January is National Soup Month. Did you know that eating a cup of broth based soup can help you eat less at your meal? If you have not had weight loss surgery, this simple technique can help you cut your calories at mealtime and help you feel fuller longer. Researchers at Penn State conducted studies looking at the difference between drinking a glass of water or having the water in soup and the effects on the amount of food eaten at the meal. People who ate the soup ate about 100 calories less at their meal and didn’t eat more calories later to make up for it. Water as a beverage did not have this effect.
Choose your soup wisely. Creamed soups have more calories and the calories saved from your meal will be more than made up for in the soup. Pick a broth-based soup, either homemade or canned that has pieces of solid food in it like vegetable beef soup. It doesn’t matter if the soup is hot or cold.
If you have had weight loss surgery, choose a hearty soup that has more solid food or a thicker legume based soup like pea or lentil soup. These soups will sit in your pouch longer to help you feel fuller longer as well as contribute to protein intake. The more watery the soup is, the faster it will pass through. Remember, the longer the food sits in your pouch, the fuller you will feel and the more solid it is, the longer it sits.
There is a lot more out there to choose from than cabbage soup!
Vicki Bovee, MS, RDN, LD