Can Soup Really Boost Your Weight Loss?
Food is any material consumed to provide nutrition to an organism. In the human diet, food is generally of animal, plant or fungi origin, and includes key nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals or ions. The majority of modern humans get most of their calories from fat, with protein coming a close second (around 8% of the calories), and both fats and carbohydrates providing energy. Most plant foods are fibrous by nature, but some can be converted to starch, which is converted into sugars that are used as a source of energy. The rest of the food in the diet is protein rich.
In this study session 2, participants were asked to look after a bowl of soup they had been served, which provided them with two different kinds of nutrients – one that was rich in fat but low in carbohydrates and the other that was rich in carbohydrates but low in fat. Across two groups of participants, the results were very clear. Those who ate the soup were found to have significantly lower weights than those who did not. Furthermore, those who ate the soup were found to have significantly lower intakes of the other three food groups; they had significantly higher intakes of calcium and magnesium, and were more likely to have higher vitamin D levels. This study, by Dr Michael Allen and colleagues, provides strong evidence that consuming soup alters the way the body consumes nutrients.
However, it is important to note that the study only tested the correlation between food and nutrient intake and weight loss. It did not test for the effect of adding vitamins and minerals to the soup – these would have provided stronger evidence for the dieters. Nor did the researchers assess the effect that the addition of vitamins and minerals would have on other aspects of diet and lifestyle, including intake of other food types and quality of life. However, this study has confirmed that adding iron, calcium and other nutrients to soups can significantly reduce weight gain.