Articles on soup

Is Vegetable Soup Healthy?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Soups are often categorized by general people as non-fattening or healthy foods. But are they as healthy as they are known to be? Popularly soups can be divided into two groups: clear and thick soup. Clear soups are generally more healthy as they have the least amount of calories while thick soups usually contain a lot of starch, sometimes cream, and other high carbohydrate ingredients.To help you further explain the difference, clear soups do not contain anything else except for the strained liquid. Any liquid that has vegetables, meats or even noodles is considered a thick soup.A bowl of clear soup can help you lose weight.-This doesn't mean that you get only on a soup diet. It means that adding a bowl of clear soup before your meal can help you prevent from overeating while adding important nutrition. A clear vegetable soup contains vitamins & minerals while a bowl of non-vegetarian clear soup has zinc, protein besides vitamins & minerals.Vegetables and poultry can be added to your soup to make it a healthy meal but it might add to the calories count of the food-You can then prepare the soup with enough vegetables and poultry to work as  a substitute for a meal. While it controls the calorie it adds the correct amount of essential nutrition to the diet. Also often soups especially served in restaurant carry cornflour, high sodium to make it more appetising also add empty calories to the soup. High sodium content in the soup often results in water retention leaving one feel bloated.While eating out choose the healthier soup option to avoid putting on weight and adding empty calories to the diet. Read more about Negative calorie diet foods.Following ingredients that are often added to the soup like milk, cream, butter are fattening and should be avoided.Avoid packed and processed soups as they are high in sodium and contain no antioxidant properties.Get more information on 5 reasons to avoid processed foods.How to make soup healthierTo summarize, it stick to clear soups that are made of clear, strained broth. If you want to add vegetables & meat to your soup then make the soup as your meal and not an appetizer, in case you are watching your weight. Check the ingredients of the soup before ordering. If you can ask the chef to prepare you a clear vegetable soup without any corn flour and low salt in it.Hope this article helps you chose better while eating out or wondering what can be eaten when you are on a weight loss program.

Fuel Your Weight Loss Journey With Soup!

Dr. Tejender Kaur, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Soup's low calorie yet high nutritional content makes it an ideal option for weight loss. What's more is you definitely don't need to be a Julia Child or a Martha Stewart in the kitchen to whip up a delicious batch of soup for yourself. Here are a few tips to help getting you started on your soup-fueled weight loss journey-Starting any new diet takes a bit of easing into. If you think existing only on soup is challenging, then you can start by supplementing your meals with a small bowl of wholesome soup. This way, the liquid content in the soup will fill you up and you will also cut down on the calories from your real meal. Chicken broth, tomato basil, or carrot ginger soups are great options for getting started.If you are looking to lose more than just a couple of kilos, go one step further and replace your dinner entirely with a big bowl of wholesome soup. Broccoli potato, mushroom, or lentil soups are excellent when it comes to satisfying those pesky hunger pangs. Make sure you switch things around and constantly experiment with a lot of different veggies, seafood, and meat combinations. This way, not only will you get your daily nutrition fix but you also won't get bored of your diet soon.If you think you have got it in you to be hard-core and take the additional step, you should go ahead and give the infamous cabbage soup diet a shot. This is a 7-day diet that consists of eating unlimited portions of homemade cabbage soup as often as you feel hungry. This soup is extremely easy to prepare, delicious to eat, and last but not the least, totally inexpensive. However, you should know, although this diet is known to help lose up to 5 kgs or more in a week, you will also be dealing with a lot of gas problems! So keep those antacids handy!It is also important to remember that not all soups are created equal. So, whatever your weight loss goals are, you will definitely want to stay away from the rich and creamy soups that are laden with butter or the store bought varieties that are packed with high amounts of sugars and sodium.That being said, you now know everything you need to give this a try. Go on, take a crack at soup as one of your weight loss efforts! It might surprise you how effective it can be.

How Healthy Are Packaged Soups?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
The Positioning of food products as healthy has become as fashionable as people joining a gym. Unfortunately, most of these so-called health products are not as healthy as the natural counterparts of these. For example, packaged soups do not carry half as many health benefits of natural soup simply because nutrition cannot be stored for such a long time. Besides, all the preservatives used to improve the shelf life of these perishable goods destroys the antioxidant qualities of the vegetables. The ingredients used are also of not the best quality, leaving the major content of the soup to be actually starch, sugar and sodium. The vegetable content of any packaged soup is almost negligible beside containing depleted nutrients. Here are the three critical components of a pre-packaged soup that might be causing harm to your family’s health.Corn flourThe packaged soups have a very high amount of corn flour for a thick consistency. Some major health hazard of corn flour is that it raises the blood sugar content. It leads to the Yo-Yo effect which is harmful to one’s health. It further leads to fat deposition in the body, which makes one hungrier and further leads to overeating. Corn flour leaves an adverse effect on the intestine.SaltPackaged soups contain very high amount of salt. This is extremely not recommended for people suffering from blood pressure or even those who have borderline blood pressure as high salt will increase their levels. Excess of salt causes is linked with osteoporosis, asthma, kidney diseases and stomach cancer sometimes; it also causes water retention and edema.PreservativesIn packaged soups amount of preservatives is also very high. Coal Tar Azo Dyes, sulfites, etc are some kinds of preservatives which are present in soups. Such kind of preservatives can also cause cancer and other health hazards. Moreover, all the nutrients in a packaged soup are in powdered form (dehydrated) and when these nutrients come in contact with heat, they lose all the essential vitamins. Besides these soups only contain empty calories that get stored in your body and don’t get absorbed immediately as they are void of any nutrition. Most people tend to gravitate towards these products because of fantastic marketing, convenience and affordability of these products. Don’t be short-sighted and only think for now and not the larger picture of good health. The money that you think you are saving on buying these cheap products is actually adding to your medical bills later in life. Point is to be aware of your actions and do things in moderation. Go and enjoy these packaged soups as some of them are quite tasty (not healthy) and might work as a great comfort food. But do not make the mistake of blindly considering something sold as healthy without evaluating the truth behind it. To uncomplicated life & health its time to go back to the basics and start eating things in its most natural form to derive maximum health benefits out of it. If you enjoy your soups then stick to the clear soups which are homemade.

Choose Smartly When Eating Out!

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Whether it’s a meeting with a client over lunch, dining out in weekends, dinner from a neighbourhood carry out.We all love eating outside. But are these food choices affecting our health? Making us sick the very next day? So, here are some tips which you can blindly follow, whenever dining out.Make careful menu selections: Take time to read menu thoroughly. Avoid dishes which are buttery, creamy, cooked in white sauce, pan fried or friedIf you are new to the restaurant, don’t place your order in a hurry. Go through the menu so that you don’t end up eating something unhealthyAlways order small portions and limited dishes to start with. Share and then order again according to appetite. This would prevent overeating and wastage of foodEat mindfully which means stop yourself before you feel full and chew your food thoroughly which will keep a balance in your digestion and satisfaction processTry and customize your meal. Go for options which shows steamed, boiled, roasted, grilled. You can always ask dressing as a side dish so that you can pour over your salad according to your requirement.Order soups without cream or heavy dressingFor drinks, you can order some lemon oriented drink like fresh limeAt buffets: We generally eat more in order to get money worth. Always choose fresh salads, steamed vegetables, soups and then go for some main course which is less oily. In this way you will never end up overeating

6 Amazing Diet Tips to Lose Weight Easily

Dr. Pallavi Jassal
Losing weight fast and keeping it off is no easy task, which is why I’ve compiled top diet tips for losing those extra few kilos.Kick start your day with BreakfastBreakfast is the most important meal of the day. Because breakfast enhances your energy level to utilize throughout the day. It also helps to boost your metabolism which improves your concentration and focus. Skipping breakfast is surely a formula for sabotaging your effort to stay fit & healthy.Fill Up On Hot FoodsAll need some appetite control, on many special occasions. Going with an empty stomach to a restaurant with fabulous food is guaranteed to lead to overeating….though you feel guilty thereafter. When extreme hunger hits, try having hot foods and beverages and are more satisfying than cold foods or drinks. Soup can be a very good choice. Plates can be loaded with salads for more filling and certainly have an added health perk of fiber and satisfaction.What to Eat?Try to maintain a food diary. Note down your food intake, what time to eat, what amount you eat over a day is certainly a formula for tracking your intake and ascertain your calorie intake. Losing weight requires consistency and you need to be more sticky with your diet plan.Can I eat dessert & still lose weight?Yes, you can eat dessert and still lose weight only when you make one small fruit such as apple or orange as your preferred dessert or you make your own dessert at home instead of buying from the supermarket which typically has too much sugar along with chemicals. When you make your own dessert in your kitchen, you can choose the healthier oil with less sugar and an own healthy addition of nuts.“Combinations of sugar, white flour, butter and trans fat are diabetes on a plate. So if you’re eating dessert most nights, you’re asking for trouble.”– Dr. Walter Willett (Nutrition Department of Harvard School of Public Health)Cook Your Foods at KitchenIt’s much difficult to manage well-balanced diet plan nowadays. But if you prepare yourself, you have own delicious food and it makes your life easier. Thus, you’ll not save your valuable time, even your pocket will also thumb up to you. Whether you’re buying food from market, restaurant & grocery stores, cook your meal with your own styles with healthier stuff. In that way, you’ll enjoy wholesome breakfast, lunch & dinner during the week as well.Moving ExerciseAfter discussion on foods, most important factor is exercise.  Brisk walking, swimming, cycling, and light weight training is good for burning calories and to make the muscle stronger with weight loss.

How to Eat Healthy Chinese Food

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Eating out is a fun and easy way to socialize with others and relax at the same time. Chinese food is one of the favorite cuisines because there are so many flavorful dishes. Although, many of the foods at Chinese restaurants are cooked with dark meats and a lot of oil, so they are loaded with calories, fat, sodium and even sugar. It's possible to eat healthy, yet still palatable foods while dining at a Chinese restaurant, provided that you know what keywords to look for on the menu.Different Steps of Choosing Healthy Chinese food:AppetizersSpring rolls are smaller than egg rolls and have a thinner wrapper. Usually, they are filled with vegetables and rice. Chinese soups are also low in calories. One serving of wonton, hot & sour or egg drop soup is a wise option to choose. Avoid the fried noodles that often come with these soups. Sprinkling them on top increases both the calorie and fat content.EntreesAvoid sweet and sour pork or chicken, fried dishes and crispy beef. Large portion sizes can turn a low-calorie meal into a calorie-laden feast. Try shrimp with lobster sauce, which is composed of shrimp in a light wine sauce with egg, mushrooms and scallionsVeggies"Buddha's Feast" is a vegetable side dish that comes either steamed or stir-fried. The steamed option is lower in calories and includes a variety of vegetables, such as snap peas, asparagus, black mushrooms, broccoli, baby corn and carrots.GeneralIn general, there are five traditional Chinese cuisines from five different regions in China. Cantonese is the cuisine of southeast China and, in general, is known for lighter fare. While not all Cantonese food items are low-calorie, many tend to be a better choice and include such options as lightly cooked meat and vegetable dishes. Dishes made with fish, other seafood or chicken and lots of vegetables are usually the best choices calorie-wise. Also look for key words on the menu that indicate healthier preparation methods, such as steamed, "Jum" which means poached and/or "Kow" which means roasted.Preparation:The preparation method helps determine whether a Chinese take-out dish is healthy. Your best bet is to choose something that is barbecued, broiled, poached, roasted or steamed. Menu terms to look for include chu, shu, jum and kow. Stir frying may be a good option if you choose vegetable dishes, but rice and noodle dishes absorb too much oil to be healthy when stir fried. Avoid dishes that are battered, breaded or fried.Considerations:Many Chinese take-out options are high in salt. Make your choices of healthy Chinese food by asking the chef to prepare them without soy sauce and MSG, and limiting the amount of extra sauces that you add to your meal. Servings are large, so share with a friend or pack at least half in a container to enjoy healthy Chinese food for a later meal. This will help keep you from eating excess calories in one meal.Recommendations:Ask that the chef use minimal oil and only half the sauce, or to prepare your take-out food in vegetable stock. Request extra vegetables, or order a side of steamed vegetables to mix in with your main dish in order to get healthy Chinese food. Then serve and eat your food with chopsticks to minimize the amount of sauce you eat and to help you eat your meal slowly so you eat less. Start your meal with soup or steamed appetizers instead of fried appetizers, and drink water or tea instead of soda.

Time to Clean Up Your Body

Dr. Renu Garg, Homeopath
The festivities are over now and you find yourself a few kilos heavier along with lethargic feeling. We all tend to overload our systems during this season. Indulgence has been at its peak and what we probably need right now is to detox and clean up with right nutrition to spring back to normal. Try to follow following tips so that we will feel more energetic and can improve our overall health:Start your day by drinking warm water with a lemon squeezed in it.Keep yourself hydrated with plain water, coconut water, green tea. Fluids flush out all the toxins. Add a little mint, cinnamon, lemon or apple slices for flavour.Post-Diwali cut down on packaged foods, sugar, refined flour and baked items. Instead take jaggery, whole grain atta, brown rice in your diet.Have more fruits and veggies which leave you a feeling fuller for long and make a point of eating different types and colours.Don't give longer gaps in between two meals (not more than four hours) and take some kind of protein in every meal which will keep blood sugar levels stable and curb unwanted cravings.Chew each mouthful slowly, focusing on your food and eat until only about three quarters of the stomach is full. Some breakfast options are oats with milk/wholegrain porridge/vegetable daliya/fruit platter.Some lunch options are salads and yogurt, brown rice khichdi or brown rice with lots of vegetables/ whole grain rotis with lightly cooked vegetables. Some dinner options are spinach soup/dal soup and salad with some protein Some snacking options are steamed lentils/ smoothies/ green tea and fruits / buttermilk/ tofu snacks/ nuts etc.