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Does the Cabbage Soup Diet Work? Weight Loss and Side Effects Guide

8 minute read


There are a lot of pretty strange diets out there. Proponents of the cabbage soup diet boast that you can lose 10 pounds or more in about a week just by swapping your usual foods for large servings of cabbage soup.

But does this diet really work the way it’s described? Well, like a lot of fad diets, it can offer big short-term results but can be difficult to sustain in the long run.

Still, for certain people, this diet might be a solution worth trying. To help you decide if the cabbage soup diet is right for you, let’s explore the realities of this diet and see if it’s a viable option.

Cabbage Soup Diet 101

The premise of the cabbage soup diet is that cabbage soup is a very low-fat, very high-fiber meal that still offers some nutrition. Unlike the name might suggest, people who follow the cabbage soup diet aren’t just forced to eat only cabbage soup. There is a small list of accepted foods, including fruits and veggies, milk, and meat.

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The origins of the diet are up for debate, but it seems to have started sometime shortly after World War II. The prevailing thinking is, soldiers commonly consumed cabbage during the war, because it was cheap and abundant. The soldiers may have brought the knowledge of cabbage’s health value back home with them, and that’s when the diet first became popular.

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No matter the origin, it’s true that this diet does have some benefits. Before you embark on this dietary adventure for yourself, here are some of the reasons why it might be worthwhile:

Easy to Follow

One of the biggest reasons why some diets aren’t successful is simply that people don’t follow them. Many diets are overly complicated, or they require you to find foods that are very rare and not the most available. But one of the biggest perks of the cabbage soup diet is that it’s incredibly easy to follow.

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Once you nail down the specific recipe of cabbage soup that works for you, then it just becomes a matter of repeating it every day. The list of foods you’re allowed to eat may seem small, but when you’re trying to keep track of what’s allowed and what’s not, a smaller list can be much more manageable.

The ease of this diet is one of the best reasons to consider making it a part of your health routine.

High in Nutrients

In terms of nutrition, cabbage is one of the best foods you could possibly add to your diet.

One of the most powerful health boosters in cabbage is antioxidants. Antioxidants can help protect your body from dangerous disease-causing particles known as “free radicals.” These free radicals are tough to avoid, as they’re present in everything from household cleaning products to the air we breathe.

One of the best things you can do to your body in terms of protecting against free radicals is to stock up on antioxidants, like those found in cabbage. In addition to antioxidants, cabbage also contains a high amount of vitamin C.

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Normally we think of oranges when we think of vitamin C, but it turns out cabbage is loaded with this powerful vitamin as well. Vitamin C is a potent immune booster, and it also can help keep your energy levels up, so you can function at an optimal level.

But cabbage has even more than just vitamin C and antioxidants. It’s also chock-full of vitamin K. Vitamin K is great for bone health. It can help keep bones healthy and strong, and it can also support dental health.

| Related: Why Vitamin K Is Better for Bones Than Calcium |

Plus, vitamin K has been shown to improve cognitive health as well, all the more reason why cabbage is such a powerful superfood.

Helps Weight Loss Efforts

Cabbage can also help assist in weight loss efforts. The nutrients in cabbage will help keep you feeling full on a lower number of calories. So you’ll be feeling more satisfied while eating less food.

Of course, the taste of cabbage might get a bit repetitive after awhile, but in terms of caloric value, you’ll be getting way more bang for your buck eating cabbage than you would chomping down on fast food burgers every day.

Rich in Fiber

Yes, cabbage is loaded with fiber. But the other foods in the cabbage soup diet are also potent sources of fiber as well.

Brown rice, a staple of the cabbage soup diet, is guaranteed to give you a hearty dose of fiber. And many of the fruits and vegetables that the diet allows you to eat are also chock full of dietary fiber.

Helps Detox Your Body

Another powerful benefit of cabbage is its impact on liver health. Cabbage is known as a detoxifying food, which means it can do wonders for your liver.

Your liver is responsible for filtering out many of the unwanted toxins that come from eating food, and cabbage helps make its job a whole lot easier. Your liver is connected to your overall health in a number of ways, so taking care of this organ can go a long way to boosting the health of your entire body.

Be Forewarned

Now, before you embark on the cabbage soup diet for yourself, there are a few precautions you should be aware of.

One is that most of the weight you might lose initially will be at least partially water weight. That means, you should expect to gain some of the weight back when you resume your normal diet.

And another thing to be aware of is that the cabbage soup diet is naturally high in sodium. So if you have restrictions on how much sodium you can eat, be aware of your limits.

The Bottom Line

So now you know a little more about the cabbage soup diet, and why folks are flocking to this diet. If you think it’s a good fit for you, it could be worth a try.

The benefits of cabbage really are great, so you’ll be sure to enjoy this superfood if you do decide to try this diet. Lastly, though, you should be careful before starting this sort of restricted diet and consult with your doctor as to whether it is right for you.

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