Minestrone diet

What is the Minestrone Diet?ClassificationFunctionalityNutritional aspectsFundamental points

What is the Minestrone Diet?

The minestrone diet was born in the United States of America, developed by a cardiologist surgeon at the Sacred Memorial hospital in Saint Louis. Originally, the minestrone diet was mainly intended for patients in severe obesity , who had to drastically reduce their weight in view of heart surgery .

The minestrone diet lasted approximately 14 days, no longer, however long enough to produce a weight loss of 7 to 8 kilos; this weight loss, however, although “encouraging” remains absolutely fictitious, because it is mainly due to the loss of fluids and muscles , not fat .


The minestrone diet can be classified in different ways. If the origin of the ingredients is taken into consideration, it can be classified as a diet suitable for vegetarians (of course, after excluding meat foods in the second part, see below). The minestrone diet can be classified as a single-dish diet, given that – following appropriate recipes – all the nutritional components, such as proteins , carbohydrates , lipids , minerals and vitamins , are inside the soup . Finally, the minestrone diet can be classified as a themed diet, because the most consumed food is vegetable minestrone.


Basically, the minestrone diet is intended to make patients – or people who intend to follow this diet – take a portion of vegetable soup accompanied by other foods. For the first four days of the diet, only unsweetened vegetable soup, tea and fruit juices are expected. Starting from the fourth, the minestrone is accompanied by milk or skimmed yogurt , and only on the fifth day is it possible to eat beef . After a week, the minestrone diet involves adding a small amount of brown rice to the basic vegetable soup recipe.
To make the minestrone diet more effective, often and willingly, even if it does not fall within the original characteristics of the diet, it is combined with aerobic motor activity, for example light running , swimming, cycling or a walk of at least thirty minutes every day . Physical activity, in fact, is able to set in motion the various metabolisms of our organism, favoring the consumption of fats with consequent weight loss .
The minestrone diet must last seven days or at most two weeks, never longer.

Nutritional aspects

The minestrone diet involves the main administration of a vegetable minestrone, so from a nutritional point of view we are talking about a low-calorie dish. The recipes of the minestrone are very variable and have many reinterpretations. If the minestrone is based only on vegetables , without adding seasonings, the dish can be considered decidedly low-calorie. The minestrone, however, is no longer low-calorie if you add ingredients rich in carbohydrates , such as potatoes or legumes , or olive oil as a condiment.
The nutritional aspects of the minestrone diet are mostly negative. Proteins, for example, are scarce. THEproteins present in the diet can be both of vegetable origin , by adding legumes to the soup, but also of animal origin , thanks to the combination of milk, yogurt and beef. Same thing for the lipids , which apart from the addition of raw oil to the soup, are negligible. Among all the macronutrients , carbohydrates are therefore the favorites, and thanks to the addition of potatoes and / or rice to the soup they are present in greater quantities than proteins and lipids.
A separate discussion must be made for vitamins . Many argue that there are in minestrone; however, many of them are thermolabileand / or photolabile . Therefore, in the diet of minestrone the supply of vitamins is in some respects scarce, precisely because the thermolabile vitamins are altered with the heat of cooking , while the photolabile ones are destroyed when it is prepared, exposing the vegetables to light.
Mineral salts , on the other hand, are present, since they are solubilized in the cooking water, which is consumed with all the salts dissolved in it.
Still in the nutritional field, the minestrone diet provides immediate results, but fails to impart good nutritionto those who follow it. Many supporters of the minestrone diet suggest drinking at least 1.5 / 2 liters of water in the last few days, to allow greater removal of toxins from the body. At this point a question spontaneously arises: “but all the water that was introduced with the numerous courses of minestrone, was it not enough to eliminate these” waste “from our body?”.
By carefully examining all the nutritional aspects mentioned so far, we can say that the minestrone diet is low- satiety , so the subject who follows it is never completely satiated. This characteristic is linked to the presence of carbohydrates and the monotony of food, which together can cause a certain suffering in response to hunger pangs .
Another point against the minestrone diet is the very low intake of proteins, which associated with the low intake of calories promotes muscle catabolism , with a consequent decrease in metabolism and predisposition to the yo-yo effect . Even if the minestrone diet allows you to lose weight quickly, the kg lost are not made up of fat, but mainly of liquids and muscle proteins; as such, when the diet is suspended they tend to be recovered very quickly and with interest!

Fundamental points

To summarize everything and clarify the ideas on the merits – few – and on the defects – many – of the minestrone diet, let’s review the fundamental points that characterize it:

  1. the minestrone diet does not impart the rules of a correct and healthy diet.
  2. It does not offer any benefit, as long as the illusion of obtaining a strong weight loss in just 15 days.
  3. It provides very few calories, however difficult to quantify given the variability of the ingredients that make up the various types of minestrone. In this regard, we recommend the use of our tool: it calculates the calories of the soup.
  4. Low protein intake. The only ones supplied are those of legumes, milk, yogurt and possibly meat or fish.
  5. Almost zero intake of fats, except for those who use olive oil as a condiment. Cholesterolis also almost absent, but it can be obtained by replacing olive oil with animal fats such as butter .
  6. Vitamins are deficient as they are thermolabile and / or photolabile; as such they are easily degraded in the preparation and cooking of minestrone.
  7. The mineral salts are mostly recoverable, since the cooking water of the vegetables is consumed.
  8. The minestrone diet does not satisfy the person who follows it.
  9. Given the low protein intake, the minestrone diet favors the use of muscle ones for energy purposes, lowering the body metabolism
  10. It induces a fast and consistent weight loss, but its suspension promotes an equally rapid recovery of the lost pounds, often with a lot of interest.

See also: Minestrone Diet Example


The disadvantages of the minestrone diet are therefore considerable, even if there are people and websites (fortunately few) that urge it as a valid solution to overweight. The conclusions are up to you.


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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