Originating in Thailand, the tom yum soup recipe that you use gives it a unique flavor profile. It's a light soup that can warm you up without ruining your diet. The broth includes vegetables, spices and some seafood.
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Tom Yum Soup Calories
While tom yum soup can be low in calories, there are several versions of it. If you add noodles or rice, calories go up. Some variations use shrimp for extra flavor and protein. Vegetarians can make a version of the soup without meat or fish.
One-third of a cup of canned tom yum soup has about 31 calories. That puts an entire can at just over 100 calories, which means it's a light soup. For example, Campbell's chicken noodle soup has 247 calories per can, which is over double that of tom yum soup calories.
In a canned tom yum soup recipe, the main ingredient is water. Water comprises roughly 80 percent of the entire dish. Oyster mushrooms are next. These white mushrooms typically grow on the sides of trees in the wild. They can be big or small and have an odd shape similar to oyster meat.
One large oyster mushroom contains almost 5 grams of protein and 9 grams of carbohydrates. Mushrooms can be high enough in protein to replace meat in your recipe. If you don't add shrimp to your tom yum soup, mushrooms can make up the bulk of the nutrition. They also provide vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Lemongrass is the next ingredient. It's a type of grass that's typically used as a flavoring in Southeast Asian cuisine. Often, it will be removed from a dish before serving. It has a minty-lemon flavor, and it is sometimes referred to as citronella grass.
This ingredient makes up a small portion of the soup, only 2 percent, so it won't give you much nutrition. It does, however, contain important vitamins and minerals. For example, 100 grams of lemongrass supply 723 milligrams of potassium. According to a February 2017 study published in Physiology, consuming high amounts of potassium and low amounts of sodium supports overall health.
The next ingredient is a shrimp chili paste, which combines flavors like garlic and shallots with dried shrimp and soybean oil. This paste helps flavor the dish and adds some of the fishy flavor that's common in tom yum soup.
Although canned recipes often don't include shrimp, if you prefer to use animal products, then shrimp will add valuable protein to your dish. There are 23 grams of protein and only 1 gram of carbs in each serving of shrimp (4 ounces).
Avoid Salt and Sugar
Salt, the primary source of sodium, is definitely on the ingredients list for tom yum soup. Actually, adding sodium to a soup is not uncommon. Campbell's chicken noodle soup, for example, has 1.7 grams of sodium — and Tom yum soup has a lot more. One can is equivalent to about 3.7 grams of sodium.
If you eat one can of tom yum soup, you're well over the recommended daily limit of sodium. The American Heart Association suggests no more than 2,300 milligrams per day. They advise you to stay as close to 1,500 milligrams.
A March 2015 review published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology states that eating too much sodium may cause your blood pressure to increase. It also taxes your kidneys and may lead to cardiovascular problems. Since tom yum soup can be so high in salt, it's probably better to prepare it at home or opt for a low-sodium soup option.
Sugar is also added to tom yum soup to give it a slightly sweet flavor. There are about 12 grams of sugar in one can, which is relatively high among soups.
A can of Campbell's chicken noodle soup, by contrast, has only slightly over 2 grams of sugar. That's significantly less than a can of tom yum soup. To avoid excess sugar, you can create your own tom yum soup recipe and replace sugar with an artificial sweetener to preserve its flavor.
- Journal of the American College of Cardiology: "Dietary Sodium and Health"
- American Heart Association: "How Much Sodium Should I Eat per Day?"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Shrimp"
- Physiology: "Potassium Homeostasis: The Knowns, the Unknowns, and the Health Benefits"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Lemon Grass (Citronella), Raw"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Mushrooms, Oyster, Raw"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Campbell's Chunky, Classic Chicken Noodle Soup"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Tom Yum Soup"
- Bioresources and Bioprocessing: "Mycoremediation Potential of Pleurotus Species for Heavy Metals: A Review"