A balanced diet should include both foods high in calories and those low in calories.
For instance, foods heavy in healthy fats, such as eggs, nuts, seeds, and avocados, have significantly more calories than fruits and vegetables but are nevertheless extremely nutritious.
Combining calorie-dense foods such as those described above with low-calorie foods, such as fruits and vegetables, can make meals more filling and enjoyable.
In addition, replacing some high-calorie items with low-calorie foods can encourage healthy weight loss and enhance other aspects of health.
If you typically consume eggs and a donut in the morning, substituting an apple or sautéed veggies for the donut not only reduces the calorie level but also increases the vitamin and phytochemical content.
Thankfully, many low-calorie meals can be combined with more satisfying foods to create a balanced meal.
Here are foods that are very low in calories.
One cup of apple slices (109 grams) has 62 calories and about 3 grams of dietary fiber.
Apples are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium, as well as antioxidant chemicals such as the flavonoid quercetin.
Arugula is a dark, peppery-flavored leafy green.
It is widely used in salads and is an excellent source of vitamin K. In addition, it includes potassium, calcium, and folate.
One cup of arugula (20 grams) contains only 5 calories.
Asparagus is a flowering vegetable whose colors include green, white, and purple.
Asparagus is a healthful vegetable that contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory plant chemicals.
Studies indicate that asparagus includes phenolic components such as flavonoids and sulfur-containing compounds such as asparagusic acid.
A cup (180 grams) of cooked asparagus contains only 38 calories and is rich in vitamin K and folate, contributing 67% and 21% of their respective Daily Values (DVs).
They contain phytonutrients such as betalains and phenolic compounds, which may possess heart-health-enhancing qualities.
A 1-cup portion (170 grams) of cooked beets includes 74 calories, 17% of the Daily Value for folate, and 12% of the Daily Value for manganese.
According to studies, those who consume an abundance of cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, may have a reduced chance of acquiring heart disease and certain cancers.
A cup (155 grams) of cooked broccoli contains only 54 calories and more than 100 percent of the daily vitamin C requirement for most people.
Brussels sprouts resemble miniature cabbages and can be consumed raw or cooked.
Similar to broccoli, Brussels sprouts are a cruciferous vegetable. They are an exceptional source of vitamin C, a substance that protects cells from oxidative damage.
One cooked cup of these nutritional powerhouses (155 grams) offers only 70 calories and 129% of the Daily Value for vitamin C.
Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable that is available in multiple colors, including green, red, and white. It is a common element in slaws and salads and the star of fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi.
It contains relatively few calories, only 22 per cup (89 grams).
Carrots Although orange types are the most common, carrots are available in a range of colors, from white to purple.
Carrots are rich in carotenoids, such as lutein and beta carotene, which are essential for healthy vision, immunological function, and other functions. Certain carotenoids, notably beta carotene, are transformed within the body to the active form of vitamin A.
A 1-cup portion of sliced carrots (122 grams) contains only 50 calories and more than 100 percent of the daily value for vitamin A.
Cauliflower normally consists of a white head surrounded by green leaves. Heads of uncommon varieties are purple, orange, and yellow.
In recent years, cauliflower has gained popularity as an alternative for vegetables and cereals with a greater carbohydrate content. Low-carb dieters are fond of cauliflower “rice” and cauliflower pizza crusts, for instance.
A cup of cooked cauliflower (155 grams) contains 40 calories and only 8 grams of carbohydrates.
Due to its high water content, celery contains extremely few calories. Try combining celery sticks with natural peanut butter and raisins for a satisfying blend of protein, fat, and fiber in a traditional snacking combination.
Celery contains only 17 calories per cup (120 grams).
Chard is a leafy green that is available in a number of variants. Vitamin K is an essential ingredient for good blood coagulation and bone health.
One cup of chard (36 grams) contains only 7 calories and 249% of the daily value for vitamin K.
Clementines resemble little oranges. They are a popular snack in the United States and are recognized for their high vitamin C content.
One piece of fruit (74 grams) has 40% of the daily value for vitamin C and only 35 calories.
Cucumbers are a common ingredient in salads and are a delicious vegetable. In addition to flavoring water with fruits and herbs, they serve as a low-calorie base for high-protein dishes like chicken salad.
Cucumbers are extremely low in calories due to their high water content; a half-cup (52 grams) contains only 8 calories.
Fennel is a bulbous, slightly licorice-flavored vegetable. It is an excellent source of a variety of nutrients, including vitamin C and potassium. Fennel seeds are used to provide an anise flavor to foods.
Fennel is edible raw, roasted, and cooked. It enhances the flavor of foods such as roast chicken and risotto. The calorie content of 1 cup (87 grams) of raw fennel is 27.
Grapefruits are citrus fruits renowned for their sour taste. They can be had alone or atop yogurt, salad, or even fish.
Citrus fruits, such as grapefruits, are abundant in nutrients and plant chemicals with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Including citrus fruits in your diet may therefore benefit your heart, brain, and other organs.
There are 37 calories in a grapefruit half (123 grams).