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Does Leek Soup Help You Lose Weight? (From a Dietician)

Connor Sellers
Published by Connor Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED

If you liked the Netflix show ‘Emily in Paris’ like some of my clients, and you watched the scene when they make ‘magical leek soup’.

Apparently, the soup can help you lose weight, and it’s the secret to French women’s slim figures.

Being skeptical about all those mono diets (with one miracle food), I decided to review available literature and speak with a registered dietitian, as well as my family physician who specialized in nutrition, to research the leek soup diet and its weight loss potential.

Here’s what I found out.

Quick Summary

  • The Leek soup might push your body into fasting mode and act as a mild diuretic that mainly results in temporary water weight loss.
  • However, leeks are nutritious foods containing vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants and, therefore, should be a part of your diet.
  • Leek soup recipes are simple, and the dish has a pleasant taste, so you should take time to cook them from time to time to support your general health.

Does Leek Soup Aid in Weight Loss?

Close up shot of cooked leek soup

Leek soup aids in weight loss, but only as a short-term solution since it provokes water weight loss that’s not sustainable.

The ‘magical leek soup’ diet, as they call it, originated from French cuisine, and the first time it was mentioned was in Mireille Guliano’s bestseller called “French women don’t get fat”.

Leek soup was the magic trick that the author claims made her lose weight gained during her stay in America as an exchange student.

But what made this ‘magical leek soup’ even more popular was a scene from the Netflix show ‘Emily in Paris’, where it was deemed a secret why French ladies stay in shape.

In reality, leek soup may help you drop some weight, but only because it’s a part of a fasting diet. To stick to this diet plan, you have to consume nothing but a cup of leek soup every 2-3 hours for two days.

Since each cup of leek soup contains about 15 calories, if you follow the instructions and drink 16 cups, you’ll ingest only 240 calories during those 48 hours (if you use six leeks, as one contains around 38 calories) [1].

It will put your body into fasting mode, provoking glycogen and water loss rather than fat loss.

“Fasting diets are very appealing right now. They’re just fancy ways of cutting calories from your diet and a weight loss point of view, they’re not the answer.”

- Dr. Nick Fuller, Obesity Expert

Being a mild diuretic, the soup might seem like a quick fix, but in fact, you’ll probably gain the weight back in a matter of days, which might even lead to disordered eating patterns.

However, this doesn’t mean that leeks should be avoided since they contain some beneficial nutrients.

What Nutritional Benefits Do Leeks Provide?

Close up shot of Leek Soup in a bowl

Leeks provide many nutritional benefits (cooked or raw) since they belong to the onion family (allium genus), known for its high content of antioxidants and sulfur-containing compounds.

Like other allium vegetables (onions and garlic), leeks are rich in antioxidants like allicin, kaempferol, and organosulfur compounds, which all have strong anti-inflammatory properties and other health benefits [2].

It’s why a diet rich in allium veggies has been linked with a lower risk of certain cancers and may be protective against diabetes and heart disease [3].

Besides antioxidants, leeks are rich in dietary fiber, especially fructans, which act as a prebiotic, feeding the good bacteria in our digestive system [4].

They also contain many vitamins and minerals [5]. One cup of leeks (100 g) contains :

  • Vitamin C - 12 mg
  • Vitamin K - 47 µg
  • Vitamin A - 83 µg
  • Calcium - 59 mg
  • Magnesium - 28 mg
  • Potassium - 180 mg

Keep in mind that boiled leeks will lose some of the thermosensitive nutrients like vitamin C or antioxidants, so the better option would be to steam them [6].

But if you enjoy leeks in a soup, it will still provide a good amount of minerals, fibers, and other nutrients.

If you want to maximize your weight loss, you can check out our article about the best fat-burning foods.

How to Prepare Leeks

Leek soup chopped up on a wooden board

To prepare leeks, raw or cooked, you first need to cut them properly.

You should follow these steps:

  • Cut off the dark green leaves and stringy roots
  • Slice the leeks lengthwise in half
  • Cut the light green and white parts into half circles
  • Rinse under water and dry them (if they go in the pan with oil)

Next, to cook homemade stock of ‘magical leek soup’ (leek broth), you should do the following:

  • Put two pounds of leeks in a large pot and cover it with water
  • Heat it to a boil and simmer for approximately 30 minutes
  • Strain the liquid into a container
  • Add a few drops of extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice
  • Season sparingly with salt and pepper
  • Add chopped parsley

While there won’t be any magic, it may be a good food option for dieters, as eating a soup course before your evening meal may satiate you just enough to eat less for dinner.

You can also use fresh or roasted leeks, mash them or add them to salads, eggs, and many other dishes.

FAQs

Are Leeks a Good Diet Food?

Leeks are a good diet food because they are low in calories but filled with fiber and water. Therefore, leeks may lead to a feeling of fullness, prevent cravings, and boost your healthy meals, adding a lot of delicious flavor to them.

Are Leeks Keto?

Leeks aren’t keto since they contain moderate amounts of net carbs (14.5g per 100g serving). Used as a meal, you should limit the consumption, so you don’t exceed the 20g-30g daily carb limit. However, used as a garnish, the amount of carbs is low enough to fit into a keto diet easily.

Is Leek Soup Worth Preparing?

While eating soup is good for digestion and adding nutrients, there isn’t a magic recipe for weight loss, no matter the main ingredient.

In my experience, the closest thing to magic weight loss could be fat burners, as they contain scientifically proven ingredients combined to improve your fat metabolism.

We thoroughly tested a lot of these products with the help of our clients and created a list of those which yielded the best and fastest results, so give them a try to fast-track your weight loss journey.

You can check out our tried and tested top fat burners on the market here:

 


References:

  1. https://www.nutritionix.com/food/leek/1-leek
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7280442/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20940019/
  4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780128146491000077
  5. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24105673/
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