So, you were searching for the best low calorie diet foods and you just happened to land here, well, today is your lucky day. If you are searching for the best foods to eat on a low calorie diet, that means you are either thinking about going on a diet (good for you!) or you have been dieting already but you are suffering from occasional hunger and don’t want your efforts to go to waste by eating that last slice of pizza you have been eyeing for some time now -yes, I can see you-. Fortunately, foods that contain virtually low to no calories do exist. How do I know? Well, I have been on that weight loss roller coaster before and I know it’s not fun at all! I had to deal with both the psychological and physical effects of my body fighting against me to force me to eat, the occasional hunger that hits you out of nowhere and of course the intense cravings where you start reevaluating your life and ask yourself if losing weight is even worth it! So in turn, I went on a quest to find low calorie foods that are either delicious or will at least fill me up and suppress this outrageous hunger I am experiencing. Fortunately, I stumbled upon foods that are both delicious and low in calories.
In addition, you might be asking yourself why the best low calorie diet foods list always contains vegetables or “raw boring foods” that not many enjoy. Well, I am here to day to change this thought, however, I partially agree. Reason why we are usually bored with any list of best low calorie diet foods because of social and behavioral patterns that we cannot possibly escape. But this is another article for another day.
To save you the hassle of searching online, reading an article after the other only to see the same foods repeated, check out this list of the top 12 best low calorie diet foods that have amazing health benefits:
Keep in mind the list below is organized based on calorie count AND taste, not just one or the other. Thus, the list is in a descending order. And although taste is an objective matter, we can all agree that Greek Yogurt will taste better than raw spinach to most people.
Another thing to keep in mind is that while I have not included many vegetables on this list, vegetables in general are extremely healthy, satiating due to their low caloric content and you would have to eat tons of them to without adding up to any significant number of calories, thanks to their voluminous effect.
Yes, I know that Radish is boring. And no, I won’t only recommend vegetables, I promise. However, here is why you should consider eating plenty of radish.
So why would you eat radish (red or white, doesn’t matter)? Here is why:
- Radish is extremely low in calories since it’s mostly made up of water.
- 100 grams of radish have only 16 calories! Or to make your life easier, a medium sized radish has about 2 calories.
- Has a somewhat neutral flavor, thus it’s very easy to add to any of your favorite plates or even it raw with a sandwich or a snack without sacrificing your caloric budget.
- Radish is full of fiber! With half of it’s caloric content coming from fiber, that’s a steal.
- Has a good amount of the often neglected electrolyte, potassium, in addition to many other minerals such as calcium and zinc.
- Full of antioxidants and folate.
- Blends very well with most types of salads and adds a unique flavor to them.
Apparently, Popeye knew what he was doing all along. The classic cartoon character would be popping cans of spinach like they were apple juice, but I don’t blame him and here is why:
- Spinach and dark green leafy vegetables in general have an abundance of the hard to consume vitamin K. If you do not know how hard it is to get vitamin K, check this study out.
- Only 7 calories per cup! Or in other words, 30 grams of spinach yields about 7 calories of energy, not bad given the fact that spinach won’t weigh much.
- Delicious! Especially if you add some lemon juice, mustard and Parmesan goat cheese to it. Yummy!
- Has a good amount of protein and fiber. (No wonder Popeye was so strong)
- Rich in calcium, potassium, phosphorus and iron.
- Try mixing up some spinach with tomatoes, lemon juice and your favorite berries. I know it sounds yucky, but it’s fantastic!
You don’t need to be a bodybuilder to know how beneficial broccoli is. In case you don’t know why you should eat broccoli, let me help you out:
- Broccoli is full of antioxidants.
- Broccoli is extremely satiating due to it’s high fiber and water content.
- Broccoli has an abundance of vitamin K, vitamin C and vitamin A which are crucial to a strong immune system and excellent blood circulation.
- Broccoli is delicious if cooked right. Try this broccoli soup and never look back.
- Try half steaming broccoli and add some part skim mozzarella or cheddar cheese on top of it then let it melt, thank me later!
- 100 grams of broccoli have only 34 calories.
No, pumpkins are not just for Halloween decorations, I promise. Pumpkins have the potential to be very delicious, only if we give them the chance. Anyway, some quick facts and benefits of pumpkins:
- Pumpkins are full of beta carotene which is a potent antioxidant.
- Pumpkins are rich in vitamin E, an essential “blood thinner” that is crucial for blood circulation and prevents against blood clots.
- Green pumpkins have a neutral flavor while ripe orange pumpkins have a natural sweet taste that you will enjoy.
- Perfect for baking for extra sweetness.
- 100 grams of pumpkins just have 26 calories!
- Some studies have claimed improvements in blood glucose levels, however, that study was conducted on rats and further research is needed.
- Puree some pumpkins, add some whip cream and peanuts then let it sit in the fridge for half an hour. Bon Appetit!
I love cranberries for the simple fact that they are berries! I love all kinds of berries, and I am proud to admit so.
- Cranberries have a high satiating index thanks to their fiber content, naturally low fructose content and high water content.
- You can eat tons of cranberries and the calories won’t pile up. This is because 1.5 cups of cranberries merely have 70 calories! I am talking about raw cranberries here, people.
- Rich in vitamin A and K.
- Try pureeing some, add some sugar or zero calorie sweetener to taste. Enjoy.
- Try adding some cranberries with a zero calorie sweetener to some cottage cheese or fat free greek yogurt (you’re welcome).
- Blueberries or any other kinds of berries could also be considered best low calorie diet foods, so go have some.
I think whoever made the first liquid egg whites product was a genius! Thank you for saving us the hassle and mess of separating the yolk from the rest of the egg, we salute you.
- Liquid egg whites are full of protein, no sh*t! (Usually 6 grams of protein per 1/4 cup)
- 1/4 cup of liquid egg whites has between 25-30 calories depending on the product.
- Convenient and delicious.
- Satiating due to the fact that they get bigger when cooked.
- No list of best low calorie diet foods should ever exist without liquid egg whites, because who wants to crack open eggs all day? Right.
Fat Free Greek Yogurt
The only reason I am recommending zero fat greek yogurt is because we want to keep the number of calories low, however, even with full fat greek yogurt which is more delicious, the calories remain relatively low.
- Depending on the product, 1 cup of fat free greek yogurt will have between 100-150 calories.
- Delicious and creamy, need I say more?
- Rich in calcium.
- Rich in protein.
- Try mixing some with raw coco powder and you’ll have an extremely low calorie and delicious ice cream.
I did not discover black beans until a few months ago, and man I was missing out. Not only are black beans healthy, they are also incredibly delicious.
- 1/2 cup of COOKED black beans = 110 calories.
- Have an abundance of fiber, protein, potassium, phosophorus, and folate.
- Boil some, add salt, lemon juice, bit of apple cider vinegar and maybe cilantro. Come back and tell me how delicious that was.
- Easy to cook with an average boiling time of only 20 minutes! This is a plus if you are on a hurry or going on a road trip.
Yes, I know the fish looks sad and all but it’s not because I am telling you to eat it, don’t worry.
- Cod fish has significantly lower calories than most other types of fish.
- 100 grams of COOKED cod fish has only 105 calories per the USDA.
- Delicious and dry.
- Will keep you fuller for longer due to its high protein content.
- Rich in magnesium, niacin, vitamin b-12 and vitamin d which most Americans are deficient in.
- Cod fish is one of the best low calorie diet foods that are rich in protein and you can happily eat tons of without feeling guilty.
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” I believe this popular adage has some truth to it.
- Apples are good for your cardiovascular health.
- 100 grams of apples have only 52 calories.
- Apples come in different colors and flavors, pick your favorite.
- Delicious once again because who doesn’t like apples?
- Have a good amount of fiber and water.
I am yet to meet one person who doesn’t like chicken, and quite frankly, I don’t think I ever will.
- High on the satiety index due to its high amount of protein and water.
- 100 grams of cooked chicken have only 150 calories.
- Super delicious and can be cooked in a gazillion different ways.
- Season it with some salt, black pepper, and cinnamon then slice up a couple of mushrooms, a scallion and some green bell pepper and cook for 10 minutes on low heat. I promise you that you will get hooked.
And the number 1 award on this list of best low calorie diet foods goes to …. STRAWBERRIES. Not only are strawberries delicious and colorful, but they can also fulfill your sweet tooth, provide you with essential nutrients and help keep you fuller for longer.
- 100 grams of strawberries only have 32 calories! So if you eat 1 lb. of strawberries, which is more than enough, we are talking about a total of only 160 calories.
- Strawberries are full of fiber. For each 100 grams of strawberries, you get approximately 7 grams of carbs, out of which 2 grams are fiber! So, we are talking about merely 5 grams net carbs per 100 grams of Strawberries. Not bad, ha!
- Strawberries can fulfill your sweet tooth since they have natural amounts of sugar, duh!
- Strawberries are mostly made up of water, thus they will help keep you hydrated and even fuller.
- Strawberries contain essential minerals such as zinc, magnesium, iron and more.
- 100 grams of strawberries will provide you with about %75 of your recommended daily vitamin C intake, which will strengthen your immune system.
- In addition to having a good amount of vitamin k, strawberries also have a multitude of other essential vitamins to keep your body nourished and functional.In conclusion
The list above of the top 12 best low calorie diet foods was compiled by me personally. I was eating enormous amounts of those low calorie foods on a daily basis when I was dieting and I can’t emphasize how much they helped make the journey much easier.
1.United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service
National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28.
2.Higdon et al. Oregon state university. Vitamin K, 2000.
3.Federal government’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, journal of internal medicine.
4.Bayesian bodybuilding, broccoli soup that doesn’t suck. 2014.