There are all kinds of low-calorie diet foods lurking on your grocery store shelves. You can tell by the bright shiny labels that figuratively shout out how the product is low in calories, sugar-free, low-fat, worth so many points or whatever.
But just because something is low in calories and claims to be good for weight watching doesn’t mean it’s actually has anything in it that’s good for your body.
Hey, I know you want to watch your weight and still eat foods that taste good. But don’t sacrifice good nutrition while you're whittling your waistline. These 9 whole foods are nutritious, versatile and super-low in calories, so there’s no need to settle for heavily processed 'diet' junk food ever again.
Kale is incredibly nutritious. It's high in most vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and calcium. It's also an excellent source of fiber and contains beneficial antioxidants. It's no wonder that kale is included on almost every list of superfoods. As for calories. One cup of raw chopped kale has 33 calories. Perfect for a big salad or side dish.
Arugula is another green leafy vegetable that's high in just about every vitamin and mineral. Two cups of arugula have only ten calories, so it makes a perfect base for a big salad (topped with fresh fruits, nuts, and a light dressing). Or arugula can be wilted in a little bit of olive oil and garlic and served as a side dish.
Carrots are good for any weight loss diet because they're not as bitter as other vegetables, and they can be served as a side dish or raw as an appetizer or snack. Carrots are high in vitamins A and C, plus they're a good source of several B vitamins, potassium, and manganese. One cup of sliced carrots has about 50 calories.
Broccoli is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables, which are all high in nutrients and antioxidants. Broccoli is particularly high in vitamin C, iron, vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It's also high in fiber and totally low-cal. One cup of chopped broccoli only 31 calories.
5. Swiss Chard
Swiss chard is another leafy vegetable with colorful stems that's rich in nutrients and low in calories. One cup of chopped cooked chard has 35 little calories, but it's rich in calcium, iron, potassium, vitamins A, C, and K. Swiss chard doesn't require a lot of effort to prepare and can be boiled or sauteed with a little olive oil and white balsamic vinegar.
Cauliflower is related to broccoli and kale, and although it doesn't have the dark green pigment of other cruciferous veggies, it's still high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. One cup of chopped cauliflower has only 25 calories and is perfect as a steamed side dish or served raw with a light veggie dip.
Spinach can be served as a healthy side dish, or it can be used as the base for a salad. Spinach is high in iron, calcium, and several vitamins. One cup of raw spinach leaves has only seven calories and a cup of cooked spinach has only 41.
8. Green Beans
It seems like green beans don't usually get much attention, which is too bad because they're very high in vitamins A and C and a good source of several minerals, B vitamins, and fiber. Of course, they're also low-cal. One cup of cooked green beans has only 44 calories.
9. Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts look like cute little cabbages. They're good for you because Brussels sprouts are high in most vitamins and several minerals, plus they have quite a bit of dietary fiber (talk about a perfect side dish). One cup of cooked Brussels sprouts has only 56 calories.