Zero-calorie foods that aid in weight loss?!
Sounds absurd, right?
But they do exist.
Who says “You can’t have your cake and eat it too”? Though zero calorie cake remains a fantasy, there are low-calorie foods that fill you up and costs nothing calorie-wise.
The theory behind these foods is that our bodies will spend more calories in digesting and absorbing nutrients from them than the total amount of calories they provide.
With that being said, let’s see how you can start eating your way to a happier body.
21 Zero-Calorie Foods for Weight Loss
One of the most popular and healthiest fruits on the planet, apples are highly nutritious and are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and a high amount of fiber.
This high fiber content in apples make them particularly filling and you eat fewer calorie than you normally would. This makes them a great fruit for losing weight.
A delightful snack, juicy and delicious are the words that come to my mind when it comes to oranges.
As you may already know, oranges are an excellent source of Vitamin C but do you also know they are a great source of Vitamin B, Potassium, calcium and fiber? Oranges also have the benefit of lowering the risk of heart failure due to their copper content as a copper deficiency can lead to heart failure.
Quite similar to oranges, grapefruits are packed with antioxidants and vitamins.
Grapefruits also have the benefit of lowering the cholesterol levels in the body due to the pectin they contain.
Do you know cucumber is actually a fruit, not a vegetable?
No matter if it is a fruit or vegetable, this refreshing salad item is great for your body because they contain a variety of phytonutrients that reduce cholesterol levels(definitely good) in the body.
If that’s not enough, cucumbers are also rich in Vitamin K and various minerals. They are great for your digestive system too as they have high water and fiber content.
Oh, yummy strawberries! Strawberries are an extremely popular fruit and one of my favorites.
They are highly versatile and can be used anywhere be it in breakfast, baked goods or even salads and make them delicious. And they are very very healthy.
Strawberries are rich in antioxidants and polyphenols which help in lowering the risk of heart disease. What more, a cup of strawberry (100 gms) contains just over 30 calories. Some fruits are just amazing for weight loss?
6. Sugar Snap Peas
They are a delicious variety of peas and got the name because they have a very sweet flavor. But, they do not contain sugar or even remotely taste like sugar.
Sugar snap peas are highly nutritious and contain Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin B, and a ton of other minerals that your body needs.
Usually, they are eaten raw or stir-fried, but you can try them roasted or baked as well. I don’t like to eat them raw.
7. White Mushrooms
Love Mushrooms? Then, good news for you. 1 cup (70gm) of white mushroom contains just 16 calories. They make an amazing zero calorie food packed full of nutrition.
White Mushroom contains Ergothioneine which helps protect immune cells from oxidative damage (definitely good) and also lowers the risk of oxidative stress.
Mushrooms are extremely rich in minerals and contain a lot of B-complex Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, and B12.
Broccoli might be one of the most hated vegetables for kids around the world but it’s certainly one of the most nutritious vegetables on the planet.
And if you are trying to lose weight and eat healthier then broccoli should be at the very top of your grocery list. At a low-calorie count of 30 cals per cup(91 gm), broccoli is jam-packed with Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, fiber, omega-3s, protein and a host of other minerals.
But wait, that’s not all.
Broccoli also performs these wonders:
- Helps with oxidative stress.
- Detoxifies the body
- Lowers inflammation
If that’s not enough, broccoli also lowers cholesterol levels and help reduce the risk of cancer.
With all these benefits, there is no doubt why it’s called a superfood.
What’s a better snack than watermelon on a hot summer day? It keeps the job of filling you up and keeping you hydrated very well due to the amount of water it contains.
And 1 cup (100 gms) of watermelon contains just 30 calories and is also packed with antioxidants.
That being said, you should not go too crazy with it and eat 4-5 watermelons in a day or it can harm your weight loss journey.
10. Romaine Lettuce
A dieter’s dream, romaine lettuce contains just 8 calories per cup (50 gms). Even though it’s low in fiber, it packs an enormous amount of nutrition value.
Romaine lettuces are also highly beneficial for heart health due to folic acid, vitamin C, beta-carotene and potassium they contain.
And you thought lettuces don’t provide much nutrition.
Asparagus is extremely rich in Vitamin K, folate, copper, fiber and Vitamin B1.
Not only it’s low in calories (1 cup(134 gms) has only 27 calories), it contains a lot of soluble and insoluble fiber which helps you feel satiated, making it beneficial for weight loss.
Asparagus contains Vitamin E, an important antioxidant which helps strengthen your immune system. And our body absorbs Vitamin E better when it’s eaten alongside some fat.
So, cook it with olive oil as it’s a healthy fat and make your body absorb vitamin E better.
A cup (100 grams) of carrot contains just 40 calories and contains a high amount of fiber which aids in weight loss.
You already know carrots are beneficial for good eyesight, but did you know that they are a natural diuretic which helps in digestion.
Celery is one of the first food that comes to people’s mind when they think about zero calorie foods. After all, it’s one of the most well known low-calorie foods.
Due to its high water content and insoluble fiber in stalks, it’s naturally low in calories. There are only 16 calories in 1 cup(100 grams) of celery.
Another food which kids try to keep away from their plates just like broccoli. Cauliflower is an excellent source of Vitamin C and K along with a large number of antioxidants.
The best way to eat cauliflower is to cook it as cooking releases the nutrition trapped behind cell walls, thereby making it more nutritious when it’s cooked.
When one cup (128 grams) contain just 29 calories, it becomes a good food option for those who want to lose weight.
Another superfood on the list, Kale is one of the most nutrient dense food on the planet with just 18 cals per cup (67 grams).
Kale tops the list when it comes to food containing lutein which happens to be powerful phytonutrient. Why is it awesome? Because it improves eye health and protects a different part of eyes from potential damage by light or oxygen. That’s not it, it also helps fight off many forms of cancer.
Kale contains an enormous amount of Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, minerals and antioxidants. It has also been shown to help lower cholesterol levels.
Combine it with lentils and you are bringing outstanding nutrient richness to your table.
I know what you are thinking, so don’t worry you are not going to just eat a lemon. It’s very sour and tart. The best way to consume a lemon is to mix it in a glass of water and drink it.
Like other citrus fruits, they are packed with vitamin C and are great for your digestive system.
In recent years, spiralizing zucchini to use as a healthy substitute for noodles has become very popular due to its low calorie and high nutritional value. With just 14 cals per cup (100 grams) and 94% water, zucchini recipes are indeed good for weight loss.
Zucchini is an abundant source of magnesium and Vitamin C which helps in reducing blood pressure and keeping the heart strong.
17. Brussels Sprouts
Resembling mini cabbages, brussels sprouts are nutritional powerhouses and can be eaten raw or cooked.
Brussels sprouts are a great source of Vitamin K, Vitamin C, manganese, fiber, and folate. It also contains Glucosinolate which happens to be an important phytonutrient. Why is it important? Because they are the chemical starting points for a variety of cancer-protective substances.
And Cancer is definitely bad.
Another huge benefit is that brussels sprouts contain a ton of fiber so if you aren’t feeling regular in that area, brussels sprouts can give your body the push that it needs.
Onions are popular as they are enjoyed in virtually every part of the world. It makes a meal complete and you will hardly find any mean that wouldn’t benefit having onions in it.
Onions are extremely good for your health because they help with your cardiovascular system, blood sugar balance, and some types of cancer.
19. Bell Peppers
Similar to onions, bell peppers are highly versatile in the kitchen. You can sauté them with onions, use them sliced or diced in salads, soups, casseroles, stuffed, grilled, placed on sandwiches, or simply sliced for a fresh and crunchy snack.
They are particularly high in antioxidants and Vitamin C (green peppers contain twice as much Vitamin C as orange). However, red peppers are most nutritious of all having 11 times more beta-carotene, about two times more Vitamin C and ten times more Vitamin A than the first-harvested green bell pepper.
Spinach always reminds me of Popeye from Popeye the sailor man. That was a good toon show as it tricked us into thinking spinach makes us super strong. And it’s somewhat true too.
As spinach is loaded with vitamins and minerals and is very low in calories, a cup of spinach contains just 20 calories. Routine intake of spinach can also help lower obesity which means better health.
One of the most popular vegetables in the world, tomatoes can be eaten raw, cooked or even pureed in a tomato sauce.
Tomatoes are best known for their high concentration of beneficial compound lycopene.
What’s the benefit of lycopene? Lycopene helps defend against cancer, inflammation and heart disease.
The Bottom Line
There are many zero-calorie foods and you might even be well aware of the health benefits of many of these foods. But, now you also know that these foods have an added benefit of helping you lose weight.
So, let me know how you incorporate these foods into your diet.
And if you like the post, don’t forget to share it!