Penn State researchers showed that having a bowl of low-calorie soup prior to a meal may help cut the total mealtime intake as well as the amount of food and calories.

Study participants were given low-calorie soup made of chicken broth, broccoli, potato, cauliflower, carrots and butter before the main course. It has been seen that the diners consumed 20 % fewer calories when they had both the soup and the main course compared to when they did not have the soup.

The researchers tested different forms of the same soup recipe - separate broth and vegetables, chunky vegetable soup, chunky-pureed vegetable soup, and pureed vegetable soup. All versions of the soup were equally filled.

Having a low-calorie soup helps in weight management. Having a soup allows an extra course at the meal, while eating fewer total calories. It is important to stress that a soup needs to be broth-based and with not more than 100 to 150 calories per serving.

Having high calorie soups like cream-based soups actually increase the total calories consumed.