Soup: The next Greatest Diet or just Another Fad?

Lori Meszaros, Recent Arizona State University Nutrition Student

 

“Nutrient dense power meals wherever you go, feed, not starve your body, nourish your body… Incorporating delicious soups into your everyday diet is easy with Soupure.”

Breakfast, lunch and dinner soups available to your door? No, this isn’t some kind of new advertising gimmick, this is Soupure, a California based company promoting a healthy diet by consuming only soup. The next big diet fad, or is this just soup, something people have enjoyed for centuries and California is just catching on?

 

Souping diets, or a ‘cleanse’ as the company advertises, are becoming the next greatest diet fad since juicing; The only difference, you’re getting the fiber that is lost in juicing diets.

 

Smoothies seemed to fill that gap, but then everyone complained about how much sugar is in smoothies. So soup seems the next logical step in our diet-crazed minds.

 

Using soup to cleanse or heal the body isn’t anything new. Soup dates back to 4000 B.C and was widely used for its restorative or healing powers of the body. Even before the age of modern medicine, soup was used as a remedy and has continued to be used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). If you think about it, we turn to chicken soup when we are sick to ease our symptoms of the cold and flu. Soup has been used to heal and restore our bodies for centuries, so why are we now calling it the next best diet?

 

Recent research has supported that having soup before a meal will help a person feel satiated, (that means feel full) in turn, decreasing hunger, making you eat less. This is good right? Well, of course, it is if losing weight by eating less is your goal, but there’s only thing missing- a variety of food, and in some cases chewing!

 

If your goal is to lose weight, then enjoying soup before a meal is a great way to help you feel full, and may reduce the amount of food you eat during the meal. Soup will also increase the nutritional density of your meal, which is great for your body. But before you get caught up in the hype of this latest diet fad, which can end up costing you hundreds of dollars, ask yourself this one question…

 

Can you see yourself eating only soup for your meal every day, for the rest of your life?

 

If the answer is no, then skip this latest diet fad, save your money and just enjoy soup.

 

Now that the weather is cooling down, homemade soups are a great addition to your weekly menu. (Check out Fill Your Plate for great soup recipes.) I always make extra so I have enough to take for lunch or have as an afternoon snack to keep me fueled while chauffeuring my kids to all of their after-school activities.

 

My kids love Butternut Squash, and we enjoy having Butternut squash soup for dinner once in a while. Now that so many of the ingredients are in season at your local farmer’s markets, Fall makes it the perfect time to try this one at home too.

Butternut Squash Soup

 

Serves 6-8 adults

 

Ingredients

1 brown onion, diced

2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped

2” piece (1tbsp) ginger, peeled and diced

1-2 small chilies (optional)

2-3 cups butternut squash, cubed

2 carrots, chopped

1 sweet potato, chopped

3 tbsp homemade veggie stock concentrate*

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cardamom

1 tbsp ground coriander

1 can coconut milk

 

 

Method

  • In a large saucepan add onion, garlic, ginger, and chilies if using, and sauté over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes, or until they become aromatic
  • Add the butternut squash, carrots and sweet potato to saucepan, then add veggie stock concentrate, spices, and enough water to just cover the chopped veggies*
  • Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes
  • After 30 minutes, turn off heat to blend soup using a soup blender or food processor*
  • Add coconut milk to blended soup and simmer for another 15-20 minutes
  • Serve with your favorite bread- I like Turkish or crusty bread with this one

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Notes

  • Vegetable stock can be substituted for veggie stock concentrate and water- just use enough vegetable stock to cover the chopped veggies

 

  • Vegetable bouillon cubes equivalents, 2 cubes = 3 tbsp veggie stock concentrate

 

  • If using a food processor, the soup may need to cool slightly before adding to processor. If soup is too hot, it may over heat the processors motor.

 

 

 

References

Ke, LJ., et al. Revealing the secret of soups’ healing power: Nanostructures and their functions. J Food Drug Anal, 2012; 20: 275-279.

 

Clegg, ME., Ranawana, V., Shafat, A., & Henry,CJ. Soups increase satiety through delayed gastric emptying yet increased glycaemic response. Eur J Clin Nutr, 2013; 67: 8-11.

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