Dr. Robert Cook - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Robert Cook

Is Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup Bad For You?



Short answer

Campbell's chicken noodle soup is very bad for you. Not only does it contain dangerously high levels of sodium, but it also houses ingredients linked to cancer.



Recommended Alternative

Long answer

While it is a staple in many American pantries, Campbell's chicken noodle soup is far from healthy. Still, it isn't the worst, either - and while you may not like how the chicken gets in the can - at least it is real chicken. The good news is that per serving, there is a fair amount of potassium (50 mg), protein (3 g), and fiber (1 g). Unfortunately with 890 milligrams per serving, there is more than a generous amount of sodium. If you eat an entire can's worth of Campbell's chicken noodle soup, you'd exceed your daily limit for sodium. While necessary to our survival, too much sodium can be fatal, increasing your risk for a wide range of ailments including edema, hypertension, heart disease and stroke. 

Looking at the ingredients is also a bit disconcerting, considering words such as "flavoring," "monosodium glutamate," and "modified corn starch" appear. Also included in the ingredients are synthetic vitamins such as thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, niacin, and folic acid. Further, there is some concern about the link between "flavoring" and various health problems - particularly hyperactivity in children and an increased risk of cancer - and especially between MSG and problems ranging from headaches to heart palpitations. While the meat does come from real chicken, it has been highly processed and many beneficial nutrients have been completely stripped out. Those sensitivities to soy, wheat, and/or yeast will also want to avoid eating Campbell's chicken noodle soup. 

The major threat here, though, is the high level of sodium. It may have some ingredients that have been linked to cancer (often in animal studies), but these ingredients are also found in many other foods and the USA doesn't need to worry about cancer, right? Wrong. Campbell's chicken noodle soup is just one in a long list of "foods" that are used to transport toxic chemicals into our bodies.

Possible short-term side effects

  • headache
  • allergic reaction
  • edema
  • dehydration
  • water retention
  • nausea
  • swelling
  • stomach cramps
  • hyperactivity (especially in children)

Possible long-term side effects

  • hypertension
  • heart disease
  • cancer

Ingredients to be aware of


  • cheap
  • convenient

Healthier alternatives

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Amy's Vegan No Chicken Soup

  • Organic noodles
  • Rich in vegetables
  • Includes tofu protein
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Convenient canned soup
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Jeff Volling
Published on: 01-09-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Jeff Volling
Published on: 01-09-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

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