What are low-calorie foods? Most people take special care of their calorie intake when trying to lose weight. A calorie is a measure of energy stored in foods or the tissues of your body. One of the great recommendations for weight loss is to use more of your stored calories through physical activity and focus on eating fewer calories. Similarly, some foods have become popular in some weight-loss diets as they have meagre calories, which means that you can burn calories by eating them. From skin to metabolism, they are beneficial for many things. A portion of low-calorie food is a food product that does not have the potential to provide required calories but in turn burns more calories than it gives to eat, digest and process the food product. Some examples of low-calorie foods in our diet are carrots, tomatoes, cucumber, cabbage, lemon, watermelon, apple, to name a few.
Here are 14 types of low-calorie foods
Whatever food we eat, it costs energy to chew and digest it. Some food items are very low calorie. In such a situation, the glucose and fat already present in the body have to be spent to digest them. Low-calorie food is said to be the food that the energy spent on digesting is much less than the energy available from them. For this reason, eating them provides calories but does not gather fat; instead, it removes fat through energy.
- Cabbage: Cabbage helps a lot in fighting heart disease and cancer. Cabbage also contains high amounts of vitamins A and C, which are very useful in reducing weight. Leafy cabbage contains tartaric acid, which prevents sugar and carbohydrates from being converted into fat. Consumption of cabbage through soup is better. This also makes it filling and reduces calories—total calories of 25 calories (per 100g).
- Cauliflower: Cauliflower is rich in vitamin 'C' and calcium, which helps in soaking up the chemical elements in the body and enhancing the metabolic system. The amount of fibre and water present in this type of cabbage is high, which means that you feel full for a long time and avoid overeating. Be sure to include green cauliflower four times a week in your diet. Total calories 25 (per 100g).
- Watermelon: Despite being sweet, watermelon has low calories. Watermelon also helps in controlling weight by removing the fat inside the blood vessels. The antioxidant elements present in watermelon provide more benefits to the body. The secret of the watermelon's nutrients is hidden in the secretion chemicals found in its juice—total calories 46 calories (150 grams) per cup, 91% water.
- Ridge gourd: Luffa has very little saturated fat, cholesterol and calories, which help lose weight. Besides, zinc, iron, riboflavin, magnesium, thiamine, phosphorus and fibre are found in abundance. Along with keeping the luffa hydrated, you also nourish it with a variety of vitamins such as folate, vitamins C, A and potassium. It helps in reducing sugar levels in both blood and urine—total calories 56 (per 100g).
- Apple: It is an excellent option for fat burning, as it contains plenty of fibre. The pectin present in the apple prevents body cells from absorbing fat. Apple does not allow excess fat to accumulate in the body. One apple a day protects your body from the absorption of extra calories and carbohydrates. Total calories: 53 calories (110 grams) per cup, 86% water.
- Tomatoes: Tomato is one of the primary sources of vitamin C that aids in weight loss. Tomato contains elements that reduce hunger hormones, hence making your stomach full. Lycopene, vitamin A and potassium are found in abundance, which reduces the risk of heart disease. Total calories 94% water, 32 calories per cup (180 grams).
- Beetroot: If you consume beetroot for low calories, then keep in mind that it can be consumed raw as well as you can steam, boil or grill it. If you eat it pickled with peppers, then it can increase the calorie intake slightly. In addition to low-calorie beet antioxidants, it helps in keeping the body healthy—total calories 43 (per 100g).
- Onion: Onions are mostly used in salads or cooking. They not only increase the taste of food but also reduces weight as well as prevents diseases like diabetes and blood pressure. This helps in lowering cholesterol. Onion contains sufficient amount of Calcine and Riboflavin (Vitamin B.Total calories 40 (per 100g).
- Orange: Oranges are known for vitamin C but have the least calories compared to other fruits. Orange helps in weight loss. Being rich in fibre and vitamin C, it improves metabolism, its regular intake during the season reduces obesity, and you can lose weight without dieting. Total calories 47 (per 100g).
- Carrot: Carrot intake is beneficial to reduce the fat stored on the body. Carrot juice increases the ability of the liver to work. Carrot juice also helps in reducing weight. This will reduce the fat stored on the body—total calories of 52 calories (130 grams) per cup, 88% water.
- Cucumber: Cucumbers helps in losing weight naturally as it contains ninety per cent of water and mostly used in salads. It has anti-oxidant vitamins such as A, C and E, which breaks down fat cells in your body. Total calories 8 calories (50 grams) per cup, 95% water.
- Mushroom: If you like to eat mushrooms, then this is good for your weight. They contain nutrients such as potassium, selenium, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin D, which provide rich nutrition and help control weight—total calories 22 (per 100g).
- Parsley: Parsley is rich in vitamins A, B and C, potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, iron, sodium and fibre. Also, it does not allow to feel hungry for long, which does not cause weight gain—total calories 36 (per 100g).
- Lemon: You cannot eat lemon as a fruit or vegetable to reduce calories. But by squeezing it in water, you can reduce the calories in the body. The antioxidants in it keep you healthy—total calories 29 (per 100g).
Health benefits of consuming low-calorie food
Low-calorie foods usually have a low energy density and are water-rich foods that increase the feeling of being full, thus reducing more consumption of food and keeping you healthy.
- Beneficial for skin: Since each of these foods contains calories, the question is whether your body uses more calories to process these foods. In such a situation, if you eat low-calorie foods instead of fried foods, then it can be better for you. It helps to keep your skin glowing and hydrated. At the same time, it helps cleanse the stomach, which keeps all skin pores clean.
- Detox the body: Low-calorie foods are mainly made up of water and carbs, which have very little fat or protein. Calories are about 5 to 10% of the food, with carbohydrates and fats containing 5–5% and for proteins, it is 20–30%. These water-based foods help to detox the body quickly compared to other carb-based foods.
- Can relieve constipation: When you eat something that contains a lot of water, it helps to improve your digestion. These are easily digested, i.e. your digestive system does not have to take much effort to digest them. So try to add these low-calorie foods to your diet and make yourself healthy.
- Can be used as workout foods: Low calories, i.e. watery things, can also serve as a workout diet. You can add these watery fruits to your diet before or after exercise. You can eat it after waking up in the morning, and you can consume it for breakfast even after returning from training.
Nutritional facts related to low-calorie foods
- Low-calorie diet: When following a diet, it gets difficult for people to eat less, but with low-calorie foods, one can turn the tables around. One can eat more food with low calories because it's digestion requires more calories than the energy it contains. While it is true that most of these foods are nutritious, they burn off the calories of eating the rest. Low calories are those foods that are nutritious and low in calories.
- Low-calorie foods burn calories: By consuming these foods, the body burns more calories than average. Therefore, it avoids adding extra calories, which would otherwise occur when one eats empty calorie foods such as junk food. These foods with high fibre and water content are low in calories and require more energy in their digestion. Foods promoted as low-calories are typically fruits and vegetables with high water content.
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