zero-calorie foods

Eat Your Way To Weight Loss With These 12 Zero-Calorie Foods

Calories — they’re the bane of our existence. If you’ve been trying to watch your weight, eating healthy can be quite a challenge. There is a variety of nutritious food available across cuisines, that’s true, but finding food that is low in calories can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Thankfully, zero-calorie foods can come to your rescue! Contrary to what the name suggests, these aren’t foods with zero calories — instead, they have near zero or extremely low calories. Here is a list of some excellent zero-calorie foods that’ll give your body the nutrients it needs to thrive while helping you lose weight.

#1. Teas: 0 Calories


Teas — particularly those high in polyphenols — offer a plethora of health benefits. They can help prevent diseases, boost your immune system, improve your metabolic rate, boost your brainpower, and help you burn calories faster. They can also help you sleep better at night.

You can incorporate black, green, or herbal teas into your diet to soothe your cravings without adding a couple of inches to your waist.

#2. Kale: 8.75 Calories/Cup


A superfood like no other, kale is a nutrient-rich food that is extremely healthy. This dark leafy green is antioxidant-rich and is also high in nutrients such as vitamins C and K, magnesium, and potassium.

It can boost your immunity, improve heart health, strengthen your bones, as well as reduce your risk of heart disease. Commonly added to salads, kale is an excellent vegetable to incorporate into your diet.

#3. Tomatoes: 3.61 – 22+ Calories/Tomato


Tomatoes are a good source of fiber and vitamins C and K. They also contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that can protect from cell damage, stroke, and heart diseases. Tomatoes can also help you maintain healthy blood pressure, improve blood sugar and insulin levels, and improve heart health.

You can eat tomatoes raw, cooked, and even pureed! Use them in salads or add them to tacos, burgers, and other dishes, or use them to make bruschetta for a healthy and tasty snack. Just make sure you don’t use tomato ketchup as it has too much sugar to be considered healthy.

#4. Lettuce: 5 Calories/Cup


Lettuce is a great source of nutrients like iron, folate, fiber, and vitamin K. It reduces inflammation, lowers cholesterol levels, improves bone strength, improves eye health (vision), and may also be beneficial for those with diabetes.

You can make a salad with raw lettuce, use it as a wrap, sear, saute, or grill it to serve as a side dish, or use it in soup. Just make sure you don’t serve it with a high-calorie main dish as that would be the opposite of what you’re trying to gain. You can also opt for dark lettuce instead of the lighter variety to get a boost of protein and iron.

#5. Spinach: 7 Calories/Cup


Spinach, a superfood, is rich in calcium, iron, folic acid, vitamin A, and fat-soluble protein. It can help lower glucose levels, prevent oxidative stress, increase insulin sensitivity, improve eye health, and reduce the risk of bone fracture. Additionally, the carotenoid and thylakoid found in spinach can also provide antioxidant benefits and suppress your hunger and food cravings.

You can use the tender, nutritious spinach in salads, omelets, and even smoothies. You can also stir it in soups, stews, and other liquid-based dishes. However you choose to add spinach into your diet, it’s bound to leave you satiated without piling on the calories.

#6. Mushrooms: 15 Calories/Cup


Mushrooms contain minerals, vitamins, and immune-boosting antioxidants. They may prove useful in mitigating the risk of certain health conditions like Alzheimer’s, cancer, and diabetes, making them a good ingredient to add to your diet.

You can sauté mushrooms and serve them on their own or with a side, use them in salads, omelets, sandwiches, soups, or as a pizza topping — the possibilities are endless. They’ll keep your health in check while giving you a long-lasting energy boost.

#7. Celery: 16 Calories/Cup


Celery is essentially 75% water. It’s a high-volume food that is rich in fiber and vitamins and can boost your metabolism, protect you against oxidative stress, help you burn calories, and keep you feeling full for longer.

Celery is a great snack to munch on or make soup with. You can serve it with natural peanut butter to give your diet a protein boost or with a fat-free dip to tantalize your taste buds.

#8. Cauliflower: 17 Calories/Cup


Cauliflower, which comes in purple, orange, and yellow-colored heads, is yet another superfood that should make its way into your diet. It is packed with cancer-fighting nutrients and can prevent constipation, lower your risk of colon cancer, and help maintain a healthy digestive tract.

You can mash steamed cauliflower and mix it with milk and seasonings to create a healthier alternative to mashed potatoes, rice it to substitute for higher-carb grains, or use it to make a low-carb pizza crust.

#9. Carrots: 22 Calories/Cup


Carrots are full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant carotenoids. They can help protect you against osteoporosis, regulate your digestion, reduce your risk of getting certain types of cancers and cardiovascular issues, and help keep blood sugar levels under control.

You can add crunchy and sweet carrots to salads or in soups and stews. You can also serve this nutritious veggie as a simple but delicious side.

#10. Cabbage: 22 Calories/Cup


Cabbage, a low-calorie veggie, is packed with vitamins, minerals, folate, and fibers and has various health benefits. It contains several nutrients that have anti-cancer properties and contains anthocyanins, which can reduce your risk of heart attack and protect you against heart diseases. It can also boost your immune system and improve your digestion.

You can enjoy green, red, or purple-leaved cabbage in salads and slaw, use it to make stews and soups, or make fermented dishes like sauerkraut.

#11. Asparagus: 27 Calories/Cup


Asparagus is a powerhouse. It contains vitamins, minerals, iron, protein, and high levels of amino acids. It also contains lots of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory plant compounds to improve overall health by ensuring digestive health.

You can steam or grill your asparagus, add some seasonings, and munch on it for a healthy snack or add it to soups, salads, stir-fries, or scrambled eggs and serve it as a side to spruce up your meals.

#12. Broccoli: 31 Calories/Cup


Broccoli is chock full of fiber, vitamins, proteins, and minerals. It also contains powerful antioxidants that can help minimize your risk and give you better odds against certain types of cancers and heart diseases. It helps boost your immune health, aids digestion, reduces inflammation, and manages blood sugar levels.

You can steam, sauté, and even grill broccoli! This versatile superfood also makes a fine addition to stir-fry and breakfast omelets.

AboutRibana Hategan

Ribana is a certified pastry chef and passionate home cook who curates and develops recipes that are high on nutrition. She develops and tests cost effective, nutritious meals using quality ingredients to help people better their everyday eating experiences.