Monday, May 25, 2009

Soups Helps You Loose Weight

While I was getting my regular dosage of BBC News, I came across an article about how soups can help a person loose weight. I quickly clicked the link and began reading the article. Now according to the news report, most dieters biggest problem was feeling hungry. And we feel hungry because of a particular hormone released by our stomach wall - ghrelin. When the stomach is empty, ghrelin is produced and traveled in our bloodstream to reach our brain's mother-of-hormone-processor - the hypothalamus. The when the hypothalamus receives the ghrelin, it will tell the body that the stomach is empty and it's time to find food. And when we eat, the food fills the stomach (thus stretching the stomach walls) and the ghrelin production is stopped.
So how does the soup helps? Based on the reports, solid food is retained in our stomach for digestions while water seeps through the pyloric sphincter valve at the bottom of the stomach. But when the food is blended into a broth or soup, the food and water is retained in the stomach making us feel fuller for a longer period. HOWEVER, do take note that the soup mentioned in the article is broth or cream based soups - like our Campbell mushroom soups. It is not mentioned if clear soups (like tom yam) works and especially when clear soups are common in Asian cuisines.

---Snippet from BBC News Article---

Imagine a typical lunchtime meal - say, chicken and vegetables with a glass of water.

If you eat the food and drink the water, you will feel full for a couple of hours before hunger kicks in. But if you blend the food with the water - to make soup - you will stay hunger-free for much longer, and less likely to snack through the afternoon.

How can blending the food into soup make such a difference? The answer lies in the stomach. Scientists have used ultrasound and MRI scans of people's stomachs to investigate what happens after eating solid-food-plus-water meals compared with the same food made into soup.

After you eat a meal, the pyloric sphincter valve at the bottom of your stomach holds food back so that the digestive juices can get to work.

Water, however, passes straight through the sphincter to your intestines, so drinking water does not contribute to "filling you up".

When you eat the same meal as a soup, the whole mixture remains in the stomach, because the water and food are blended together. The scientists' scans confirm that the stomach stays fuller for longer, staving off those hunger pangs.

The key to this low-tech weapon against hunger is a hormone called ghrelin. It is one of the major players in the body's appetite system.

Discovered as recently as 1999, ghrelin is released by specialised cells in the stomach wall.

These cells produce a constant stream of ghrelin whenever the stomach is empty. The ghrelin travels via the blood stream to the brain's appetite centre, an organ called the hypothalamus. As a result, the hypothalamus screams "You are hungry - find food."

But whenever the stomach wall is stretched - when the stomach is full - the cells stop producing ghrelin, and the hypothalamus responds accordingly, turning off the appetite signal. The longer the stomach remains full, the longer you feel satisfied and the less you are likely to eat.



  1. Very interesting article! It makes sense. Thank you for sharing. I wish I also knew a recipe to get rid of sinusitis for once and for all. Have a wonderful day, Waileng :)

  2. i thought cream based soup is fattening?! but i think this is very much related to individual's body and metabolism. consuming soup to lose weight might not suit for everyone huh.. but its a good article!
    sigh, losing weight is a girl's whole life mission :S
    i'm always on that mission too..

  3. Hello Rosidah. Unfortunately, neither do I know of any remedy for sinusitis. Hope you get well soon!
    Hello Hayley, the article said vegie based soups are the best - lesser calories compared to meat based. I've not really given it a try. But already start cutting away rice from my diet (^^,)


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