Ham and bean soup should, in the interest of accuracy, be called bean and ham soup. According to professional chef Dave Coffman, the recipe calls for lots of beans plus just enough ham to change the taste. The longer you let it simmer, says Coffman, the less ham you can get away with using. Different preparations have different nutrition profiles, so only a baseline can be used when providing nutritional value information.
Serving Size and Calories
One cup of ham and bean soup contains 231 calories, reports the USDA. Seventy-six of these calories come from fat, 108 from carbohydrates and 45 from protein.
One cup, or 243 g, of ham and bean soup contains 8.5 g of fat. These fats are fairly evenly distributed between healthy unsaturated and harmful saturated fats. According to Dr. Mehmet Oz, author of "You: The Owner's Manual," the ratio of saturated to unsaturated fats is the most important factor in a food's fat profile. At about even levels of each, ham and bean soup is neither particularly healthy nor unhealthy for your heart.
A cup of ham and bean soup carries 27.9 g of carbohydrates. Eleven of these grams are dietary fiber, providing your body with 45 percent of the USDA recommended daily value. Dietary fiber, reports Oz, helps your body's natural internal cleansing and contributes to healthy circulatory and digestive systems. The remaining carbs are complex carbohydrates, a healthy energy source.
Twelve grams of protein, 25 percent of your daily need, comes in each cup of ham and bean soup. Because of the relatively low ham content, most of these proteins are incomplete proteins. An incomplete protein carries only some of the essential amino acids your body can't build for itself. For best health results, you should eat incomplete proteins with complementary proteins. According to Harvard nutritionist Walter Willett, you don't have to do this at the same meal.
Vitamins and Minerals
One serving of ham and bean soup delivers 79 percent of your daily vitamin A, 35 percent of your manganese and around 20 percent of your selenium, copper and iron. It contains lower, but still appreciable, values of thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. This comes at the cost of 972 mg of sodium per serving. That's 40 percent of your daily allowance in every cup.
- USDA Nutrition Facts: Ham and Bean Soup
- "Eat, Drink and Be Healthy"; Walter Willett M.D., et al; 2006
- "You: The Owner's Manual"; Dr. Mehmet Oz; 2006
- Dave Coffman; Professional Chef; Beaverton, Oregon