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National Soup Month welcomes the top 5 diets of 2020
If you read last week’s blog where we welcomed January with open arms (turns out it’s not so bad after all!) then you read that one of the reasons to embrace January is that it’s National Soup Month. And, who doesn’t love soup? They are usually spoon ready (and so many of our favorite foods are best with a spoon… ice cream sundae anyone?), warm, healthy (most of the time – sorry chowders and bisques!), easy to prepare and DELICIOUS! And, if January finds you working on a myriad of resolutions with one focusing on your waistline (ahem!) then you might be one of about 45 million that go on diets usually after the holidays. So, what better way to celebrate a new year, a new month and a new you by picking five of the healthiest soup recipes to coincide with the five best overall diets of 2020.
Diet trends come and go and some are even outlandish (tapeworms, oh yeah!), it’s easy to fall for some of them especially when they are celebrity endorsed. So we took notice when U.S. News & World Reports ranked 35 popular diets and recently released their findings. The ratings were applied by a panel of nationally recognized experts in diet, nutrition, obesity, food psychology, diabetes, and heart disease and were based on ease to follow, short and long term weight loss, nutritional value, safety, and the potential for preventing and managing diabetes and heart disease (yes, a mouthful but a good mouthful). Here are the top five overall best diets as found by the panel…
Mediterranean Diet – This diet is best defined by eating foods based on the traditional cuisine of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. This is a plant-based diet that is high in veggies, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. The main components include daily consumption of fruit and veggies, weekly consumption of fish, poultry, beans and eggs, moderate intake of dairy and limiting red meat. The Mediterranean diet also ranked #1 easiest diet to follow, #1 healthy eating diet, #1 best diabetes diet and #1 best plant-based diet. Good news – this diet is also wonderfully delicious! Check out this sample menu plan for a week to see if this diet is right for you. Our soup pick for this diet?
Chicken Leek Soup with White Wine
DASH – which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension is a healthy eating style designed to help treat or prevent high blood pressure. Developed by the National Institutes of Health to lower blood pressure without medication, a reduction in blood pressure by a few points might be seen in just two weeks and the top number of a blood pressure reading (systolic) could drop by a whopping eight to fourteen points. Because this diet focuses on a healthy way of eating, it offers other health benefits like prevention of osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes by incorporating low sodium choices and emphasizing veggies, fruits, low-fat dairy, and moderate amounts of whole grains, fish, poultry, and nuts. DASH is not a weight-loss program but because you make healthier choices losing pounds may come off naturally.
A DASH diet suggests eating:
- 6-8 servings of grains daily
- 4-5 servings of vegetables daily
- 4-5 servings of fruits daily
- 2-3 servings of low-fat dairy a day
- 6 one-ounce servings or fewer of lean meat, poultry and fish a day
- 4-5 servings of nuts, seeds, and legumes a week
- 2-3 servings of fats and oils a day
- 5 servings or fewer a week of sweets
The perfect soup to make if you’re trying out this diet? A hearty minestrone! An excellent choice for a cold January day!
Dash Diet Minestrone Soup
Flexitarian – A Flexitarian diet will give you the flexibility to go meatless – most of the time – but allows you to add it in when you want. The idea is that mainly going meatless will allow you to lose weight by eating a healthier diet. Plant-based foods are the main focus of Flexitarianism and the Flexitarian diet is certainly flexible, with different levels of commitment, so one can ease their way into it. Levels include “beginner” (2 meatless days a week), “advanced” (3-4 meatless meals) and “expert” (5 or more meatless days). Since research shows that vegetarians tend to weigh less than people who eat meat, going vegetarian may not guarantee weight loss but adding plant-based foods to your diet will help your health in many ways. We love this Butternut & Lentil Coconut Soup from TheFlexitarian.co.uk.
Butternut and Lentil Coconut Soup
Weight Watchers – The popular pound-shedding diet followed by 4.6 million people in 2018 has gone through a transformation in 2019. WW, as it’s now known, focuses on healthy living and improving overall well-being and that includes eating healthier and moving more. One thing is still the same – their signature points assignment applied to foods and beverages based on nutrition levels. For WW dieters we love this filling and nutritious Zero Point Weight Watchers Taco Soup by SlenderKitchen.com.
Zero Point Weight Watchers Soup
Mayo Clinic Diet – The Mayo Clinic’s focus is its food pyramid (eat most of your foods from the base of the pyramid and less at the top of the pyramid) which emphasizes fruits, veggies, and whole grains and works in two phases. The first “Lose It” is a two-week phase designed to jump-start weight loss by adding five healthy habits and breaking five unhealthy ones. In the second phase “Live It” the diet focuses on learning and adopting lifelong habits like correct portion size, menu planning, physical activity, and exercise. Here’s a healthy chowder to warm up your dinner table…
Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Happy soup month, we hope a bowl of soup will warm up your January and your kitchen! See you in the next blog!
Deb Fries is a freelance designer and writer and worked at Julianna Rae in Graphics and Customer Service, she now writes lifestyle pieces for the blog at Juliannarae.com/blog.