Are Soups Good for Weight Loss?

Delicious and Nutritious Soups for Weight Loss
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Introduction

From eating salads and soups to eating vegan foods and reducing the number of meals per day, there are way too many diet fads and plans that are being followed worldwide.

Soups are almost always found to be a part of healthy diet plans and for a good reason. While they are routinely made from nutritious vegetables and lean proteins, they are often garnished with herbs and spices, which enhance their nutritional value further.

 

But are soups recommended for weight loss? Let’s understand this better!

Are Soups Good for Weight Loss?

There are limited studies that state that soup consumption results in lower BMI and weight. However, the relationship between soups and weight loss is not direct. Several factors influence whether a soup is actually helping an individual lose or maintain a healthy weight, such as:

  • The vegetable or pulses used to prepare the soup
  • If any sugar or jaggery was added in its preparation
  • Amount of starch (potato, cornstarch, maida) content in the soup
  • Fibre and protein content in the soup

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Here are two reasons soups may be good for weight loss:

1) Higher satiety than other beverages

Unlike other beverages, soups increase fullness and reduce hunger due to the ingredients used to prepare them. As a result, one is likely to eat lesser food in the subsequent meal.

When soups are combined with low-calorie meals, they are able to limit their caloric intake and enable weight loss. Soups also make for great snacks or pre-meal food items that can prevent you from unhealthy snacking and overeating during the meal, both of which are known factors of weight gain.

2) May have low glycemic index

Soups that have a low glycemic index, for example, mixed vegetable soup, lentil soup or chicken soup, and mushroom soup, are great for you if you wish to lose weight.

Since these soups are low in calories and high in satiety, they prevent weight gain and help manage conditions like diabetes.

Which Indian Soups Help in Weight Loss?

Here are some of the best soups for weight loss:

1) Carrot soup

Carrots are rich in fibre and antioxidants like beta-carotene that are known to be good for the body. Some studies state they have an anti-obesity effect. Due to their high fibre content, carrots have a high satiety value, making them a useful soup for weight loss.

2) Mixed veg soup

Mixed veg soup containing a wide range of high-fibre, and low-glycemic vegetables is excellent for weight loss. They are also great for overall health due to their nutrient-rich nature.

3) Carrot moong dal soup

Carrots and moong dal make an excellent combination for a weight-loss soup. This is because carrots are packed with fibre, vitamins and antioxidants, whereas moong dal (a type of pulses) is rich in proteins, making the carrot and moong dal soup a nutritious delight with high satiety value.

4) Mushroom soup

Mushrooms are packed with nutrients like vitamin D, proteins and fibre. Due to these reasons, mushroom soup is an excellent weight-loss choice. However, remember to skip the addition of cream or other high-caloric ingredients that are common practice with this soup. You can replace cream with milk to give a creamy texture.

5) Spinach soup

A power and flavour-packed vegetable, spinach, is excellent for making a weight loss soup. Spinach is loaded with fibre and nutrients like iron. When preparing spinach soup, it is important to keep the fibre (avoid straining the soup) to keep the nutrients intact. Add paneer or chicken pieces to increase the protein content of your spinach soup. You must also avoid adding cream to a spinach soup; replacing it with milk may be a good idea.

6) Brocolli and bean soup

Brocolli has a low glycemic index, and some studies have demonstrated its anti-obesity effect. Beans are known for their high fibre, making broccoli and beans soup an excellent choice of weight loss soup.

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7) Rasam

The traditional spicy soup from south India, the rasam is made from a host of condiments like tamarind, spices and vegetables like tomatoes. Also called ‘charu’ or ‘saaru’, the word ‘rasam’ literally means ‘digestion’.

But did you know the simple and tangy rasam is known to help relieve flu, cold, fever, and digestion issues and prevents a rise in blood glucose levels (hypoglycemic effects)? Rasam contains low calories, which makes it a good weight-loss soup!

While all these soups are great for weight loss, it is important to check the amount of cornflour or thickening agent used in them to ensure low caloric intake. Excessive cornflour can not only ruin the taste and texture of the soup but also increase its caloric value.

Several creamy soups use Bechamel (white) sauce for thickening or improving texture. You must avoid these soups if you are watching your weight.

It may be a good idea to replace starch in soups with lentils and skip the noodles, rice and other cereals in the soups if you want to lose weight.

Which Soups to Avoid if You are Trying to Lose Weight?

Now that you are aware of some tasty and low-calorie soups that can help you lose weight, here are some that you must stay clear of in your weight loss endeavour:

1) Sweet corn soup

Corn has a moderately high glycemic index, and when that is combined with corn starch and sabudana used to make sweet corn soup, it ends up with high calories that are not recommended if you are looking to lose weight or have high blood sugar levels.

2) Manchow soup 

A popular Indian-Chinese manchow soup is not recommended if you are looking to lose weight. The cornstarch and fried noodles added to this soup make it a high-calorie soup.

3) Khowsuey and other noodle-based soups

While South-East Asian soups are comforting and an absolute delight, most use rice and noodles, which may not be good for weight loss. It is best to avoid these soups or replace the starchy element with a lentil or protein.

When is the Best Time to Drink Soups?

While you can have soup at any time of the day, is there a ‘best time’ to drink soup for weight loss?

Well, the most appropriate time to have soup is usually before a meal. Research states that eating a low-calorie soup before a meal can help cut back on the amount of food and calories one eats in a meal. So, if you want to lose weight or reduce your blood sugar levels, include a bowl of soup before your meals.

FitterTake!

Soups are an excellent and tasty addition to your weight loss diet plan, but the key is to pick the right type of soup. Low-calorie vegetable-based soups can help fill you up and reduce overall calorie intake, while cream-based soups and those loaded with high-calorie ingredients should be avoided. 

Making your soups at home with fresh, whole ingredients may also be helpful to ensure that they are nutrient-dense and free from added sugars and preservatives. Soups are not a magic solution for weight loss, but they are an excellent way to support your weight loss goals.

To know more about the right and effective way to lose weight, check out our Weight Loss Program at Fitterfly!

- By Fitterfly Health-Team