Although leeks are a national emblem of Wales, it was the French who made them a trendy diet.
These tall, white and green plants are a tuber of the allium family (which includes garlic, chives and onions). Leeks contain many organosulfur compounds, which are organic molecules that contain sulfur. These compounds are what give allium vegetables their strong odors. But they also offer strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which can support the immune system and overall health.
Lisa Young, nutrition consultant and author of “Finally Full, Finally Slim” and “The Portion Teller Plan,” says “Leeks are rich in the antioxidants kaempferol and allicin, which can help fight oxidation that leads to chronic disease.” . Oxidation is the process by which cells can become damaged due to daily wear and tear or exposure to toxins.
Antioxidants help fight this process and are believed to reduce the risk of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
With a milder flavor than onions or garlic, but still a bit pungent, leeks work well in a variety of dishes. But it is the water used to boil them that is central to the leek soup diet.
What is the leek soup diet?
The leek soup diet, and more specifically the soup itself, is sometimes called leek soup magic. Reportedly, generations of French women have used it as a quick-start weight loss tool that mimics fasting and can help dieters lose a few pounds quickly.
Both the magical leek soup and the leek soup diet approach to weight loss have gained renewed attention after being featured in the second season of the popular Netflix show “Emily In Paris.”
How does it work
This diet is all about the soup, which is essentially the water used to boil the leeks.
The recipe couldn’t be much simpler: cut off the green ends and stringy roots of the leeks and discard. Cut the white section of the leek lengthwise and rinse under running water to remove any dirt lodged between the layers.
Put the leeks in a large pot and cover them with water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
Once the leeks are cooked, pour the liquid and reserve it, that is your leek soup. “The diet calls for drinking 1 cup of leek soup every two to three hours for 48 hours,” says Young.
If you are very hungry, you can eat half a cup of cooked leeks, but the general idea is to forego solid food for the 48 hours and drink only the soup during the two-day fasting period that constitutes the leek soup. diet.
Some recipes call for the addition of some flavorings, such as salt, lemon, or parsley. Nora Minno, a New York City-based certified personal trainer and registered dietitian with plant-based protein shake company Soylent, says that some recipes may suggest “adding spices or cream to make the broth taste better without weighing it down.” to be very low in calories. But naturally, cream is a high-calorie, high-fat product, so you’ll need to watch how much you add if you want the rapid weight loss that the leek soup diet promises.
- It can boost weight loss. By not eating solid food for two days, most people will naturally lose a few pounds right away.
- Not counting carbs, points, or calories.
- A clearly defined plan with recipes.
- Highly restrictive.
- It is not a long-term or sustainable approach to nutrition or weight loss.
- Lacks detailed nutritional guidance.
- Potential for monotony unless you customize your soup.
- Eating out is limited.
- You are likely hungry.
- Unsafe for some people, such as those with a history of eating disorders.
- Little research to back it up.
- It falls short nutritionally.
Leek Soup Diet Health Benefits
If you are obese or overweight, it may be advisable to lose weight, as it can influence a number of other health metrics. While there is not a lot of scientific evidence available to support the use of the leek soup diet to improve overall health, there are some health factors that could be influenced by the weight loss some dieters experience when using leek soup. leek soup diet
Possible benefits associated with the leek soup diet may include:
A cup of leek soup broth contains about 15 calories, and since that’s all you’ll be eating for 48 hours, you may lose a few pounds. This weight loss may be primarily due to water weight because you are not consuming solid food; As soon as you start eating solid food again, those lost pounds can come back.
That said, a 2014 study noted that soup eaters had a lower risk of obesity and tended to consume higher quality food. Eating a low-calorie soup before a meal can reduce hunger when the second course arrives, which could lead to lower total calorie intake and weight loss. Also, because leeks are made up of more than 80% water, they can help you feel more satisfied with less volume of food.
Leeks also have a mild diuretic effect, which means they will help you get rid of excess fluid through increased urine output. This can help you see an immediate drop in weight, prompting some dieters to a more sustainable long-term weight loss program.
While the leek soup diet doesn’t offer lasting weight loss, many people use it as a means of resetting or “detoxing” when starting a new diet. Some leek soup diet enthusiasts believe that by eliminating almost all foods over a period of time, they can give your digestive tract a chance to rest and reset, but there isn’t much evidence to support this claim.
Antioxidants fight oxidative stress in cells. That is the stress of daily wear and tear that our bodies are subjected to every day. Some studies have indicated that diets rich in antioxidants and flavonoids (a type of antioxidant) such as those found in leeks and other allium vegetables may reduce oxidative stress and the systemic inflammation it causes. This, in turn, can reduce the risk of certain diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer.
Reduced inflammation is also associated with late-onset Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, or perhaps compounds in allium vegetables could one day be used as a treatment for dementia; a 2015 study out of India noted that allicin, a molecule found in garlic and other allium vegetables, showed potential to improve declining cognitive function and memory in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
Eating Out and Special Diets
You will not eat out while following the leek soup diet, as only leek soup is allowed during the 48 hour period during which the diet is carried out. The soup is naturally vegetarian, vegan and gluten free. It is also dairy-free, unless you add cream, milk, or another dairy product to your recipe.
Children, pregnant people, and people with an eating disorder or a history of eating disorders should avoid this diet, as any super-restrictive approach to food intake can lead to a flare-up or relapse of symptoms. Athletes and very active people should also be careful, as this diet provides too few calories to fuel physical activity.
Health risks of the leek soup diet
Many nutritionists criticize the leek soup diet as a fad or gimmick that leaves people hungry and more likely to recover by binge eating after the 48-hour fast ends.
Young says the leek soup diet is “not a sustainable approach to weight loss.”
Minno agrees that “the leek soup diet is not a completely sound approach to weight loss, although weight loss will most likely occur while following this diet.”
Gaby Vaca-Flores, a registered dietitian and founder of Glow+Greens, a skin care and nutrition consultant based in Santa Monica, California, says that because a typical serving of leek soup can have between 15 and 25 calories , “If you’re eating a cup of leek soup every two to three hours during a typical eating window, you’d only be consuming 90 to 300 calories per day. Consuming such small amounts of calories, even if it’s just for 48 hours, can be harmful.” and could be indicative of disordered eating behavior.”
She says it can also “trick your body into thinking ‘I’m fasting,’ which will only lead to a temporary loss of water weight, not fat.”
That said, “leeks are very healthy and contain beneficial nutrients,” says Young. Instead of opting for the leek soup diet, she recommends taking advantage of the health benefits of leeks by adding them to a “more balanced diet that includes portion-controlled foods from all food groups for long-term weight loss.” “. Bottom line, while the leek soup diet may not be a great option for lasting weight loss, leeks are a great addition to any balanced diet.
Reda Elmardi, a New York City-based registered dietitian and owner of thegymgoat.com, an online training resource, notes that leeks are inexpensive, versatile, and “easy to grow from seed and are a great addition to any diet.” any garden.
And, as Vaca-Flores says, “there are many ways to enjoy leeks other than in soup. I recommend grilling them, steaming them, or tossing them in a salad.” Adding more leeks to your diet will help increase your intake of beneficial nutrients without adding too many calories.