Ask the Nutritionist: Eating broth-, veggie-based soups can aid weight-loss

  • Research suggests that starting a meal with soup may help fill you up enough to reduce the calories you consume at the rest of the meal without setting you up to overeat later.

    Research suggests that starting a meal with soup may help fill you up enough to reduce the calories you consume at the rest of the meal without setting you up to overeat later. Daily Herald File Photo

 
Posted2/4/2015 6:00 AM

Q. Does soup really help you lose weight?

A. Some research suggests that starting a meal with soup may help fill you up enough to reduce the calories you consume at the rest of the meal without setting you up to overeat later. For this to work, the soup needs to be broth- or vegetable-based, not a high-calorie cheesy or creamy soup. You are more likely to be successful with this strategy if the foods you eat following the soup are served in smaller portions than your usual amounts, because often overeating is not due to unsatisfied hunger, but a response to big portions.

 

You can also use soup as a weight-loss aid by making soup your whole meal. Be sure to include beans, chicken, fish or other lean protein along with a bevy of low-calorie vegetables, and perhaps a whole grain like brown rice, farro or whole-wheat pasta.

For overall health, keep in mind that commercial soup can be very high in sodium, often with 500 to 900 milligrams (mg) per one-cup serving. That's a lot of sodium in just one food, since the suggested maximum is 1500 to 2300 mg of sodium for a whole day. Reduced-sodium versions are lower than a "standard" product, but they often contain at least 400 to 600 mg per cup, which is definitely not low-sodium.

Instead, you can purchase soups labeled "low sodium:" these have no more than 140 mg of sodium per one-cup serving. You can also make your own soup, using commercial low-sodium broth, no-added-salt tomatoes or water as a convenient shortcut. Smart use of soup can help you eat more nutrient-rich vegetables and cut calories without going hungry; make it a three-way win by also taking steps to avoid sodium overload.

Q. How big a glass of liqueur counts as one alcoholic drink?

A. The size that defines "one standard drink" is based on the concentration of alcohol and for liqueurs this can range from 1 to 3 ounces. For example, some of the anise- or fruit-flavored and sweetened whiskey-based liqueurs contain 40 percent alcohol. That corresponds to 80-proof, which is how you'll see alcohol content listed on the label. A standard serving size for 80-proof spirits (vodka, gin and whiskey) or liqueurs is 1 ounces (the size of a "shot glass"). However, other liqueurs, including some of the chocolate, almond and coffee flavors, are lower in alcohol (50- to 60-proof), and liqueurs that contain cream are often about 34-proof. So for these liqueurs that are less concentrated in alcohol, 2 to 3 ounces would be considered a serving.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

To help prevent cancer and promote overall good health, keep alcohol consumption to no more than one standard drink per day for women, and no more than two for men. If liqueurs are your choice of alcohol, remember that these high sugar drinks may add up to 150 to 240 calories per standard serving. A 3-ounce serving of a cream-based liqueur usually contains about 300 calories, compared to about 100 calories in the unsweetened distilled liquors. Excess calories from any alcoholic beverage can lead to weight gain.

If you choose to drink any type of alcohol, keep in mind that large portions or excess servings can add up to both short-term weight control difficulty and a long-term cancer risk.

Provided by the American Institute for Cancer Research.

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.