Ahh, the famous Cabbage Soup diet. Most people interested in dieting have certainly heard of this one. many of them have actually tried some version of it.
Since nobody has ever claimed to be the inventor of this diet, there is no definitive cabbage soup diet, but rather a string of versions floating around magazines and the Internet. Every expert who tried to promote this diet has either added or replaced an existing feature, which means that aside from that cabbage soup you can expect to see a wide range of other foods, although nothing spectacular.
There's no magical ingredient in cabbage that helps weight loss. The basic idea behind the diet is to starve yourself by drinking a lot of cabbage soup and some water on the side. The trick is to keep your stomach filled with cabbage soup in order to keep hunger away while the body burns fat to maintain itself.
The early version cabbage soup diet featured nothing else than the basic soup. Recent versions have added fruit, vegetables, skimmed milk, lean meat or brown rice to the eating plan in order to help people stick to it for a longer time.
Dieters are not allowed any alcohol. The only drinks allowed beside the cabbage soup are water and unsweetened fruit juices. The soup itself is based on cabbage, onions (or onion soup mix), tomatoes, green peppers, celery, carrots and mushrooms. There are some variations even here, but nothing important.
Cabbage Soup Diet - The Nutritional Value of the 7-Day Diet
The Cabbage Soup Diet has been the subject of a diet controversy. Experts say that the diet is one of the unhealthiest ones in the market today. It can guarantee 10 pounds worth of weight loss in one week if followed strictly. However, experts say that what you lose is mostly water weight and lean muscle tissue and not fat. Because of the dangerously low calorie content, it can result to certain medical repercussions. Some of the cabbage soup dieters have reported weakness, irritability and loss of concentration which are quite normal for people who are consuming very little food.
Advice from Medical Experts
Medical experts also advise against taking the diet for more than 1 week because doing so can result to malnourishment or sickness. The Cabbage Soup Diet is actually a seven-day diet that is recommended for people who need to drastically lose weight. Its origins are unknown although some theories have surfaced as to where and when it started. Some people say this is a diet designed for trainees in the military. Others say the diet was created for diabetics who need to lose weight fast for surgical procedures. However, there has no confirmation for this yet.
The criticisms against the diet have far outweighed the benefits. Although the Cabbage Soup Diet has been proven to be unhealthy for long-term weight loss, cabbage still has nutritional value that can supplement the diet. Cabbage is rich in manganese, calcium and potassium, as well as phosphorus, iron and magnesium. A green leafy vegetable, it is an excellent source of fiber that can help in digestion and prevent constipation. A regular source of fiber can also prevent the occurrence of colon cancer and other digestive problems.
Cabbage is also a source of folate and omega-3 fatty acids, known to help with brain development in young children as well as maintain a sharp mind in adults. Aside from Vitamin C, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6 and riboflavin can be found in cabbages as well as some amounts of vitamin A, vitamin k and protein content. Cabbage has been found to have very low calorie content and is therefore perfect for weight loss. In a head of cabbage, only about 25 calories can be found. It has almost zero saturated fat content and cholesterol. It contains no carbohydrates.
The Cabbage Soup Recipe
The Cabbage Soup recipe includes green onions and green peppers, the first being rich in carbohydrates, potassium and dietary fiber and the latter contains riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, vitamin C, calcium, iron and magnesium. Tomato which forms as the liquid base of the soup is rich in vitamin C and A, almost 20 percent of the recommended daily dietary allowance. It has some amounts of iron and is fiber-rich. An antioxidant called lycopene is present in tomatoes which are known to fight against certain forms of cancer. Celery is fiber-enriched and is known to fight constipation. It also contains vitamin C.
Although the nutritional content of the Cabbage Soup Diet may be rich in some nutrients, its obvious lack of protein or carbohydrates makes it an unhealthy choice for a diet. It is advisable for short-term diets but it is not advisable on a long-term basis because of its ill-effects. If you are looking for a drastic loss in weight, this is ideal but its effects should be considered before undertaking the diet.