It is already established that the term zero calorie foods is a marketing myth propagated by the industry pioneers. But if not zero calorie foods, then what? The demystification has caught fitness enthusiasts in a bind. Instead of opting for zero-calorie foods, people have increasingly come to adopt low calorie foods.
It is virtually impossible for any edibles to not have any calories. And if we are talking about it, calories are not entirely bad. But if you are searching for food for weight loss and find yourself surrounded by the suggestions on having celery sticks for lunch, then maybe reading this article will help you get the facts straight.
Besides going for low calorie foods, you should also aim for the ones that deliver adequate nutrition as part of your balanced diet. We always insist that low calories is not the speedy shortcut to a lesser waist circumference than it is claimed to be.
It is essential to strike a balance between a low calorie diet and an active lifestyle for a healthy gut. We think that long gone are the days when zero calorie and size zero were the only trends people vied for. Fitness enthusiasts are opting to embrace a healthier definition of snacking that is guilt-free indeed.
Guilt-free snacking does not only exist when brands put a label on their products. That will be an example of health washing. As we believe in promoting sustainable trends, we encourage our readers to find their preferred low calorie snacks in organic produce and certified snack manufacturers.
We are enthusiastic about directing people towards healthier snacking both out of medical considerations and a concern for the environment and the communities that depend on producing natural products for their survival.
This is why we are presenting you with a total of 15 foods and snacks that are low on calories so that you can snack on them without any guilt or shame. Our list is composed of 10 foods and 5 ready to eat snacks that promote healthy weight loss without guilt-tripping you about engaging in a serving.
We will also help you determine what makes foods low in calories and how incorporating them in your diet will help you achieve a healthy result with regards to weight loss.
The 15 Topmost Low Calorie Foods You Should be Eating!
An apple a day keeps anyone away…if you throw it hard enough. Okay, we do not want to choose violence, but you can choose apples over violence any day if you want to stay fit without gaining oodles of weight. Fussing about the kilos you have gained during the lockdown by snacking on all the greasy goodness? It’s time to embrace healthier snacking with apples. The greatest thing about apples is that they are low in calories and can be teamed up with fresh salads, a bit of Greek yogurt or you can have them on their own.
You can even try dehydrated apple chips for a fulfilling snack. We have mentioned Bare Fruit Apple Cinnamon Chips before in our list of low-calorie snack options. You can make your own apple chips in an air fryer, or you can choose to sun dry them and relish them like that.
The reason why we extol this versatile fruit so much is because apples are rich in water and fiber. With only 95 grams of calories, having apple slices with breakfast or daytime snack can keep you filled for a longer time, aiding smooth digestion and bowel movements. Research shows that incorporating apples in your diet with other fruits can lower cholesterol and inflammation while combatting the risk of cancer. Apples are abundant in a variety of phytochemicals and antioxidants.
It is best to eat an apple with the skin on, but if you are suspicious about the waxy coating fruit manufacturers employ to make fruits more shiny, its better to wash it thoroughly and eat it without the peel. Try organic apples if you want to go for the real, earthy deal.
Almonds are rightly called superfoods as they are rich in fiber, magnesium and vitamin E. One of the most filling snack options, munching on almonds is entirely guilt-free. These little dry fruits are crunchy, nutty and promote healthy weight loss without demanding a ton of sacrifices from you. If you want a dash of decadence, you can try having chocolate coated almonds. Try going sugar-free with dark chocolate or add a fistful of almonds in your vegan ice cream for a satisfying desert.
Research proves that almonds also help in promoting the growth of healthy hair, nails and skin. These dry fruit gemstones are pretty much abundant in calcium and phosphorous as well as healthy fats and fiber. You should have at least 5 almonds soaked overnight on an empty stomach to get the best of them.
Almonds are also protein nuggets and contain copper. A single serving of almonds can provide you up to 161 calories and are loaded with antioxidants. It is advisable to munch on almonds whenever you feel those hunger pangs.
Some people prefer to blanche almonds and remove the outer skin, but that takes all the nutrition out of thus low calorie snack option. An excellent food for weight loss and keeping blood sugar in control, almonds feature as one of the leading low calorie snacks in this list.
I still remember being a spinach enthusiast because of the pipe smoking sailor, Popeye. Although the series is now criticized for promoting unhealthy and violent trends such as smoking and engaging in fist fights, Popeye was my earliest introduction to another hero called spinach. Spinach leaves are quite versatile. Who says that green leafy veggies have to be boring? From what I know of, spinach can also be pureed and used in making healthy cookies, like these!
Spinach is undoubtedly one of the most preferred and nutritious choice when it comes to low calorie foods. Consuming a 100 gram serving of these green leaves can lend you up to 23 calories. Composed of 91% water and 2.2 grams of fiber per serving, spinach is the uncrowned ruler of green veggies and helps us improve our eyesight. This vegetable is a hub of iron and helps in addressing anemia.
The high level of carotenoids in spinach make it an excellent source of Vitamin A. As far as your weight loss goals are concerned, spinach is one of the most filling low calorie foods that prevents oxidative stress and the occurrence of kidney stones. Incorporate some boiled spinach in your salad or a stew, or even a delicious soup. You can even pair it up with a vegan favorite like chickpea pasta and get going about your day!
If you are munching on this light snack while watching one of our recommended vegan documentaries, there is some good news for you. Popcorn does not only make for an excellent movie night bite, but is also one of the most popular low calorie foods. These little puffed bites pack in about 120 to 150 calories and are a good snacking option. For an enriched daytime snack, try Skinny Pop- which also features in our compilation of guilt-free low calorie snacks.
If you want to go from belly fat to belly flat real quick, it is wise to munch on popcorns. Of course, you are free to add a smattering of vegan butter or sprinkle some vegan cheese on top. Or if you are craving something sweet, what is better than caramel popcorn? Popcorn is not only a low calorie snack, but is also abundant in protein, magnesium, Vitamin B3, zinc and potassium.
If you think that your regular popcorn is too bland, you can try adding homemade tomato or onion powder to enhance the taste. That will be much better than adding MSG, which already has a somewhat soiled reputation, despite the taste. Try munching on air-popped popcorn and you will find that they work better than potato chips in satiating those hunger pangs when you are determined to go for a binge run of Stranger Things. The soluble fiber in popcorn reduces the risk of gut infections and relieves constipation.
While most of our updates encourage people to adopt a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, it is also important to acknowledge the relevance of animal sources as hubs of nutrition. We do not believe in shaming non-vegetarian enthusiasts into abandoning what they like to feast on.
And this why, besides dairy options such as yogurt and cottage cheese, we also feature these pink meaty delights. Prawns taste excellent in ceviche and curries. They are low calorie foods and are abundant in Vitamins B6, B12 and niacin.
Prawns also make for an excellent source of folate and selenium and are good for pregnant women (that is if they do not get nauseous at their sight and smell). This seafood has only 115 calories in a 100 gram serving.
This food is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and zinc which is why it is also called a brain booster. As compared to chicken or red meat, prawns are more preferred by nutritionists as the protein in them keeps the gut filled for a long time. Prawns are a type of lean meat that reduces levels of ghrelin, which is called the hunger producing hormone.
While several people will contest the inclusion of pasta in this lust, we would like to say the opposite. Wholegrain pasta made from durum wheat or brown rice is an excellent dish to dig in. And this food group comes in various forms. Vegans and gluten-free enthusiasts are at no loss if they wish to exclude refined flour or wheat pasta. People also opt for fiber gourmet pasta which has only 100 calories per serving. A dash of olive oil and basil makes this tasty treat a filling option.
In order to go for the low calorie variant, people should opt for pasta made from wholegrains if they want to derive health benefits. Wholegrain pasta has enjoyed the reputation of being one of the most irresistible zero calorie foods.
However, we would like to clarify something. While we agree with the irresistible part, wholegrain pasta certainly has calories but their amount depends on which grain is used to make them and what is the sauce or dressing you want to use while whipping up a meal.
We would recommend a delicately spiced Aglio Olio to relish your lunch, but feel free to add veggies or meat as per your choice. If you want to go for a trusted brand which offers variations in wholegrain pasta- you must try Barilla’s red lentil pasta which offers double the calcium, more iron and protein than its refined flour counterparts.
Wholegrain pasta can help you curb your cholesterol levels and is a sustained source of energy that is guilt-free since it is a low calorie snack.
Honestly, where would we all be if it was not for some berries? This food group is nutritious and delectable. The rich texture and appearance of berries enhances any desert. Even chocolate coated strawberries or blueberries make for an excellent snack when hunger strikes. We say, if you are in mood for engaging your sweet tooth, you must choose a bowl of berries. Rich in Vitamin C and loaded with antioxidants, eating berries will not only cut down on calories, but will also make your skin healthier and bouncier.
The myriad qualities of berries have elevated their status to that of a superfood that helps in defending cells and protects against arthritis, cancer and heart ailments. A cup of mixed berries weighing about 140 grams has only 70 calories. But this doesn’t mean that these superfoods and low calorie snacks are any less in water content and fiber.
A good choice if you are embarking on your weight loss journey, mixing berries in your serial or a spoonful or two of Greek yogurt will give you the much required boost of energy. Several brands have also incorporated the goodness of berries in their products and have featured them in protein bars, granola bars and cookie crumbles.
You can try making a summer pudding with these berries and have fun on a summer afternoon as you wolf down the delectable desert.
We have mentioned Greek Yogurt a lot of times as an accompaniment to other low calorie snacks in this list. Such is the power of this dairy product that it can go well as salad dressing or pass of as a great choice of afternoon snack items, one you would enjoy with dehydrated vegetable sticks or a base for various dips and dressings. Greek Yogurt has 59 calories if you are considering eating a 100 gram serving.
The high protein content in yogurt aids weight loss by keeping you fulfilled even when you have a single serving. A digestive and immune health booster, it also helps with inflammation and is a must if you are embarking on a low carb diet. It is also low on the glycemic index and is an excellent alternative to milk.
You can try pairing it with fruits or throw in some spring onions and spices to make it a savory treat. The creamy consistency of yogurt effectively balances spicy and sweet flavors while helping us combat poor bone health and promoting muscle recovery.
Cottage cheese is one of the most filling low calorie snack options that works very well in salads, sandwiches and even curries.
The vegan alternative for cottage cheese is bean curd or tofu. More recently Shirataki has come to acquire a cult status. But when it comes to being an excellent source of protein, calcium and Vitamin D, nothing beats a good serving of cottage cheese.
You must be aware of this ingredient if you have been binging Indian cooking shows. Yes, it is the dearest ‘panner’ that can be coupled with luscious gravies and semi-dry accompaniments like Kadhai masala. Cottage cheese delivers 98 calories per 100 gram serving. Opting for low fat cottage cheese is an even better option as it adequately covers your vitamin and sodium needs.
Fish is another source of low calories and helps enrich eyesight and promote a healthier growth of hair and aid repair of cells. Low-fat fish such as cod, flounder and sole have less than 120 calories in a single serving and will yield plenty of protein. Fish gives you a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids such as EPA and DHA. Research has established that eating low-fat fish reduces the risks of heart attacks and strokes as it reduces blood pressure.
A serving of fish can be paired with a side of greens or can be incorporated as a grilled or curried snack or meal. Several cultures still have fish and rice as staple foods and swear by the myriad benefits of this seafood. Besides being a low calorie hero, fish is rich in phosphorous, zinc, iodine, Vitamin B12 and magnesium.
And 5 Snacky Mentions!
How can we forget mentioning a few ready to eat snacks when we are elaborating about the best low calorie snacks? Here, we will let you know about a few more snacky delights you can grab while you are out for a quick trip or on a rest day where all you want is to gorge on something delightful and easy!
Crunchmaster Protein Crackers
Light, crunchy and packed with flavor, these protein crackers are gluten-free, non-GMO and low in sugar content. With zero grams of cholesterol, this snack is fiber rich and vegan, besides being tasty.
Crunchmaster’s crackers come in a variety of flavors, so make sure that you pick a bag of these crispy delights and carry it along on a picnic or even a last minute potluck party. The brand believes in ethical, thoughtful eating and use non-GMO California rice, quinoa and sesame to make their delicious products. Buy it here now!
HIPPEAS Organic Chickpea Puffs
Our list of organic low calorie snacks will be incomplete without the honorable mention of HIPPEAS Organic Chickpea Puffs that are available in lip-smacking flavors and are packed with goodness. USDA Organic certified, these puffs are kosher, vegan and non-GMO verified.
HIPPEAS say that they offer snacks that are better for the planet overall along with being better for fans of low calorie snack options. The brand also works with Feeding America and is also focused on ending world hunger, one step at a time. You can buy these products on their website, here!
Terra Exotic Harvest Vegetable Chips
Available on Amazon for the taking, these exotic chips are an all-natural treat made from root vegetables. So, if you are missing the taters on your weight loss journey, grab some sour cream or Greek yogurt, throw in some chives and open a pack of Terra’s Real Vegetable Chips.
Terra Chips are available in several flavors, Terra’s products are kosher, gluten-free and non-dairy. If you enjoy chips with no trans fat or artificial flavoring, Terra should be your go to snack. You will definitely enjoy their chips made from blue potatoes with a dash of sea salt.
Nugo Fiber D’Lish Cinnamon Raisin
If you love feasting on delicious cookies, then you will definitely love this delicious dessert bar made of raisins, oatmeal and a dash of cinnamon. If you swear by sugar and spice and everything nice, you should try Nugo Fiber D’Lish Cinnamon Raisin bar.
This sweet delight is ‘crave-worthy’, nutty and fruity which is soft baked to perfection. This one is raisin’ the bar quite high and checks off all the boxes- it’s dairy-free, soy-free and it does not have any artificial sweeteners. Embark on your low calorie snack journey without thinking about the one cheat day when you should have stopped- with Nugo, there is no going back, and guilt- well, forget that it was ever a word. You do you!
GoMacro Macrobar Organic Vegan Protein Bars
Lastly, we have another dessert bar packed with the goodness of peanut butter and chocolate. This vegan and non-GMO bar is a abundant in protein and is 100% organic.
The manufacturers are transparent about their sourced ingredients that are FODMAP friendly and are certified vegan while being kosher and soy-free. Put your vegan snacking worries to rest without fussing about the extra kilos you might gain.
Available in 14 delicious flavors, each of GoMacro’s bars are brimming with nutrients and not unwanted calories.
What Do We Think About Low Calorie Snacks?
We have already established that falling for zero calorie snacks is no better than being caught up in a bind when your favorite makeup company has been greenwashing their products all along. This is why, not only do we favor a more realistic label, we also think that smart eating does not have to be tasteless and a bland experience. The key to eating right is listening to your body and having everything in balance. It is advisable that you couple low calorie foods with the ones that consist higher calories.
Since our bodies need energy to function properly, there is nothing wrong with calories. You should gorge on a cheeseburger once in a while, but remember, that you cannot cheat your way out of a poor diet- whether it is overflowing with oil and cheese, or if it is lacking in essential calories just because a flat tummy is trending on social media. Low calorie snacks are a complete yeah for us!