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Soup Can Aid in Weight Loss Experts: Soup contains no ‘magical’ properties that cause weight loss; however, it can replace higher calorie choices By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


o reputable dietitians advocate trying fad diets like the cabbage soup diet to lose weight; however, eating more soup this winter as part of a healthful, balanced diet, paired with adequate exercise, may help you lose a few of those holiday pounds. Perception helps soup make a good meal choice for weight loss. Since it's mostly water, you can enjoy a large serving with few calories. "Merely eating soup will not necessarily promote weight loss, but soup can certainly be a part of a healthy weight loss effort," said Morgan Susan Branning, registered dietitian and manager of clinical nutrition at St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center. "Eating a serving of lower calorie soup as part of your meal can help to fill you up so you may eat less calories overall at that meal." The "Volumetrics" concept researched by Barbara Rolls from Pennsylvania State University shows that consuming high water content food that contains few calories can help people lose weight. "Some soups are a great example of foods with a higher water content and lower caloric density," Branning said.

The type of soup makes a difference, however. Molly Morgan registered dietitian, past-president of the New York Dietetic Association and owner of Creative Nutrition Solutions in Vestal, near Binghamton, specified that broth-based soup tends to contain the least calories. "Anytime you're reducing your calorie intake, the result can be weight loss," Morgan said.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • January 2016

She recommended adding ingredients such as vegetables to increase portion size and nutrition while keeping control of calories. Soup contains no magical properties that cause weight loss; however, it can replace higher calorie choices well and leave you feeling satisfied longer. Depending upon the type of soup you eat, soup can increase your intake of low-calorie, nutrient dense foods, which can also help you feel full. Many people find that eating more soup helps them increase the variety of vegetables they eat. Chopped kale or spinach taste great in Italian-based soups, for example, and provide a tasty means of eating these nutritious greens for people who typically don't like them. Diced carrots taste good in many varieties. "Adding vegetables to soup is a great way to add flavor and fiber without adding a lot of calories,"

Branning said. Although veggies dish up plenty of vitamins, soups that skimp on protein can lead to overeating later. Adding a lean protein source such as chicken breast, lean beef, fish or beans can help soup keep you satisfied longer. If your soup du jour contains little protein, pair it with sides like low-fat Greek yogurt, low-fat cheese on crackers, or nut butter spread on apple slices or whole-grain crackers.

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