The 42 Healthy Foods That Are Low A Calories

The 42 Healthy Foods That Are Low A Calories

The 42 Healthy Foods That Are Low A Calories

Lowering calories can be an effective way to lose weight.

However, not all foods are the same when it comes to food.  Some foods are low in calories and contain some nutrients.

When you limit your calorie intake, it is important to choose nutrient-dense foods that contain sufficient amounts of the calories they provide.

What’s more, whole foods, nutrient-dense foods can help you feel more satisfied while cutting calories (1Trusted Source).

There are 42 nutritious foods which are low in calories.

1–4. Meat and poultry

Because they are high in protein, lean meat and poultry are good foods to eat when you are trying to cut calories.

Protein increases feelings of fullness and can help you eat fewer calories throughout the day (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source).

Meat that is lowest in calories is very lean.  Fat is calorie-dense, so the meat fatier has more calories.

1. Oats and oatmeal

Oats is a hearty cereal grain rich in fiber and antioxidants.  These also include protein, some B vitamins, and manganese (57).

Studies show that eating oats lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and low blood pressure.  Some studies also suggest that eating oats can help with weight loss (58Trusted Source, 59Trusted Source, 60Trusted Source).

Calories: 3/4 cooked cup (175 grams) in 124

2. Eye of round steak

There is no reason you cannot enjoy steak while still cutting calories.  Beef is nutritious and a good source of vitamin B12 and iron (4).

Iron is an essential nutrient that helps transport oxygen throughout your body, while vitamin B12 is required to make red blood cells (5Trusted Source).

However, note that the round eye is a very lean cut of beef.  Make sure it is not overcooked, or it will be hard and dry.

Calories: 138 per 3-ounce (86-gram) serving

3. Boneless, skinless chicken breast

Chicken is a very versatile meat that is an excellent source of protein (6).

You can keep the calorie content down by trimming all skin and visible fat.

Calories: 92 per 3-ounce (86-gram) serving

4. Turkey breast

Turkey is high in breast protein, vitamin B6 and niacin.  B vitamins help your body break down the food you eat and metabolize it into energy (7).

Calories: 93 per 3-ounce (86-gram) serving

5. Pork tenderloin

Tenderloin is one of the thinnest cuts of pork, making it a great low-calorie alternative.

Pork is rich in many B vitamins and is an excellent source of high quality protein (8).

Calories: 122 per 3-ounce (86-gram) serving

5–8. Fish and seafood

Most fish and seafood are highly nutritious and excellent choices if you are calorie restricting.

Omega-3 fatty acids have many benefits, including reduced inflammation and improved heart health (10Trusted Source).

6. Cod

Cod is a lean, white is high in protein but low in calories.

It is also rich in vitamin B12, iodine and selenium, and contains a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids.  Iodine is important for proper brain and thyroid function, but many people do not get enough of it (11, 12Trusted Source).

Calories: 70 per 3-ounce (86-gram) serving


Popcorn is a type of corn that spreads more when exposed to heat.

It is a healthy, low-calorie snack, as long as you do not grease it with butter or unhealthy toppings.  Air-popped popcorn is a good choice.

Calories: 31 per popped cup (11 grams)

8. Scallops

Scallops are a low-calorie shellfish with a small, mild flavor (16).

Make sure to skip the high-calorie sauce and enjoy steamed, steamed, or grilled.

Calories: 5 small scallops in 26 (30 grams)

9–17. Vegetables

Most vegetables are low in calories, yet are high in vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants.  This makes them excellent for weight loss.

Many vegetables are also high in both water and fiber, which help you feel full without consuming too much calories (19Trusted Source).

Starchy vegetables such as potatoes and winter squash are high in calories but still very nutritious.

9. Chinese cabbage

Chinese cabbage, which includes nappa and bok choy, tops the list when it comes to nutrient density.  This cabbage is high in vitamins C and K and contains a decent amount of folate (20).

The stewed flavor of the cabbage gives it an excellent taste and maintains its nutrients.

Calories: 12 per cup (75 grams)

10. Watercress

Watercress is a spicy, leafy green that is one of the most nutrient-rich vegetables you can eat.

It is very low in calories, yet it contains large amounts of vitamins A, C and K.  You can shake the watercross in a salad or shake it with other aromatic vegetables.

Calories: 4 per cup (36 grams)

11. Cucumbers

Cucumbers are low in calories as they contain mostly water.

Interestingly, they also disturb vitamin K1 and a decent amount of many beneficial plant compounds (22, 23Trusted sources).

Calories: 45 per cucumber (300 grams)

12. Radishes

Radish is a peppermint, crucified vegetable that is low in calories and yet rich in flavor.

They provide a good amount of vitamin C and a small amount of folate (24).

Calories: 1 per radish (6 grams)

13. Celery

Celery is high in vitamin K1 and plant compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties (25, 26Trusted Source).

Calories: 6 per stalk (38 grams)

14. Kale

Celery is high in vitamin K1 and plant compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties (25, 26Trusted Source).

Calories: 6 per stalk (38 grams)

15. Spinach

Spinach is high in folate, manganese and vitamins A, C, and K1.  It is also enriched with cancer-fighting antioxidants such as flavonoids and carotenoids (28).

Starting your meal with a salad made of spinach or other leafy greens can help you feel fuller and eat fewer calories overall (29Trusted Source).

Calories: 7 per cup (30 grams)

16. Bell peppers

Bell peppers are naturally sweet and high in fiber, vitamin C and carotenoids (30).

Carotenoids are cancer-fighting plant compounds that can improve eye health (31Trusted Source, 32Trusted Source).

Calories: 37 per pepper (119 grams)

17. Mushrooms

Mushroom is a fungus but often classified as vegetables. They contain many B vitamins and a good amount of potassium and selenium (33).

Some edible mushrooms are associated with health benefits, including a stronger immune system, decreased inflammation, and lower risk of cancer (34Trusted Source, 35Trusted Source, 36Trusted Source).

Calories: 15 per cup (68 grams)

18–23. Fruits and berries

Fruits are higher in calories than vegetables.  However, most fruits are nutrient-dense and deserve a place in your low-calorie diet.

18. Strawberries

Strawberries are rich in fiber and antioxidants. They also provide a large dose of vitamin C (37, 38Trusted sources).

Calories: 46 per cup (144 grams)

19. Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe is a watermelon that has yellow-orange flesh that is high in vitamins A and C (39).

It is a rich source of beta-carotene, which is important for healthy eyes and skin.

Calories: 60 per cup (176 grams)

20. Watermelon

Watermelon is mostly made of water, hence its name.  It also contains good doses of vitamin C and pro-vitamin A (40).

What’s more, this melon is rich in lycopene, a plant compound that can protect against heart disease and some cancers (41Trusted Source, 42Trusted Source).

Calories: 46 per cup (153 grams)

21. Blueberries

Blueberry is a popular, highly nutritious fruit.They are particularly rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin K1 and manganese (43).

These compounds have several health benefits, including a protective effect against heart disease (44Trusted Source, 45Trusted Source).

Calories: 84 per cup (147 grams)

22. Grapefruit

Like many other citrus fruits, red grapes high in vitamin C also derive their color from the healthy plant compound lycopene (46).

Calories: 57 calories (136 grams) for half a fruit

23. Kiwifruit

Just one kiwifruit, without skin, you need all the vitamin C in a day.  It also provides a good dose of fiber and vitamin K1 (47).

Calories: 46 per fruit (75 grams)

24. Black beans

Black beans are a versatile and inexpensive protein source.

They are very high in fiber and folate, while containing a good amount of B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and manganese (48).

Calories: 114 calories per 1/2 cup (86 grams)

25. Lentils

Compared to other legumes, lentils are prepared quickly and easily.  They are also high in protein, fiber, folate, thiamine, iron, potassium, and manganese (49).

What’s more, lentils contain fiber and protein.  This makes them incredibly filling despite being low in calories (50Trusted sources).

Calories: 165 per 1/2 cup (142 grams)

26. Skim milk

Skim milk is a low calorie source of high quality protein.  Milk also contains calcium, and most milk producers supplement their products with vitamin D (51).

Calories: 86 per cup (240 ml)

27. Plain non-fat yogurt

Yogurt is high in protein and calcium.  Probiotic yogurts also contain live bacteria, which benefit your digestive health (52Trusted Source, 53).

Choose plain, unpasteurized yogurt flavored varieties that contain high amounts of sugar and calories.  Add fresh fruits or berries for flavor and natural sweetness.

Calories: 137 per cup (245 grams)

28. Low-fat cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is a soft, creamy, fresh cheese that is low in calories and high in protein.

Most grocery stores have cottage cheese with varying fat content.  For the lowest number of calories, choose cheese with 1% milkfat (54).

Calories: 82 per 1/2 cup (114 grams)

29. Eggs

Eggs are a cheap and nutritious source of high quality protein.

They are also incredibly filling.  Studies note that eating eggs for breakfast can help you eat fewer calories, which can lead to weight loss (55Trusted Source, 56Trusted Source).

Calories: 72 per large egg (50 grams)

30. Wild rice

Wild rice is cooked and eaten like regular rice.  However, it is slightly lower in calories than white or brown rice.

It also provides fiber, protein, some B vitamins, zinc and manganese (61).

Calories: 166 per cooked cup (164 grams)

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