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Nothing Sacred about the Sacred Heart Soup Diet

Updated on October 4, 2019
Dean Traylor profile image

Dean Traylor is a freelance writer and teacher who writes about various subjects including education and creative writing.

Originally found on search
Originally found on search

There are plenty of misconceptions surrounding The Sacred Heart Soup Diet. For one thing, there’s nothing new about it; it has existed for several years under numerous names and resembles other types of diets.

Secondly, its origin is mysterious and dubious at best. Some have made claims to it, but the facts for this rarely pans out.

What is known is that this soup-based diet is popular with dieters despite dire warnings of its ineffectiveness as a fad diet. This begs the question: why is such a diet so popular? This may be a case of the process being overshadowed by a short-term result.

The Claim

The story circulating on various diet and nutrition websites is that the Sacred Heart Diet supposedly came from the cardiology department at Sacred Heart Memorial Hospital where it was used for overweight heart patients (there’s never an exact place or location for this hospital). Proponents of this diet plan claim it can shed 10-17 pounds in the first week alone.

It does this through a seven-day plan in which the dieter will eat a limited and varied amount of nutritionally sound food each day. In most cases, the food is meant to go along with the soup rather than being the main course. This complex daily plan even appears to favor certain foods at different variables.

Originally posted at
Originally posted at

At the heart of this diet plan is the soup, which is the only consistent thing to eat every day on this plan. Although there are several variations, the type of soup often sited is chicken noodle soup or Lipton Onion Soup.

Often, the plan will call for the following:

  • 2 – 11 oz, cans of chicken noodle soup
  • 5 stalks of celery (diced)
  • 1lb. pack frozen string beans
  • 4 carrots (diced)
  • 4 potatoes (diced)
  • ½ green peppers (diced)
  • 2 onions (diced)
  • Stewed tomatoes (one site added this).

As good as the plan looks, as well as the supposed claims from proponents, there are several vital indications that this diet is not all that it’s suppose to be

The Seven-Day Plan

The seven-day plan can vary and may have a “theme” for each day. Still, all the food is complementary to the soup that is served every day.

A typical seven-day plan may follow this particular plan:

  • Day 1: all fruit day (without banana);
  • Day 2: all vegetables (no beans, peas or corn);
  • Day 3: fruits and vegetables (no potatoes);
  • Day 4: bananas and skim milk (3 bananas and as much milk as you want);
  • Day 5: beef and tomatoes (10-20 ounces of beef and six tomatoes or a can of tomatoes);
  • Day 6: all-you-can eat beef and veggies (just no potatoes);
  • Day 7: brown rice, unsweetened fruit juice, and veggies.

“Phony” Claims

As good as the plan looks, as well as the supposed claims from proponents, there are several vital indications that this diet is not all that it’s suppose to be. To start, this diet plan was condemned by the American Heart Association as being “phony.” The reputable group stated that the diet doesn’t help the heart and much of the so-called ingredients or procedure may harm the heart.

Another blow to its reputation comes from The Sacred Heart Hospital in Montreal, Canada (which was one of the places the diet was rumored to have come from) issued a press release in 2004 stating: “No nutritionist at the Hospital took part in the development of this diet (Every Diet, 2008).”

Also, this diet has been around for a long time and has been incorrectly associated with other distinguished medical centers. Over the years it has been known by such names as Spokane Heart Diet, Cleveland Clinic Diet, Sacred Heart Memorial Hospital Diet (who released disclaimers), and the Miami Heart Institute Diet. All these institutes have denied any association with this diet.

Despite the warnings, however, the promise that the Sacred Heart Soup Diet Plan tries to deliver is very enticing to many dieters looking for a quick, short-term fix.

The diet also has a striking resemblance to the cabbage soup diet. This is another, short-term calorie reduction diet that was rumored to be used by a hospital (again, Sacred Heart is mentioned) to stimulate weight loss for surgery patients. Like Sacred Heart Diet, the cabbage soup diet’s origins are a mystery and cannot be verified.

Finally, its claim that dieters will lose 10-17 pounds also needs to come under close scrutiny. Many sites agree that weight-loss in the short time may happen; however, this may result from a loss of fluids and can be immediately gained back after a while.

Warnings Fall on Deaf Ears?

Despite the warnings, however, the promise that the Sacred Heart Soup Diet Plan tries to deliver is very enticing to many dieters looking for a quick, short-term fix. On a page from the website Every Diet the diet has been reviewed and judged in bold red letters, “This Diet is not recommended.”

Also, to support its argument it lists the American Heart Association’s warning and the Sacred Heart Hospital disclaimer. Yet, at the bottom of the page reserved for reader’s comments, almost everyone who responded to the article claimed that the diet worked or were willing to try it.

With those types of comments coming from the readers, this diet will be practiced by many, despite the warnings. This goes to show that a quick solution will trump disturbing facts when it comes to dieting.

from pinterest with edit from author of article
from pinterest with edit from author of article

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2017 Dean Traylor


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    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander Reno 

      3 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Thanks for sharing the soup recipe. It sounds great. I look forward to trying some of your suggestions,


    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      3 years ago from Norfolk, England

      I like the idea of the 7 day diet plan. Definitely one I will consider doing. Thankyou.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      I like your title and your presentation of the recipe! Sounds delicious to me and I would like to try this as you have suggested.

      Thanks for sharing the pictures and details!


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