Times Staff Reports

Campbell Soup Co. has rolled out a new version of its best-selling tomato soup, promising that extensive research found that it tastes much like the old version.

The difference? The new soup has 480 milligrams of sodium per serving, compared with 710 milligrams in the previous formulation. The reduction is part of a drive by the company to follow the advice of health and nutrition advocates and lower the sodium content of its products.

Doctors recommend against eating more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day. So one serving of soup -- there are 2.5 in each can -- contains 21% of the daily allowance.

"Campbell certainly deserves credit for sharply cutting the sodium of its most popular soup as well as others," said Michael Jacobson, executive director of the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest. But Jacobson said 480 milligrams "is still a lot," adding that "health-conscious people should consider cutting back" on soups with high sodium levels.

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