetite satisfaction score meaning they fill you up without filling you out. Research by Dr. Barbara Rolls, at Penn State University's Eating Laboratory, in the US, shows having a healthy soup before a main meal helps to lower the total kilojoule intake of that meal by an average of 400kJ.

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