What Is “Souping” Mean? Here’s What You Should Know About This Well-liked Medical Practice

Although it would be ideal if diet culture vanished from the scene and never came back, it is still very much in existence. In particular, the 1980s saw the rise in popularity of the “cabbage soup diet,” which is exactly what it sounds like: consuming only cabbage soup in an effort to reduce weight. The all-soup diet is back in style these days. However, it’s becoming known as “souping,” and it’s not only about eating cabbage soup. Does that…improve things in any way? What precisely is souping?

According to Kelsey Costa, MS, RDN, a nutrition consultant with Diabetes Strong, Inc., “Souping, often seen as a method for clean eating and weight loss, involves adhering to a diet consisting exclusively of vegetable soups for a set duration, typically seven days,” “In essence, ‘souping’ is the soup version of a juice cleanse.” 

Some people might adhere to less restrictive souping regimens.”Some individuals may exclusively consume vegetable soups, while others may have soup before a meal, in every meal or just two meals a day,” says Isabel Vazquez, RD, a registered dietitian at Memorial Hermann in Houston.

Costa points out that eating soup several times a day might have certain advantages, such as helping one lose weight. She explains, “The high water content in soups can also contribute to feelings of fullness and hydration, which are both important for weight management.”

However, Vazquez and Costa have mixed feelings about the souping craze and anything that offers a one-stop shop for weight loss. “It’s important to convey a clear message that there’s no miraculous solution for weight loss or overall well-being,” Vazquez says. “Relying solely on vegetable soup may deprive individuals of essential nutrients found in a diverse diet.”

Should you give the souping diet a try then? What benefits and hazards are there? Here’s all the information you require.

What Benefits Does Souping Offer?

Dietitians with certification do not advocate for an all-soup diet, especially not for a prolonged duration. Nevertheless, consuming more soup—especially vegetable-based soups—may have some health advantages. According to qualified dietitian Edwina Clark, MS, RD, there are several advantages to souping.

  • Lower consumption of calories
  • Possibility of losing weight
  • increased consumption of vegetables and fibre
  • improved nutritional quality
  • Drinking Water

A review and meta-analysis published in 2020 discovered a link between soup consumption and a lower chance of obesity. Furthermore, in a previous study conducted in 2014, researchers found a connection between eating more soup and higher dietary quality, including higher intakes of fibre, protein, and numerous vitamins and minerals (Interestingly, those who ate more soup also drank more sodium).

Brio-Medical nutritionist Sarah Herrington, MS, CNC, CPT, adds, “If you are struggling to intake an adequate amount of vegetables per day, vegetable-based soups can be beneficial for increasing your daily servings,” 

But it’s not only about diet guidelines and losing weight. There are those who simply adore soup, and that’s okay. Herrington continues, “Souping can be a healthy way to eat if you enjoy eating soup,”

However, experts stress that there are definitely drawbacks to souping. “This approach should not be used for an extended period, as it lacks nutritional diversity, misses essential nutrients found in a balanced diet, and is not a sustainable or magic solution for long-term health or weight management,” Costa cautions

Before attempting this diet, some people, in particular, might wish to examine the components in soup and consult with a healthcare professional; others would be better off avoiding it completely. “Individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities should steer clear of soups containing wheat, while those with lactose intolerance should avoid creamy, dairy-based soups,” Vazquez says. “Individuals needing to monitor their sodium intake…should exercise caution with high-sodium soups. Similarly, individuals struggling with blood sugar control should be wary of soups high in carbohydrates.”

People who have kidney disease should also be cautious due to worries about potassium and sodium, according to Vazquez. Particularly, “Anyone with a history of eating disorder or who classifies as underweight [should avoid souping],” says Clark.

Is Soup the Secret to Losing Weight Before Meals?

For nutritionists, the word “magic” is frowned upon, especially when it comes to weight loss, although increasing your intake of soup may aid in weight loss.

“Soup is dense in water,” Herrington says. “There was a study showing that obese individuals who consumed a glass of water before a meal ate less and therefore lost more weight than those who did not.”

Soup probably works in a similar way, but in order to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet, you will need to eat more than just soup. “Like many strict diets, relying solely on soups may not be sustainable in the long term,”  Vazquez says. “While they can be a beneficial component of a healthy eating plan, it’s essential to maintain variety and ensure the overall balance of nutrients for long-term health and well-being.”