Market racks cherish all sorts of low-calorie diet foods. You will find a bright glossy label that figuratively shouts out whether the product is low in calories, sugar-free, low-fat, or worth too many points.
But just because they’re low in calories and claimed to be good for weight watching doesn’t mean they really are good for you.
You look at your weight and still want to eat good food. However, do not sacrifice good nutrition while trimming your waistline. These natural foods are nutritious, versatile, and extremely low in calories, so you’ll never have to settle for a highly processed “diet” junk food again.
*All calorie values and nutritional information is currently validated and verified in the USDA Food Data Central database.
Kale is incredibly nutritious. It is rich in most vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and calcium. It is also an excellent source of fiber and contains beneficial antioxidants. It’s no wonder that kale is on almost every list of superfoods. In terms of calories, 1 cup of raw chopped kale is as low as 7.8 calories. Perfect for large salads and side dishes.
Arugula is another green leafy vegetable rich in several vitamins and minerals, including beta-carotene, vitamin C, folic acid, vitamin K and magnesium. Two cups of arugula have only 10 calories, so it’s perfect for large salads (fresh fruits, nuts, and light dressings). Alternatively, the arugula can be wilted with a little olive oil and garlic and served as a side dish.
Carrots are suitable for all healthy diets due to their variety and a mild taste. It is not as bitter as other vegetables and can be served as a side dish or raw as an appetizer or snack. Carrots are rich in vitamins A and C and provide potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, folic acid, vitamin E, and vitamin K. One cup of sliced carrot is about 50 calories.
Who needs a sweet dessert when you have a nice pile of strawberries? Strawberries are high in vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. And they are diet-friendly. One cup of strawberry slices has 49 calories.
Scallops are great for a healthy weight loss diet. They are low in calories and provide protein, minerals, and vitamin B-12. Two large scallops have only about 36 calories. Enjoy sautéed scallops along with a little lemon, cooked greens, or a large salad for a low-calorie dinner.
Blueberries are very high in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They are also naturally low in calories. One cup of fresh blueberries is 84 calories. You can turn blueberries into a low-calorie dessert, add them to cereals, or use them in smoothies.
Clementine is a cute orange that is easy to peel off and very delicious. Rich in vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and low in calories (35 calories for each clementine). They are a great addition to an afternoon snack or a healthy breakfast.
Watermelons are a classic summer picnic for good reason. Watermelon is sweet and refreshing. Watermelon is also an excellent source of potassium in addition to vitamins A and C, has low calories, and a cup of watermelon has only 46 calories. Serve watermelon as a delicious sweet afternoon snack or as a healthy dessert after dinner.
Broccoli is a member of the vegetable crucifer family, all rich in nutrients and antioxidants. Broccoli is especially rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, manganese, and potassium. It is also high in fiber and completely low in calories. One cup of chopped broccoli contains only 31 calories.
Spinach can be used as a healthy side dish or as a base for salads. Spinach contains iron and some vitamins. One cup of raw spinach has only 7 calories, and one cup of cooked spinach has about 65 calories.
Green beans usually don’t seem to get much attention, but this is too bad because they provide vitamins A and C along with minerals, B vitamins, and fiber. Of course, they also have low calories. One cup of cooked kidney beans has only 44 calories.
Skinless red chicken breast is also an excellent source of protein, which also contains niacin, selenium, and vitamin B-12. A 3-ounce portion of chicken breast has about 100 calories before being cooked. Keep chicken low in calories in combination with other healthy ingredients. Also, remember the size of the part. One serving of chicken breast is about the size of one card.
Grapefruit is a healthy citrus fruit that contains potassium, vitamins C and A, and fiber. It is also low in calories. Half of the grapefruit has 52 calories. Grapefruit can be sweetened for breakfast or eaten as a snack.
Cod has a milder flavor and fewer calories than oily sea fish such as salmon and tuna. A 3-ounce portion of cooked cod is about 90 calories (baked, not fried). Cod is also rich in vitamin B-12, niacin, selenium, and protein.
There are many types of mushrooms, and they all have slightly different nutritional values. Some are rich in vitamin D, such as chanterelles, but mushrooms are generally a good source of B vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Mushroom calories are very low. One cup of raw white mushroom has only 15 calories. Mushrooms can be added to salads and used as ingredients in various recipes.
Swiss chard is another leafy vegetable with a nutritious, low calorie, colorful stem. 1 cup chopped char is 35 calories, but it also contains calcium, iron, potassium, vitamins A, C, and K. Swiss chard does not require a lot of work to prepare, it is boiled, a little olive oil and white balsamic vinegar.
Cauliflower is related to broccoli and kale and lacks the dark green pigments found in other cruciferous vegetables, but is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Since 1 cup of chopped cauliflower has only 25 calories, it can be served as a steamed side dish or served raw with a dip of light vegetables.
Tomatoes contain vitamins A and C, many B vitamins, and some minerals. In addition, it has a lot of fibers and is perfectly suitable for dieting. One tomato has about 35 calories. Add tomato slices to salads and sandwiches, or add a handful of cherry tomato snacks. Another low-calorie option is the serving of 5 cherry tomatoes with a total of 20 calories.
Zucchini can be served raw as an appetizer or snack, or they can be sauteed with a little olive oil for a healthy low-calorie side dish. One cup of chopped zucchini is 20-30 calories. It is also rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
A pile of fresh celery sticks can be a great addition to a plate of raw vegetables, or topped with small peanut butter and eaten as a healthy snack. Celery contains fiber, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C and is low in calories. One long celery stem has 10 calories, and 1 cup chopped celery has only about 19 calories.
The radish has a peppery flavor and a pleasant crunch and can be intriguing to a salad or served with a light vegetable dip or hummus. Radish contains vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin K, and some minerals. And they are crazy in calories. There is 1 calorie per radish.