10 Foods That Are Very Low in Calories

Alpa Momaya

August 2, 2023

Incorporating low-calorie foods into a balanced diet is crucial for maintaining a healthy weight and promoting overall well-being. These foods are nutrient-dense, providing essential vitamins and minerals without excess calories. They help control calorie intake, reduce the risk of weight-related health issues, and support sustainable weight management. Additionally, low-calorie options often include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, which contribute to improved digestion, increased satiety, and enhanced energy levels, making them an essential component of a balanced and nutritious eating plan.

Benefits of Consuming Low Calorie Foods

Consuming foods with low calorie content offers several significant benefits for overall health and well-being:

  1. Weight management: Low-calorie foods help control calorie intake, aiding in weight maintenance or weight loss when part of a balanced diet.
  1. Nutrient density: Many low-calorie foods are rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, ensuring optimal nutrition without excessive calories.
  1. Improved digestion: Low-calorie foods often include fruits, vegetables, and fiber-rich options, supporting healthy digestion and bowel movements.
  1. Increased satiety: These foods can help you feel fuller for longer, reducing the likelihood of overeating and promoting portion control.
  1. Reduced risk of chronic diseases: Incorporating low-calorie foods can lower the risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and other weight-related health conditions.
  1. Enhanced energy levels: Nutrient-dense, low-calorie foods provide sustained energy, avoiding energy crashes caused by high-calorie, sugary foods.

Consuming low-calorie foods benefits overall health: aids weight management, provides essential nutrients, supports digestion, promotes satiety, reduces chronic disease risks, and sustains energy levels, avoiding sugar-induced crashes.

Very Low-Calorie Foods

 1. Celery

Nutrients per Serving

A cup of chopped celery contains:

  • Calories: 14
  • Protein: Less than 1 gram
  • Fat: Less than 1 gram
  • Carbohydrates: 3 grams
  • Fiber: 1.6 grams
  • Sugar: 1 gram

Celery is a low-calorie vegetable with high water content, making it hydrating and ideal for weight management. It’s a rich source of vitamins A, K, and C, along with minerals like potassium and folate. Additionally, celery contains antioxidants, such as flavonoids and polyphenols, which contribute to its anti-inflammatory properties. The fiber in celery supports digestive health and may help lower cholesterol levels. This versatile vegetable can be consumed raw as a snack, added to salads, soups, and stir-fries, providing a nutritious boost to any meal.

2. Cucumber

Nutritional Benefits of Cucumber

One medium unpeeled, raw cucumber has the following:

  • Calories: 30
  • Total fat: 0 grams
  • Carbs: 6 grams
  • Protein: 3 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Vitamin C: 10% of the recommended daily value (DV)
  • Vitamin K: 57% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 9% of the DV
  • Potassium: 12% of the DV
  • Manganese: 9% of the DV

Cucumber is a refreshing and hydrating vegetable composed mostly of water, aiding in hydration and promoting a feeling of fullness. It’s low in calories and rich in essential nutrients like vitamins K and C, as well as minerals such as potassium and magnesium. Cucumbers also contain antioxidants like beta-carotene and flavonoids, which help combat oxidative stress and inflammation. The fiber content supports digestive health and contributes to weight management. Its mild flavor and crunchy texture make cucumber a versatile addition to salads, sandwiches, smoothies, and as a hydrating snack on its own.

3. Mushrooms

Nutritional content per serving:

  • Calories: 21.1
  • Carbs: 3.1 grams
  • Protein:  3 grams
  • Fiber: 1 grams
  • Calcium: 2.9 grams
  • Vitamin C: 2 mg
  • Vitamin D: 0.2 mg
  • Potassium: 305 mg
  • Manganese: 9% of the DV

Mushrooms are a nutrient-packed fungus that offers various health benefits. They are low in calories and fat, making them suitable for weight management. Rich in vitamins like B2, B3, and D, mushrooms also provide minerals like selenium and potassium. 

They are a valuable source of antioxidants, including ergothioneine and selenium, which protect against cell damage and inflammation. Moreover, mushrooms contain beta-glucans, supporting immune function. Their umami flavor makes them a versatile ingredient in many dishes, complementing soups, stir-fries, salads, and various cuisines while contributing to a nutritious diet.

4. Cabbage

Cabbage Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 22
  • Fat: 0.1g
  • Sodium: 16mg
  • Carbohydrates: 5.2g
  • Fiber: 2.2g
  • Sugars: 2.9g
  • Protein: 1.1g
  • Potassium: 151mg
  • Folate: 38.3mcg
  • Vitamin K: 67.6mcg

Cabbage is a highly nutritious cruciferous vegetable with numerous health benefits. Low in calories and packed with fiber, it supports weight management and aids digestion. Rich in vitamins C, K, and B6, as well as minerals like potassium and manganese, cabbage promotes overall well-being. It contains antioxidants such as anthocyanins and sulforaphane, protecting against oxidative stress and inflammation. Cabbage also supports heart health by lowering cholesterol levels. With its versatility in cooking, whether raw in salads or cooked in stir-fries and soups, cabbage is an excellent addition to a balanced and healthy diet.

5.  Zucchini

Rich in Many Nutrients

One cup (223 grams) of cooked zucchini provides (Trusted Source):

  • Calories: 17
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Fat: less than 1 gram
  • Carbs: 3 grams
  • Sugar: 1 gram
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Vitamin A: 40% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Manganese: 16% of the RDI
  • Vitamin C: 14% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 13% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 10% of the RDI
  • Vitamin K: 9% of the RDI

Zucchini, a popular summer squash, is a nutrient-dense vegetable with various health benefits. It is low in calories and carbohydrates, making it suitable for weight management and diabetes-friendly diets. Zucchini is a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as minerals like potassium and magnesium. It also contains antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin, promoting eye health. The fiber content supports digestion and gut health. Zucchini’s versatility allows it to be used in salads, stir-fries, noodles, and baked dishes, providing a delicious and nutritious addition to meals.

6. Spinach


One cup of raw spinach contains (Trusted Source):

  • 7 calories
  • 0.86 g of protein
  • 29.7 mg of calcium
  • 0.81 g of iron
  • 24 mg of magnesium
  • 167 mg of potassium
  • 141 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin A
  • 58 mcg of folate

Spinach is a highly nutritious leafy green vegetable with an array of health benefits. It is low in calories and carbohydrates, making it suitable for weight management and diabetes-friendly diets. Spinach is rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals like iron, calcium, and magnesium. It contains powerful antioxidants like beta-carotene and lutein, promoting eye health and protecting against oxidative stress. The fiber in spinach supports digestion and aids in maintaining a healthy gut. Versatile in cooking, spinach can be used in salads, smoothies, sautés, and various dishes, enhancing their nutritional value.

7. Tomatoes

Tomato Nutrition Facts (Trusted Source)

  • Calories: 16
  • Fat: 0.2g
  • Sodium: 5mg
  • Carbohydrates: 3.5g
  • Fiber: 1.1g
  • Sugars: 2.4g
  • Protein: 0.8g
  • Vitamin C: 12.5mg
  • Vitamin K: 7.2mcg

Tomatoes are a nutrient-packed fruit that offers various health benefits. They are low in calories and rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals like potassium and folate. Tomatoes contain antioxidants such as lycopene, which may reduce the risk of chronic diseases and support heart health. They also provide dietary fiber, promoting digestive health. Consuming tomatoes has been linked to improved skin and bone health due to their nutrient content. Tomatoes are versatile and can be used in salads, sauces, soups, and other dishes, contributing to a balanced and nutritious diet.

8. Watermelon

Nutrition Facts

The nutrients in 2/3 cup (100 grams) of raw watermelon are (Trusted Source):

  • Calories: 30
  • Water: 91%
  • Protein: 0.6 grams
  • Carbs: 7.6 grams
  • Sugar: 6.2 grams
  • Fiber: 0.4 grams
  • Fat: 0.2 grams

Watermelon is a hydrating and delicious fruit with several health benefits. It is low in calories and a rich source of vitamins A and C, supporting immunity and skin health. Watermelon’s high water content helps maintain hydration. It contains antioxidants like lycopene, protecting against oxidative stress and inflammation. The fruit provides citrulline, an amino acid that may improve blood circulation and heart health. Additionally, watermelon is a good source of potassium, aiding in muscle function. Perfect for hot days, watermelon is a refreshing addition to fruit salads, juices, and smoothies, contributing to a nutritious diet.

9.  Papaya

Papaya Nutrition Facts (Trusted Source)

  • Calories: 62
  • Fat: 0.4g
  • Sodium: 11.6mg
  • Carbohydrates: 16g
  • Fiber: 2.5g
  • Sugars: 11g
  • Protein: 0.7g
  • Vitamin A: 68.2mcg
  • Vitamin C: 88.3mg

Papaya is a tropical fruit packed with essential nutrients and health benefits. It is low in calories and high in vitamins C and A, promoting a robust immune system and healthy skin. Papaya also contains enzymes like papain, aiding digestion and reducing bloating. The fruit is rich in dietary fiber, supporting digestive health and weight management. Additionally, it provides antioxidants like beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, protecting against cell damage and promoting eye health. Its sweet and refreshing taste makes papaya a delightful addition to fruit salads, smoothies, and various culinary creations.

10. Green Tea

Green tea is a popular beverage known for its numerous health benefits. It is rich in antioxidants, particularly catechins, which combat oxidative stress and may reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Green tea also contains caffeine, providing a mild energy boost. It promotes heart health by improving cholesterol levels and supporting blood vessel function. The beverage has been associated with weight management due to its potential to boost metabolism. Moreover, green tea may enhance brain function and reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Consumed hot or cold, green tea is a refreshing and nutritious addition to a balanced diet.

HealthifyMe Suggestion

Adding low calorie foods to your daily intake will complement your overall health. But by no means should you consume only these foods and nothing else! Health improves best when you eat a well rounded, well balanced meal which contains nutrients in the proportion your body requires.


Discover the power of low-calorie foods and transform your diet for the better! By incorporating nutrient-packed options like cucumber, celery, watermelon, zucchini, leafy greens, berries, broccoli, cauliflower, and asparagus, you can achieve your health goals while relishing delicious flavors. These foods not only aid in weight management but also provide essential vitamins and minerals for overall well-being. Embrace a balanced and wholesome diet by making these low-calorie choices a part of your daily meals. Your body will thank you for the nourishment and energy it deserves!

Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is just to disperse knowledge and raise awareness. It does not intend to replace medical advice from professionals. For further information please contact our certified nutritionists Here

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are very low-calorie foods? 

Very low-calorie foods are those with minimal energy content per serving. They typically contain fewer calories than the body expends to digest them, making them a valuable addition to weight management and overall health.

Why should I incorporate very low-calorie foods into my diet?

Including these foods can aid in weight loss or maintenance, support a balanced diet, and provide essential nutrients without contributing significantly to daily calorie intake.

Do very low-calorie foods lack essential nutrients?

No, many low-calorie foods are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, ensuring your body receives vital nutrients while managing calorie consumption.

Which fruits are considered very low in calories?

Watermelon, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and melons are some of the fruits that fall into the category of very low-calorie options.

Are vegetables good sources of very low-calorie foods?

Yes, vegetables like cucumber, celery, zucchini, leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, and asparagus are excellent choices for low-calorie and nutrient-dense foods.

Can I consume unlimited amounts of very low-calorie foods?

While they are low in calories, it’s essential to practice portion control and maintain a balanced diet to ensure you get a variety of nutrients.

Are very low-calorie foods filling?

Yes, many of these foods are high in fiber, which helps create a feeling of fullness, promoting satiety and reducing overeating.

Can I use very low-calorie foods for snacking?

Absolutely! Incorporating low-calorie fruits and vegetables as snacks can help curb hunger, satisfy cravings, and contribute to a healthier lifestyle.

Are there any health benefits to consuming very low-calorie foods?

Yes, beyond weight management, these foods offer various health benefits, such as improved digestion, hydration, antioxidant support, and reduced inflammation.

Can very low-calorie foods be part of a balanced diet?

When combined with other nutrient-rich foods, very low-calorie options can play a crucial role in achieving a balanced and sustainable diet for overall health and wellness.

About the Author

As the holder of a Post Graduate Diploma in Dietetics from the University of Mumbai, Alpa Momaya has always understood the value of good nutrition in an individual's life. She is a Registered Nutritional Practitioner (Canada) with over 15 years of experience in the field. Specializing in Clinical Nutrition, Pre & Post Natal Diets, and Weight Management, Alpa found her calling as a Sr. Nutritionist with HealthifyMe. Alpa's love for cooking and good nutrition has seen her contribute several recipes to the HealthifyMe database over the years. Additionally, she takes a keen interest in reading and painting.

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9 responses to “10 Foods That Are Very Low in Calories”

  1. Great suggestions, it is hard to remember these facts and factors around zero calrie food. Hence this feature stand out to help people who are tracking their calories.

    Thanks and very useful!

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  3. I like the list., but I Think you should add infographic with it would be easy to understand fast.

  4. Your 10 zero calorie foods is very well written. Watching weight cannot be hard if we just aware what we eat everyday. Meat and fish are not bad for the health as long as it is eaten on moderation. The proportion of eating more vegetables than non-veg is good. Eat what is seasoned vegetables, it is more cheaper and nutritious.

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