20 Zero Calorie Foods to Help You Slim Down

The theory behind zero calorie or negative calorie foods is that they contain such a scant amount of calories that the energy you expend eating them cancels out their calories. In essence the bottom line is that you don’t take on any excess calories, and in some instances you end up burning calories as you eat them. Whether or not this is an accurate statement, it’s clear that the following foods have such a slight caloric load they won’t put a dent in your daily total.

20 Zero Calorie Foods- to help you slim down.

Each of these foods has fewer than 50 calories per 100 gram serving. Considering that chicken breast has 172 calories in that same portion size and is considered a low calorie food, it’s clear to see these foods rank very low in terms of calories.

celery

1. Celery
Celery is a food that when you eat it you don’t really feel like you’re eating anything, so it’s not a total shocker to find out that it has essentially zero calories. The stringy nature of celery makes it seem as if it only exists to hold the water it contains. What you’ll typically see is celery with peanut butter or cream-based fillings inside of it, and you’ll want to avoid those if you are keeping track of calories, as they can swing it back the other way quite quickly. Total calories per 100g serving: 16

2. Oranges
Oranges are known for their Vitamin C, but they’re also low in calories compared to other fruits. Whether or not you expend the total number of calories while eating oranges is debatable, but the point of eating foods this low in calorie is not to cancel out the calories, but to keep your total caloric load for the day lower than normal. You’re trying to create a caloric deficit, and an orange can help reach that goal. Total calories per 100g serving: 47

3. Cabbage
Cabbage often gets brought up for its ability to prevent cancer and heart disease, and it often ranks on lists of foods that help with weight loss. That’s because it has a calorie count so low you end up burning it off just by going about the normal motions of your day. Cabbage soup is one great way to eat cabbage, as it is a filling meal while containing far fewer calories than most soups. Total calories per 100g serving: 25

4. Asparagus
Asparagus shows up as a side dish to many meals, and is a great choice because its fibrous nature means it will satisfy your hunger, but the number of calories makes it so it doesn’t add much to your daily total. Eating asparagus fresh on a salad is a crunchy and satisfying treat, while grilling it or steaming it are the two best cooking methods. Be sure to go easy on the butter or oil, as that will bring the calorie count right back up. Total calories per 100g serving: 20

5. Beets
If you’re going to use beets as a low calorie food you should stick to fresh beets that you either steam, boil, or grill. If you go with the pickled variety you’ll be adding a bit more calories to the mix. In addition to being low in calories, beets are great for the body, containing betalains, an antioxidant that gives it its color and is only found in a few select foods. Total calories per 100g serving: 43

cucumbers are a negative calorie food

6. Cucumber
Cucumbers contain so much water in them it’s not surprising that they’re low in calories. That’s why cucumbers make a great adornment to most salads, especially when the salad is full of other low-cal veggies. You can eat until you feel full, while still keeping your total number of calories to a minimum. Combine this sort of eating with a more active lifestyle, and you start to tip the scales in your favor, literally and figuratively. Total calories per 100g serving: 16

7. Lemons
It’s not as if you’re going to sit around eating lemons in order to keep your calories down, but it’s nice to know that you can use them as much as you want and you won’t be putting much of a strain on your total calories consumed in a day. That’s why lemons are great for flavoring up a glass of water, or sprinkling on top of fish and other foods to give them a bit of zest. They’re also an alkalizing food and contain antioxidants to keep you healthy. Total calories per 100g serving: 29

5 veggies8. Cauliflower
Cauliflower also limbos as one of the lowest ranking foods on the calorie chart. It’s also a cruciferous vegetable and has many healthy benefits to it, including being an anti-inflammatory food, and helping the body’s cardiovascular and digestive systems. It’s a great weight loss aid all the way around, not just because it’s very low in calories. You easily burn through it’s caloric load with the act of cooking it. Total calories per 100g serving: 25

9. Mushrooms
No matter which mushroom you choose to go with, the chances are it’s going to be low in calories. These fungi just don’t know how to be high in calories, so you don’t have to worry when using them in a recipe, or sauteing them as a side dish. Even the big, popular portabella mushroom is low in calories, having only 22 of them in a 100 gram serving. Perhaps that’s why it makes such a great replacement to high calorie beef in mushroom burgers.Total calories per 100g serving of Chanterelle mushrooms: 38

10. Watermelon
Watermelon has a low number of calories, despite being so naturally sweet. This has to be the sweetest food on our list, while still ranking considerably low in calories. The great news is that in addition to being a crowd pleaser, watermelon has antioxidants that help your body in many ways. It’s also been shown to be able to boost your metabolism, just don’t go overboard on portion sizes. Total calories per 100g serving: 30

zucchini

11. Zucchini
It’s great news that zucchini is low in calories because it is a popular side dish, and can even be incorporated into things like zucchini bread. It’s a very versatile vegetable that puts up such small numbers in the calorie department, it’s hard to do any damage with it. That being said, too much of a good thing is never good, so you’ll want to use this to help you feel satisfied during a meal without overdoing it. Total calories per 100g serving: 17

12. Tomatoes
Tomatoes are one of the healthiest foods you can eat, and it’s only fitting that they come in low on the calorie radar. The lycopene they contain helps prevent cancer, and staves off heart disease, so you’re doing yourself a favor each time you eat it. It also makes a great weight loss food because it has such few calories that you burn it off just getting it prepped for cooking. Combine it with other foods on this list and you’ll get a delicious, low-calorie meal. Total calories per 100g serving: 17

13. Grapefruit
Grapefruit is often pegged as diet food, a title it deserves seeing how it has been shown to rev up a sluggish metabolism, and is recommended to heart patients after surgery. The calories on this aren’t the lowest you can find, but they’re still not worth mentioning when you’re tallying up your total calories for the day. Fruits in general tend to have more calories than vegetables, but they often bring a preferred flavor to the table as well. Total calories per 100g serving: 42

14. Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts may win the award for food most often given to the dog under the table, but it’s a shame because these little guys are packed with nutrients and clock in rather low on the calorie meter. They are also a cruciferous vegetable, so they provide similar benefits to eating broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. Doctoring them up with cheese or butter to make them taste better will bump up your calories, so be careful and find the right balance. Total calories per 100g serving: 43

15. Kale
You simply have to start eating more kale, that’s how good it is for you. And on top of all of the protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients it provides, it manages to keep its calories down, so it’s nothing but beneficial to you. Want a snacking alternative that’s naturally low in calories? Try baking up some kale chips in an assortment of different flavors. This is a much better alternative to potato chips. Total calories per 100g serving: 49

turnips

16. Turnips
You probably don’t feel like eating a heaping helping of turnips, but if you did you wouldn’t really affect your calorie intake much. These vegetables show up from time to time in recipes, but most often they’ll be used as part of a side dish. You can also use them on a salad. They are an anti-inflammatory food, so they can help calm down the symptoms of several conditions caused by excessive inflammation in the body. Total calories per 100g serving: 28

17. Apples
The “apple a day” adage seems to hold water, with apples containing plenty of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. This is no forbidden fruit, and should be used as part of a calorie conscious diet to make sure that you’re not exceeding your daily allotment. Apples can make a great snack between meals to hold you over, and keep you from eating junk food or fast food in a moment of hunger-induced weakness. Total calories per 100g serving: 52

18. Onions
Onions are used in so many recipes it’s good that they’re low in calories. Most of us aren’t going to bite into an onion as a food source on its own, so it’s nice to know that they aren’t adding much in the way of calories when we cook with them and add them to soups and main dishes. Onions are often referenced as a healthy food that can help you reach your weight loss goals, and studies show that they contain flavonoids that help the body. Total calories per 100g serving: 40

19. Carrots
Eating carrots to protect your eyesight is a good idea, but is just one reason to eat them. They’re also a low glycemic food, so they can help you manage your blood glucose levels, and they are an all natural diuretic, so they can help rid your body of excess sodium and retained water. They’re also an anti-inflammatory food so they can be used to help treat inflammation in the body. Total calories per 100g serving: 41

20. Broccoli
Broccoli is a wonderfood, there’s no other way to describe it. It’s a cancer-fighting food that is also very low in calories. It’s packed with phytonutrients, as well as fiber so it helps keep your digestive system humming along, which is key to maintaining a proper weight. It even contains plant-based protein which can help you if you’re resistance training to build lean muscle. Total calories per 100g serving: 34

P.S. Take a look at the 5 veggies that boost female metabolism and burn off lower belly fat.

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64 Comments

  1. Raptor-Chick says:

    This website says that lemons are alkalizing. This is wrong. Lemons are acidic. Diets that are alkaline are stupid and do not cure anything. You cannot change the pH of your body by eating certain things. The body must maintain a very narrow range or you die. I found this website interesting until I saw that bit of woo-woo. The alkaline diet nonsense is far more dangerous than the normal detox, antioxidant sillyness.

    • Kris says:

      Actually many people suffer from over acidity in their stomach, which can lead to gastrointestinal damage, and in the case of acid reflux- damage to the esophagus. I am one of these people, and finding food and drinks that reduce this is not easy. Alkaline water can instantly cure an acid flare up in my throat, and though I am unsure about lemons, drinking warm squeezed grapefruit juice at night actually prevents overnight incidents. Without the grapefruit juice at night I get the joy of waking up and dropping to my knees in front of the toilet to expel a solid litre of neon yellow acidic bile.

      • bernarmj says:

        Kris,

        I’m so glad I read your post. I too suffer from acid reflux and have tried many prescription drugs as well as natural remedies and nothing has been helping. I am going to try your remedy and see how it works.

        • Mj says:

          Hi bermanj,

          you should try apple,watermelon and cucumber combine, just juice it. That’s my remedy before suffering also from acid reflux.

    • dccmom1 says:

      Lemons are an acid food that has an alkalyzing effect in the body.

      • bigralphsmith says:

        Wow! There are so many ignorant people in this comment section that fall for just about any kind of woo woo “cure” for everything that ails you.
        There are people here who think they can significantly alter their bodies PH strictly through diet (that’s a load of crap), people who think that altering the bodies PH actually “cures” things (that’s a load of crap), people who think there are foods that “cure cancer” (that’s a load of crap), people who think that modern medicine is “evil” and is out to kill you (that’s a load of crap), people who think that food producers are out to make you as fat as possible in some kind of “scheme” to sell you more food (that’s a load of crap).
        Doesn’t anyone actually think anymore? Is everything a conspiracy? Are the Illuminati always out to get you?
        Wake up people and look at the SCIENCE! Look at the real world data!
        GET REAL!

    • holly says:

      You must be a money hungry doctor and want us smart healthy people to believe you and stay unhealthy to keep your pockets full, but we wont!!!! You must regulate an alkaline level within to stay cancer free. Cancer cannot grow in an alkaline environment. Do some research…could save your life!!!

    • JRush says:

      I naturally have an acidic body. I was told this 35 years ago by a doctor that studied nutrition. Read The Clean. I followed that cleanse and ate food that are alkaline and my joints improved as well as my digestion. I lost weight and functioned better than I have my entire life. There is real science behind thw food we eat.

    • Danni says:

      Lemons create an alkaline environment in the body. You have too many acids in your body and it will adjust and try to counteract that by making itself more alkaline and because of this lemons are great to eat. Just watch your teeth.

    • Vicki says:

      It seems many people don’t understand that while some foods are acidic, they have an alkalising effect in the digestive tract.
      LEMONS are the most alkalising food (internally) and are an excellent liver cleanser.
      Recent research has shown that drinking a lot of lemon juice can be detrimental to your teeth though, so some experts are recommending you drink lemon juice (or hot lemon drinks) through a straw (to get it past your tooth enamel).
      I have my daily dose of lemon juice in salad dressing with olive oil and organic apple cider vinegar (which is also highly alkalising).
      Note: normal vinegar is acidic of course.

    • Allie says:

      Lemons are acidic on their own, but inside our bodies, once metabolised, they are alkaline.

  2. Jagdish says:

    Good information.

  3. Marco Ermini says:

    You know, there is no such thing as “zero calories food”. The amount of calories burned for digestion is almost irrelevant. This is mostly a myth.

  4. Scott says:

    You forgot the noble and delicious radish: 100g = 16 calories.

  5. Joann says:

    I have questions how do I get them answerwed

  6. susan palisoc says:

    thank you now i have a list of foods to lower my calorie in my body..

  7. Andrea says:

    I would just like to point out that this first says “zero calorie” and then “less than 50 calories” and then again contradicts itself showing apples with 52 calories. I mean it is all great stuff but don’t label it improperly.

  8. spirits says:

    They are just called by that name

  9. kev1987 says:

    spaghetti hoops only have 50- cals per 100g ….best ….diet…..ever

    • holly says:

      You’re eating spagettios…you may want to read the ingredients. There is nothing natural nor healthy about spagettios and they contain MSG. Don’t always look at calories…just eat earth grown foods and live a long healthy life. Eat processed foods and die a long slow painful death with cancer like millions of other stupid people on this planet that are too lazy to eat healthy.

      • bea says:

        Holly, I found your statement ” millions of other stupid people on this planet that are too lazy to eat healthy” offensive. Cost is the culprit of why people on this planet have to eat like they are lazy and stupid. It is truly NOT fair that you think that you are superior to the “person” that has to eat canned food. How do you know that they could be a homeless person using the public library to find a way to eat to stay alive. Shame on you!

        • Chuck says:

          i agree one hundred percent

        • ACH says:

          Actually, it is more expensive to buy canned food. For example, it is cheaper per unit to buy uncooked beans than to buy canned beans. When you buy canned, you are paying for convenience. Yet I constantly hear this excuse from unhealthy people who just don’t care enough to do the basic research, basic cooking or break out of their normal grocery store routine.

          • Nicole says:

            It’s not just an excuse for many people–preparing / cooking meals takes time & effort. For families who already struggle with time restraints, & who are tired by the end of the work day, cooking full, healthy meals everyday is just not an option. Also, it is as expensive to buy multiple ingredients for several healthy meals as it is to buy ready-made items in bulk. Not only do they have to buy all of these ingredients, they must know how to prepare them. It needs to be learned. Stop assuming that people are just too lazy to cook. People are paying for convenience, too. There needs to be a collective effort to assist lower income families to learn how to prepare healthy meals and shop for healthy lifestyles.

          • mary says:

            In many ways I agree with you. However, there are some basic flaws in your theory. Having worked with teenagers for over 10 years I think we are moving into a second generation who cant cook. People are scared of raw food that’s not salad or fruit. Some of that is due to parental working patterns. Some is due to higher health and safety practises these days. And some is down to us parents. We make more of a big deal and an effort to pass on special family and celebration recipes than we do of everyday essentals. We do so at our peril and theirs. Its way more importany generally to be able to feed yourself and/or a family within 20 mins of walking through the door than to produce a stressful holiday feast once a year. Teach your kids how to make tomato sauce, porridge, pasta dishes, bake a potato and cook eggs.

        • Ruby says:

          I agree some ppl can’t afford to eat healthy foods. And have to count on a dallor tv dinner. Lazy and stupid huh! Look in the mirror for saying that and see stupid

      • Sue says:

        eating healthy requires quite a bit of money Holly. Not all who don’t eat healthy are stupid, many are poor elderly on fixed incomes who can’t afford the fresh organic vegetables or grass fed, free range meat. don’t be so harsh.

        • ACH says:

          You don’t have to eat 100% organic to eat healthy. If you cut out the crap in your diet, you’ll be surprised at how much room there is in the budget for the stuff your body can actually thrive on.

        • lynn says:

          I grew up on a farm ate healthy for many years. I developed pancreatitis and whats the answer for that. Organic is grown with cow shit and maybe no pesticides but its still cow shit. I will eat other. thanks.

      • Susan says:

        Most food banks are full of canned food.

      • Bret says:

        Just for your info some kids my age I’m 17 years of age I eat what my parents make me if I don’t like it I starve so if they eat unhealthy so do I but I also run 3 to two miles aday

      • Deanna Miller says:

        Not everyone can afford to eat the organic food that you are speaking of and they are not stupid. That was very rude of you. I have a Master’s Degree in Nursing and, unfortunately, ended up on disability at the age of 49. I am far from being “stupid” and I surely cannot afford your rich bitch diet.

    • Memememeee says:

      lol, too funny

  10. Louise says:

    This is no surprise considering that most of these are natural and nutrient dense and some are superfoods. I guess it will still depend on your entire lifestyle, such as getting enough sleep and doing regular exercise.

  11. seulhee says:

    Great! I needed this for my scientific investigative project. I had to get the total calories and yeah I guess I found this website XD Thank you!!

  12. Paula says:

    Lemons and grapefruits are mildly acidic. You just have to get some litmus paper to test that. The reason grapefruit may help someone with an acidic stomach is the stomach acid is very acidic, down around a 2 or 3. Mildly acidic grapefruit help bring the stomach in the right direction towards less acidic.
    Cancer is caused by many things and is to complex to say that maintaining alkalinity can prevent it. Not sure where you got that info. For example smoking is one of the leading causes and alkalinity is not going to prevent you from getting cancer.
    As said before, you cannot change your body pH.

    • Anom says:

      I had liver cancer. I had just started a sort of raw diet. I certainly had the tumor before I started the diet. After I was diagnosed I told no one, not my family, not my friends, no one. I did not go back to my doctor for five months. I started taking baking soda twice daily to keep my body alkoline as much as possible since the diet was not getting all the acid out of my system. I detoxed like crazy. I had headaches, I got skin rashes, I had loose bowels, I had smelly yellow perspiration, my urine was dark yellow. Finally I ran out of insulin (my diabetes also improved so that the insulin I had lasted much longer. I did still need some though.). My doctor sent me for an ultrasound of the tumor so they could see how large it had grown before doing another MRI, and it was gone, just gone. The technician noted that there was still a calcification on top of my liver where my body was trying to protect me from the tumor. After the tumor was gone I told everybody and they were all shocked. “Oh why didn’t you tell me?” Well I knew what they would all say. I knew how much pressure they would inflict upon me, because they “love me”. We are so wrong to love someone enough to put them under pressure to kill themselves with medication that makes people worse. I can do without that kind of love and I told them all that. Some were hurt but others understood. Nine out of ten cancer patients die. Yet oncologists do not loose their licenses. If they did maybe we would have a great change in medicine.

      • Savannah says:

        You are fortunate to have had this amazing results, I wish you a happy & healthy life! You are right, we do need an overhaul in our medical infrastructure, we are losing too many lives.

      • Judy says:

        You are one smart lady. Food is our true medicine and in this country that bows to the corporate lobbyists, it’s actually illegal for a doctor to prescribe food in lieu of medicines. The government has finally admitted that the CBD’s in the Cannabis plant kills cancer cells, so one would think the government would then remove marijuana as a schedule 1 narcotic which means it has no medicinal value, which the majority of us knows is bunk. We have half our states now for 20 years have proven that to be false yet the head of the DEA vows to know nothing. Yeah right, lobbyists again because pharma wants their hands on it. There are many cures for many disease or dis-ease of the body that have been suppressed and that has cost millions of lives in this country and world wide but hey, corporate profit is more important than is human life right?

      • Kimberly says:

        How did you prepare the baking soda and how much? Thank you.

  13. Kathy says:

    Please don’t feed your dog Brussels Sprouts or any other food in the cabbage family. It is not good for your dog.

    • Kathy says:

      Upon further research, it appears that Brussels Sprouts and other cabbage family members are ok if introduced gradually and given in moderate quantities.

  14. Lucia says:

    how about strawberries and spinach? I had strawberries and watermelon in my fridge once and decided to look up calorie counts for each to help me decide which to eat and they were relatively close iirc..as for spinach i looove spinach and eat it all the time and hoped to see it on this list! Cilantro/basil are tasty too! I’ll have to look up where they rank.

  15. God made the Universe and he made the Precise and Faithful Clockwork Planetary System. And God made Earth. With the best soil and the best Earthly Grown Food. All provided by him, our Creator and Our God. Atleast what “Us,” Humans can do for the Boss, Our Creator, and Our Faithful Friend, is to eat right, for God Sakes. Stay Trim and look like a beautiful human and not like a bad role model for society. Eat the low calorie foods which are grown and not killed. Sorry, people, I am a Vegetarian. I feel the paid of killed God Creatures. And the Narrow Gate of Heaven is only for those who are justly chosen to enter without being ticketed. Soil Grown Foods grow back with our Christian Help and Wisdom. But his Creatures are being violated by self serving, evil, hateful, and sinful inferior species, “Us,” Humans. They, who are far superior to “Us,” Humans have a God Given Right To Eat Without Sin. Atleast we can evolve into Vegetarians and obtain his “Intended Grace For Us, and not to look like a bunch of ungrateful slobs. Meantime, Our World Is In Big Big Trouble, Thanks to “Us,” Humans.

    • Chase says:

      I can’t take you seriously. Ignoring the ‘woo woo man in the sky’ that you’re referring to, you don’t understand the correct use of an uppercase letter.

    • Java says:

      I’m confused. I did not realize that the man in the sky was on earth, creating all the vegetables and meats to feed us. I thought animals and farmers did that. Wow. So that’s where the sky man has been all along. There have been some days where I didn’t even get food in my life, but I suppose he was on holiday or something (everyone needs one.) I guess if I prayed harder he may make some extra food and distribute it evenly (and not give so much to Kim Davis because she should probably cut back- same for Josh Duggar and Mike Huckabee’s son.) Maybe that is why they believe in him so much- because he gives them bigger and better portions of food. Now we need to educate all of those starving children in Africa about Him, our Lord Farmer and Food Maker, so that they, too, can be fed well. I am already vegetarian but I am vegetarian- not just for animals- because I was born with two heart conditions, a chronic illness, and thyroid disorder. Eating vegetarian has helped me with them more than anything else. But, I suppose if I pray to our Lord Farmer he will help me, too? Or did he give me these conditions because I sinned before I was born? I’m confused again.

    • Savannah says:

      Jack, Jack, Jack, oh poor Jack – nothing like a diehard religious bigot who whose delusional state “gives him the right to put people down.”

  16. Ramil says:

    I recommend Fitline products

  17. Mbc says:

    I’m sorry Java I hope you continue to feel good and get healthy

  18. Lauren says:

    I’ve heard that apricots have negative calories, but is the same for dried apricots? I’ve asked more people than I can count and they’ve given me lectures so can you please answer yes or no I’d really apreciate it thank you.

  19. Dilatasyon says:

    Upon further research, it appears that Brussels Sprouts and other cabbage family members are ok if introduced gradually and given in moderate quantities.

  20. benja says:

    get in smile,buddy

  21. Natalie says:

    Hi! I don’t know if this has already been said in one of the above comments but I think it’s worth mentioning – many heart medications prescribed to patients, whether they have had surgery or not, can have a negative interaction with grapefruit. Its advised that patients taking these drugs avoid any grapefruit, extracts or juice, all together to avoid any negative and harmful side effects. I think it’s something you should mention as an aside to the grapefruit you posted since you mentioned heart patients!

    Thank you for this article.

    • Judy says:

      I agree Natalie. However, according to my doctor that does not apply to all medication for hypertension or high blood pressure, which I have. My meds are not negatively affected by my consumption of grapefruit so what they should have stated is the possibility and if on blood pressure meds to consult with their doctor before eating grapefruit.

  22. Terry says:

    All excellent comments leaving religion aside.

  23. Crystal says:

    Dr’s will not tell you that good can heal you because the money isn’t in curing people. The money is in treating people and that’s really sad. Have any of you ever heard of The Budwig Protocol? If not check it out. It is a certain diet that has cured many cancers and before all the skeptics jump down my throat just go check it out. Johanna Budwig came up with this protocol and there are so many success stories from it but the US would not allow it here because they would lose money Goethe expensive treatments that make people sick

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