In this article, we are going to expound more on frequently asked questions such as ‘what are zero-calorie foods? as well as list down some zero-calorie foods that will fill you up, and more. This is critical because we see many people simply cut their calories too low.
News flash: if you undereat, you won’t lose weight, and you could even gain weight.
What Are Zero Calorie Foods?
Also known as negative or near-zero calorie foods.
These foods do not have zero calories or do not contain calories but the fact that your body ends up burning more calories than what you consume. You can have as much of these foods as you like without any weight gain, and that’s because digesting these foods takes up more calories than what they inherently contain.
Empty calories are the ones, which when consumed generate an immense amount of calories (the main sources being fast food and refined sugar). These contain no nutritional value.
While the negative calories, come from foods that are nutritious and low on calories. They are great to be added to your diet if you want to lose weight as your body does require bare minimum calories to generate energy and sustain.
High fibre foods or those that have a low glycemic index can be called negative calorie foods. High-fibre foods fulfil two purposes. Our body takes longer to flush out fibre from the body, hence they stay in the body and delay hunger. And secondly, these zero-calorie foods release sugar slowly and so, the incidence of it turning into fat is low.
Rich in nutrition and extremely low on calories, load your plate with these delicious negative-calorie foods.
When looking up zero-calorie foods lists, apples are among the top options that you will find.
One cup (125 g) of this fruit has about 65 calories. Apples are considered great for weight loss not only because of their low food energy count but also because they are high in pectin, a type of soluble fibre that encourages weight loss, and water. The fibre present in apples also provides relief from constipation.
They are also good for your heart health as they can help lower your blood cholesterol levels. They are also said to help reduce your risk of Type II diabetes, have probiotics which promote gut health, may prevent cancer, promote bone health, and help fight against asthma.
😋Apples can be consumed as snacks or added to salads for some extra crunch, sweetness, or tartness.
One cup of kale has 8.75 calories. This dark leafy green is full of antioxidants which help counteract oxidative damage by free radicals in the body.
Kale is also high in nutrients and vitamins such as vitamin C which boosts your immunity, vitamin K which is critical for blood clotting and helps prevent heart disease and osteoporosis, magnesium which protects against type II diabetes, calcium which is essential for bone health, and potassium which has been linked to reduced blood pressure and a lower risk of heart disease.
😋Kale can be delicious raw in a salad, you don’t have to go so crunchy; add it to pasta, soups or juices, for an iron-rich boost.
One cup of celery has 14 calories. Crunchy with high water and fibre inside. An extremely high volume food, you can eat celery all day and burn more calories than you are consuming indigestion alone.
Consuming the vegetable whole gives you a slew of vitamins and minerals. The vegetable is rich in antioxidants, preventing your cells, blood vessels, and organs from oxidative damage. It contains compounds that protect against inflammation, which has been linked to many chronic illnesses, supports digestion, and is low in sodium which helps control your blood sugar.
😋Celery is often consumed in salads, added to recipes, and eaten as snacks with nut butter or hummus.
One cup (100 g) of this fruit has about 42 calories. They are low glycemic fruits making them great for people with diabetes. They also have fibre, potassium, lycopene, vitamin C and choline which contribute to your heart health by preventing high blood pressure.
They are rich in antioxidants which help lower your risk of cancer. Full of water and fibre grapefruits promote regular bowel movements and help prevent constipation. Pink and red varieties even have fat-soluble vitamins.
One cup (100 g) of cucumbers has only 15 calories with 95.23 g of water which helps keep you hydrated. Cucumbers are high in vitamin K which supports blood clotting and may support bone health. High in fibre which helps manage cholesterol and prevent related cardiovascular problems. Fibre and cucurbitacin nutrients are suspected to help lower blood sugar and stop blood glucose from rising too high.
😋Cucumbers can be added to salads, eaten as a snack alone or with nut butter and hummus for a more filling snack option.
One cup (100 g) of lettuce has only 14 calories with 95.3 g of water. If you eat lettuce raw you will burn more calories digesting than what you consume.
Lettuce by itself is a nice supply of B vitamins, fibre, iron, folate, and vitamin C. Several studies have shown that this near-zero calorie vegetable has anti-inflammatory, cholesterol-lowering, and anti-diabetic activities all attributed to the bioactive compounds in lettuce.
Choose different colours of lettuce to get different tastes. A rule of thumb is the darker the lettuce the better it is for you.
😋A key to eating lettuce is not wasting its very few calories by drenching it in heavy cream salad dressings. Use a low-fat, low-calorie oil-based dressing.
7. Lemon And Lime Juice
One wedge of lemon has only 1 calorie. Lemon and lime can be used in unlimited quantities to brighten up your meals and beverages. They fall into the bucket of zero-calorie foods because they more or less have no calories. Citrus fruits are loaded with antioxidants and, consumed whole, they are an excellent supply of fibre and vitamins. They have also been shown to have the effect of curbing an appetite.
😋Add lemon and lime to your meals and your beverages. Nothing is as refreshing as crisp lemon water, which is a popular zero-calorie drink during intermittent fasting during fasting hours.
One cup (100 g) of raw spinach has only 23 calories with 91.4 g of water. Tender and flush, this foliage is wealthy in iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium, folic acid, and fat-soluble vitamin. It additionally contains disease-fighting antioxidants carotenoid.
Classified as dark leafy greens they contain high levels of fibre. Spinach can help lower glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity, prevent oxidative stress and reduce the risk of bone fracture.
😋Spinach is often added to eggs in breakfast options or salads. Use as a substitute for lettuce in a salad to get your superfood boost.
One cup (100 g) of chopped cabbage has 25 calories. Whether green or purple leaves, cabbages are almost zero-calorie foods with impressive health benefits. They are packed with vitamin C which can boost your immune system, improve digestion, and have anthocyanins which not only make them colourful but also reduce your risk of heart attack and heart disease.
Cabbage is packed with minerals, fibres, and several other nutrients to fight cancers.
😋Whether you have it as a sabzi or a soup, you can rest assured that cabbage has given you hardly any additional calories.
One cup (149 g) of cherry tomatoes has 27 calories. What’s more, tomatoes are a rich source of protective plant compounds like lycopene. These almost zero-calorie foods have been linked to the prevention of tumour cancer development, help maintain healthy blood pressure, improve blood sugar, lipids, and insulin levels in people with type II diabetes, and improve eye health. Tomatoes contain a great amount of fibre and vitamins.
Many people are unaware that although ketchup is based on tomatoes the amount of sugar added is outrageous. Ketchup is one of the worst condiments you can use on your food.
Tomatoes are extremely versatile in cooking, though. We regularly use them for tacos, spaghetti, burgers, kebabs, and salads.
😋Tomatoes pair well with several ingredients and can be served raw, cooked, or puréed in a tomato sauce.
One cup (100 g) of broccoli has 34 calories. Broccoli is a good source of fibre and protein and contains iron, potassium, calcium, selenium, and magnesium as well as the vitamins A, C, E, K, and a good array of B vitamins, including folic acid. It contains powerful antioxidants that will improve your odds against many types of cancers.
Eating broccoli will help in boosting your immune health and improving bone health, aid digestion, and reduce inflammation. Broccoli may also help protect your cardiovascular health and manage blood sugar levels in people with type II diabetes.
We have to find the Best Way to Cook Broccoli for the Highest Health Benefits, it’s a superfood so why not fuel your body with it!
One cup (100 g) of cauliflower contains 27 calories. Cauliflower has always been considered a dietetic food as it doesn’t contain fats and is rich in vitamin C. It’s better to consume it raw, finely chopped or lightly steamed so that it remains crunchy and it will take you longer to chew which will make you feel full.
In recent years, cauliflower has become very popular as a substitute for higher-carb vegetables or grains. For example, cauliflower “rice” and cauliflower pizza crusts are popular among those on lower-carb diets.
😋Don’t often eat this zero-calorie food? We share one of our favourite and easy cauliflower Soup recipes, in our article, ‘Gut Healing Turmeric Cauliflower Soup.’ It’s perfect as a tasty, no-cook side dish.
Also Read: 10 Healthy Food Swaps For Quick Weight Loss