Recently a diet known as the “the Souping Diet” has become popular and many claim that it helps the body “cleanse”.
Whenever I see a claim that a diet or drink helps the body detox or cleanse itself, I’m always suspicious. After all, this is the very reason we have a liver: to detox and cleanse!
So, can a ‘cleansing soup diet’ really make a big difference?
This article will examine the souping diet, what it is, and whether it works.
What is the Souping Diet?
Every year there seems to be a new miracle diet that the press claim improves our health.
The souping diet is just the latest in a long line. Look to the media and we can see it being recommended by celebrity doctors, dietitians and celebrities, and earlier this year the New York Times even proclaimed it “the new juicing”.
The souping diet is designed to be a soup “cleanse” of the body.
Overall, the idea is that you eat a “detoxifying” soup for each and every meal for a set period of time.
Unlike juicing cleanses, which revolve around only fruit, the souping diet incorporates protein and fat too, making it much more balanced.
This soup detox is supposed to provide your body with large amounts of nutrients through vegetables, but at the same time, it minimizes the overload of fructose that juicing brings.
Even Men’s Health has stated that “souping is something every man needs to try.”
What Should You Eat on the Souping Diet?
While some proponents encourage eating soup for every meal continuously, other popular options are a 24-hour soup diet, a 3-day or a 5-day cleanse.
The majority of the recipes follow the typical mainstream health advice by promoting lean meat (chicken), grains and vegetables.
As part of this, instructions suggest eating a small bowl of soup around five times per day, every few hours.
Soup cleanse recipes tend to shun foods like beef (and other red meats) as well as animal fats.
One of the biggest effects of eating in this way is weight loss; however, this is only because calories are kept so low.
If you eat four or five 200-calorie bowls of soup in a day and nothing else, then weight loss is to be expected.
However, eating this way in the long-term is not sustainable.
Do Souping Diets Work?
Souping has become big business with delivery services available in most cities, so the marketing machine behind souping is strong.
But the proclaimed benefits of souping diets are based on simple claims rather than actual science.
The souping diet has no scientific studies behind it, and as far as I can see, receives heavy promotion solely for financial gain.
Soup is a perfectly healthy way to eat and I love soup, just not for every single meal.
Also, the benefits from souping don’t come from actually eating only soup, they come from eating the nutrient-dense foods that it contains.
If you think about it, our digestive system is designed to puree our food into a soup-like texture naturally (in addition to covering the food in digestive enzymes).
Should I Try a Souping Diet to “Cleanse” My Body?
If you want to “cleanse” your body then ditch the refined carbs, vegetable oil and sugar.
The above will do a lot more for your health than following some proclaimed miracle-cleansing diet.
Our body is designed to chew and digest food – so give it some healthy food to chew and digest.
It’s that simple – just eat real food.
When Can a Souping Diet be Beneficial?
Despite not recommending a souping diet in general, there is one situation where a souping diet could be beneficial. This is when you are suffering from digestive discomfort.
In times when we encounter digestive stress, it’s a good idea to make the digestive process as easy as possible. Eating liquid meals for a few days would give the digestive system some time to recover.
As previously stated, soup is a great dish but there’s simply no need to eat it for every meal.
Our body is equipped with the necessary biological functions to cleanse itself.
Should I Eat Soup?
Soup is a great overall food for health and an excellent way to get beneficial nutrients such as gelatin into your diet.
In fact, one of the big problems with modern diets is that we are simply eating too much muscle meat (such as chicken breast and lean beef) and not enough gelatinous animal foods (such as bones and connective tissues).
This creates an imbalanced amino acid profile which may promote inflammation and increased risk of disease.
This is discussed in more depth in the article: “Is red meat healthy or is it slowly killing us?”
Healthy and Nutritious Low-Carb Soups
If you want to include some nutritious soups in your diet, then here is a great list to start with.
All of these soups focus on real, nutrient-dense food and contain no unhealthy additives. Many of them are also rich in gelatin.
- Chicken Fajita Soup (recipe at Peace Love and Low Carb)
- Paleo Crockpot Chili (recipe at Paleo Newbie)
- Chocolate Chicken Mole (recipe at A Girl Worth Saving)
- Greek Chicken, Lemon and Egg Soup (recipe at I Breathe I’m Hungry)
- Roasted Cauliflower Soup (recipe at Sweet Paul)
- Paleo Thai Chicken Zoodle Soup (recipe at All Day I Dream About Food)
- Bacon and Cauliflower Creamy Chowder (recipe at Damn Delicious)
- Jalapeno Bacon Cheddar Soup (recipe at ruled.me)
- Eggdrop Soup (recipe at She Wears Many Hats)
- Spicy Thai Coconut Chicken Soup (recipe at My Recipes)
- Roasted Garlic Soup (recipe at Healthful Pursuit)
- Low Carb Beef Stew (recipe at The Low Carb Diet)
- Chicken Tortilla Soup (recipe at Grass Fed Girl)
- Healthy Chicken Minestrone Soup (recipe at Low Carb Maven)
- Crockpot Mexican Chicken Soup (recipe at Low Carb Yum)
- Chicken Avocado Soup with Lime and Cilantro (recipe at Mealime)
- Low Carb Cauliflower Cream Cheese Soup (recipe at Iowa Girl Eats)
- Crockpot Sausage Cabbage Soup (recipe at Low Carb Mom)
- Leek and Pear Soup (recipe at Carrie Brown)
- Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup (recipe at Ditch the Carbs)
- Butternut Squash Soup With Chicken, Coconut & Ginger (recipe at Diet Doctor)
First of all, the souping diet is not some miraculous detoxifying soup plan.
While it does encourage beneficial nutrients from real food, it shouldn’t be glorified as a diet that changes lives.
Include soup in your diet, but don’t feel like you have to for every meal.
To sum up, a healthy diet is one that contains healthy, nutritious foods.
Whether you cook those foods in a soup or the oven doesn’t really make a difference.