The Netflix hit series claims this food is the secret to weight loss in France—but is it true?
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Lily Collins next to a sparkling leak
Credit: Getty Images / Kimberly White / Image Source

Warning: This article contains spoilers about Emily in Paris Season 2!

Touted by some as a French rendition of Sex and the City, the Netflix original series Emily in Paris has stolen viewers' hearts across the globe. Emily, played by actress and musician Lily Collins, works at a marketing firm that has sent her to Paris for a year where she navigates the ups and downs of the city as an American expat. It's lighthearted, fashion-forward and totally binge-worthy if you need to pass some extra time at home. 

The show recently released their second season (and it was just renewed for Seasons 3 and 4), and one particular episode caught our eye. In Season 2, Episode 4, there is a focus on one of our favorite root vegetables: the leek. The marketing team at Savoir (where Emily works) is tasked with marketing the humble veg in a modern way that will resonate with an American audience. 

During Savoir's presentation, several ideas are pitched to the client, from  leeks in bags to suggest they're sleek and transportable, leeks being cooked, and even an angle with a handsome chef making leeks. But the winning pitch arrives when the marketing team realizes that leeks are used to make a popular weight-loss soup in France. They refer to it as "magic leek soup" that people in France make by boiling leeks, discarding the solids and drinking the remaining water. It is credited with helping French people keep a svelte shape. But is this actually true? Is leek water the "secret" to weight loss? We dive into the science to see how true to reality this episode is. 

In short, leeks or leek water are likely not the sole answer to your weight-loss-related goals. That said, leeks are a nutritious vegetable, and there are several reasons to include them on your plate. One important type of fiber found in leeks is called fructans, which is a prebiotic, and one leek boasts an impressive 10 grams of it. Prebiotics are fibers that we can't digest that become food the good bacteria in our digestive tract needs to flourish. One cup of leeks also has 35% of your daily needs of vitamin K and 12% of your needs of vitamin C. But if you boil the leeks and strain out the solids, you will likely not be getting many of the beneficial fibers or nutrients. Not to mention, we can think of several more delicious ways to make leeks, like oven-braising them, adding them to your favorite gnocchi recipe or turning them into potato-leek soup (though the purist leek farmer in the marketing meeting was not a fan of this one). 

To be very clear, there are many other indicators of good health beyond weight and weight loss, such as your hydration level, quality of sleep, stress levels and more. But if weight loss is your goal, it is important to focus on a balanced, healthy lifestyle that is sustainable for you. Like other sitcoms, Emily in Paris is a fictional show, and eating what a celebrity or actor eats will not make you look like them. If you have tried and enjoyed leek water (aka "magic leek soup"), then it is a fine addition to your eating pattern. But there is no need to drink it in hopes that it will become the "secret" to your weight loss.