Soup Diet and Singapore's Unhealthy Hot Pots

What’s there not to love about soup? It comes in a variety of appetising flavours, it’s comfort food regardless whether you’re sick or healthy, it’s convenient – you can make it yourself or order up some at just about any restaurant. The list goes on.

There’s even a thing called ‘soup diet‘ for those looking to lose weight!

What’s A Soup Diet?

As the term implies, it’s a diet made of soup. Might not sound that enticing or delectable if one thinks about it, but some people solely eat or rather, consume nothing but soup through the day.

To label that as the actual meaning of a ‘soup diet’ might be a little too liberal but the gist of it is, if your meals consist of mainly soup then it’s pretty much it.

The Cabbage Soup Diet

The Cabbage Soup Diet has supposedly helped many people not only eat healthier but lose weight. Till this day, the cabbage soup is still a common food fare both for its benefits and as comfort food. Cabbage soup reputation could possibly be one of the factors behind the appeal of soup as a meal.

What about the East Asian version? The hot pot! It is basically soup after all and should contain all the benefits of a soup one would assume. If the thriving business surrounding a hot pot enterprise is an indicator, then it must be true – perhaps?

The answer is ‘yes’ and ‘no’. ‘Yes’ because it’s soup. You will get full faster and that goes a long way in curbing overeating, which helps in preventing weight gain. Why the ‘no’ then?

We are all influenced by our senses and one of them is the sense of taste. A good meal is such because it fills you up and it’s, no surprises here, delicious! Yet, we are so concerned about the taste that we forget what’s really good for us, in terms of food being nutritious and generally healthy.

Too Hot To Handle

Most of us have indulged in a hot pot meal where the choice of soup base and items to go into it was determined not by their nutritional value but more of taste. After all, a meal is supposed to satisfy the taste buds and fill the stomach at the same time.

Nonetheless, the taste may be good, but the effects are certainly not. The essential part of a soup diet or any diet is what goes into that very diet itself. If you are not mindful, it’s akin to consuming added sugar that your body doesn’t need, and we all know the detrimental effects of that.

This is not meant to pour cold water over your hot pot fire, but the contents of a hot pot meal can be unhealthy. Single seating can add up to about 3000 calories and let’s not go into elevated sodium levels!

Soup Diet and Singapore's Unhealthy Hot Pots
It’s about making the right choice. The next time you’re out for a hot pot meal, consider these:

  • Opt for a light soup base like cabbage, tofu or mushroom soup. If you’re making it from scratch, then choose low-sodium chicken or vegetable bouillon for your stock.
  • Lean meat over fat. Opt for fish, chicken or lean pork over internal organs like liver, pork kidney and others.
  • Add more high-fibre items into the mix like carrots, cabbage, mushrooms and spinach, for example.
  • Reduce the carbs like noodles, rice, and so on.
  • As with the soup base, opt for light dipping sauce. Examples include fresh cut chillies with soy sauce, minced garlic and vinegar sauce.

You should also avoid processed food items like crab sticks, fish balls and cuttlefish balls as processed food is bad for us. Another thing you can do is to chew slowly. No point gulping your food down only to regret in the aftermath. Also, eating slowly will make you full faster and prevent overeating.

You can enjoy that hot pot or any soup for that matter, provided you are a little more mindful of what goes into them. Unhealthy foods, in general, tend to taste good but that satisfaction is temporary and could land you in hot soup health wise! Make the right choice, and you will wholesomely enjoy that soup.