Top 20 Zero Calorie Foods To Add To Your Diet

Zero calorie foods
13 min reading time

Zero-calorie foods are great for losing fat. Most foods have at least some calories, but you will be surprised how little. There are plenty of foods that contain the smallest calories.

These foods are great additions available to a healthy diet. 

Many of the foods on this list happen to be great for you as well. By adding these foods to your diet, you will be able to consume more fruits and vegetables without packing on the calories. When consumed in moderation zero calorie foods may even boost your metabolism and aid in weight loss.

Here is the list of the top 20 zero calorie foods to add to your diet or lose weight quickly. Some are fruits, some are vegetables, and a few are nuts. If you are trying to lose weight, these foods can be eaten in unlimited quantities. Furthermore, they will help you feel fuller without adding any unwanted calories to your diet.

What Are Calories?

Calories are a measure of energy. Energy is neither created nor destroyed. They can only be transferred from place to place or from one form to another. And calories are the currency that measures that transfer. The recommended amount of calories daily to help improve eating patterns according to the 2015-2020 dietary guidelines for Americans is 2,000 calories. Adding Low-calorie foods to your diet makes this lifestyle possible without necessarily starving yourself. 

Do Negative Calorie Foods Exist?

A negative calorie food item is food that supposedly requires more calories to digest than the number of calories contained in the food itself.

Zero-calorie foods are low in calories. It’s true that some foods have hardly any calories and could be considered “near” zero-calorie foods. However, let’s be clear: there are no foods (zero-calorie or not) that don’t contain calories at all. 

Hence, the term ‘zero calorie or negative calorie foods is best used to describe foods with the littlest amount of calories. The calories contained in such foods are so minute that they can be easily overlooked.

No matter how much of these foods you eat, it will never cause you to gain weight.


There are many benefits of zero calorie foods. The main reason for taking these products is to satisfy your sweet cravings without gaining extra calories.

Zero calorie foods are those low-calorie foods that offer good health benefits. These foods can protect your body against the risks posed by certain chemicals that are found in our food. They reduce the risk of neurological disorders and age-related declines in health. You can achieve this goal by eating more fish, avocados, broccoli, garlic and onions. Other benefits include;

1. They can help you lose weight

Zero-calorie foods are trendy for individuals with excess fat, especially when they are attempting to lose weight. Foodstuff that has fewer calories normally causes the body to feel more satiated. It also causes your mind to think you have consumed more food than is actually the case. Zero calorie foods can be a secret weapon for weight loss for these people.


2. Negative calorie foods are healthy choices compared to other foods

When you burn more calories than you consume, it is called a diet. There are many diet options out there that can help you achieve your goals, but if you are looking for the healthiest route, then the negative calorie foods are the way to go. Negative calorie foods take more energy to process than they have in calories. 

These foods will help keep you full and give your body the boost it needs to lose weight. You do this without sacrificing your health.

3. They can improve your overall health

Zero calorie foods are mainly fruits, vegetables, and some culinary herbs. The primary purpose of eating these foods is not to lose weight (although that is possible). However, it is best eaten to improve your overall health.

4. Low calorie foods keep you from overeating

Many studies have shown that low-calorie foods do help you eat less (1, 2). Some have also found that they increase feelings of fullness, which could also help promote weight loss.

Zero Calorie Foods List

  • Celery

Surprisingly two medium stalks of Celery contain only about 15 Calories. Celery is majorly filled with water content. Furthermore, it has some anti-inflammatory properties and is well known to belong to the same family of vegetables like cabbage.

It is a low-calorie, high-fibre, non-starchy vegetable that can enhance your diet and fill you up.

  • Lemons 

A Lemon contains about 16.8 calories. Lemons are a great source of vitamin C, which helps your body develop resistance against free radicals.

They are sour to the taste and contain citric acid. The juice contains essential oils, flavonoids, vitamin C, and limonene. Lemons have many health benefits and can aid in weight loss. (3)

  • Broccoli 

One medium stock of broccoli contains about 45 calories. The best thing about broccoli is that it has very few calories, almost no fat and a nice amount of fibre. In addition to that, it also provides you with iron, folic acid and phosphorus.

  • Cauliflower 

Cauliflower is a very low-calorie food that tastes good in many recipes. It contains about 25 calories in ⅙ medium head. 

Cauliflower contains no fat, has no cholesterol and is also gluten-free. Cauliflower is also high in vitamin C and iron and vitamins A, B6 and K.

  • Apples

A medium-sized apple contains about 95 calories. Apples can be eaten as a healthy snack to lose weight without consuming any calories. They have no cholesterol and low sodium. Furthermore, they contain carbohydrates, protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. 

  • Grapefruit 

This recommended fruit for the DASH diet has a little over 100 calories for a mid-size. Grapefruit is good for your overall health. It contains many vitamins and minerals, but the most important is that it helps to aid the digestive process. Grapefruit also increases the body’s ability to detoxify itself and also reduces inflammation. Some foods get a bad reputation because of allergies, but this fruit is suitable for people across the board.

  • Papaya

Medium sized papaya contains about 120 calories. Papaya is an excellent candidate for a zero calorie fruit. It is not only loaded with vitamins and minerals but also contains enzymes that help regulate digestion. 

Traces of Papain have been found in papaya seeds and may help relieve constipation. It is also beneficial in enhancing the digestive process. (4)

  • Cucumber 

⅓ medium cucumber contains about ten calories.

Cucumber is one of the zero calorie foods to add to your diet. This vegetable, which belongs to the gourd family, has very high water content. It is packed with vitamins A, B, B1, B2, C and K.

Cucumbers are a kind of food where its usability goes far beyond salads. They are powerfully anti-inflammatory as well as effective against autoimmune disorders like gout or arthritis.

  • Onions

One medium onion contains about 45 calories. They’re also perfect for you as they contain a number of antioxidants and vitamins. They can improve your eyesight (5), reduce the risk of blood clots, and have pronounced anti-cancer properties.

  • Peppers 

Peppers are an excellent chilli vegetable that you can add to your diet. They add to healthy foods and are very tasty in meals. They are low in calories because they don’t contain fats, proteins or carbohydrates. One medium bell pepper contains about 25 calories.

You can have peppers as a snack, or you may even prepare spicy peppers for dinner.

  • Mushroom

A mushroom is a fungus. It is one of the top harmful calorie foods for you. 5 medium mushrooms contain about 20 calories. 

The best way to enjoy mushrooms as a zero calorie food is to consume them raw. This can be achieved by sprinkling small amounts of salt over the mushroom before eating the same. The best kind of mushroom to add to your diet is the Portabella mushroom because of its high fibre content and low carbohydrates.

  • Green beans

Green beans are a superb source of dietary fibre, and minerals and vitamins that will improve your health. ¾ cup contains about 20 calories. Furthermore, they contain potassium, vitamin C, vitamin K and magnesium. Green beans give your hair and bones the nutrients they require for optimum functioning. If you wish to receive the maximum health benefits from green beans, it is advisable to consume them raw.

  • Asparagus 

Five spears of asparagus contain only about 20 calories. Asparagus is one of the zero-calorie foods that is also loaded with nutrients such as folic acid, vitamin E, vitamin C and potassium. This vegetable contains rich amounts of fibre. Likewise, it is believed to be one of the best natural diuretics (6). Thereby helping in curing urinary ailments like uric acid, kidney stones, and swelling of the feet due to excess water.

  • Brussel sprouts 

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, Brussels sprouts are a great way to go. They have almost no calories. (one cup contains about 56 calories).

Furthermore, they taste great, and they’re also perfect for you. 

  • Garlic 

100g of raw garlic contains about 149 calories. Garlic has long been used as an antibiotic remedy. It also possesses analgesic properties and is said to lower cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure and blood sugar levels (7, 8). Furthermore, it stimulates the body’s immune system. Garlic contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and trace elements, all of which play a vital role in keeping your health up to scratch.

  • Lettuce 

All types of lettuce are incredibly low in calories and high in fibre. 100g contains about 16 calories. 

Lettuce contains beta-carotene, vitamins A, B6, C and K, and calcium and folic acids. The darker the green it is, the more nutrient-rich it will be. Lettuce is excellent for dieting since you can eat a great deal of it with almost no calories at all. Great in sandwiches, salads, or just plain by itself.

  • Kale

Kale is a nutritional powerhouse. It’s high in Vitamin K, Vitamins A, C, and E. Kale can be eaten in so many different ways because it’s super versatile. It also doesn’t wilt quickly like spinach. A cup contains only about 33 calories.

  • Watermelon 

Watermelon is one of the fruits that has the highest percentage of water in it. It has almost no fat, no cholesterol, and very few carbohydrates. There is also ascorbic acid which is a form of vitamin C that gives it an additional boost. 

This particular fruit is known to be an excellent anti-inflammatory agent. 100g of watermelon contains only about 30 calories.

  • Strawberries

There are between 49-53 calories in a cup of strawberry. Strawberries are among the healthiest fruits you can eat. They contain vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese. They also contain folate and fibre. Strawberries are low in calories, low fat and fill up your stomach without leaving you with a lot of residue like other fruits do. 

  • Beetroot 

Beetroot is a healthy vegetable that grows in the ground, rather like a potato. Unlike potatoes, beetroots are purple and are pretty sweet. One cup of boiled beetroot contains about 50 calories.


See a total breakdown of the nutrients in some of these foods. 

Zero Calorie Foods That Fill You Up

Although most foods contain calories, there are some foods with very low calories. If you are looking for filling low-calorie foods to add to your diet, below is a list.

  • Greek yogurt 

Greek Yogurt is one of the favourite zero-calories foods that fill you up! You can smear it with peanut butter and a little bit of honey. The yogurt comes in lots of flavours, so you can mix and match. It could be great frozen too.

  • Oats

Oats are a wonderfully versatile ingredient loaded with fibre. This is essential for digestion and helps to regulate blood sugar. They help to increase satiety so that you will feel full quicker and longer after eating them. Even better, oats fall into the ‘low glycemic index’ category of carbohydrates. This means they don’t spike your blood sugar and cause you to crash again soon after.

  • Fish

This is one of those foods that have very few calories but also offers plenty of nutrients which can contribute to your good health. Fish can be part of a diet plan for weight loss, maintenance or gaining weight.

  • Berries 

Berries are an excellent example of a healthy ‘zero-calorie food’ that fills you up. They’re loaded with fibre, which helps you feel full without making you fat. Furthermore, plenty of research suggests that people who eat more fiber tend to weigh less.

Bonus List: High Protein Low-Calorie Foods 

  • Nuts: Almonds, filberts, and walnuts are high in protein.
  • Sunflower seeds: They are loaded with protein.
  • Tuna/ Salmon: These fishes have a lot of protein.
  • Eggs: Healthy weight loss diets suggest egg-white omelette as one of the options.

Negative Calorie Foods Recipes

You might be confused about how to incorporate zero calorie foods into your diet. Below are some of the ways to go about it;

  1. Mixed Berry Almond Bowl
  2. Carrots with Miso and Orange Zest
  3. Salmon with Spinach Citrus Cream Sauce
  4. Apple chips
  5. Garlic and parsley crust chicken.



What is a zero-calorie snack?

A zero-calorie snack is a food or drink that contains no calories. It is a non-sweet snack that satisfies hunger and makes you feel less hungry after eating it. For something to be a zero-calorie snack, the calories it adds to your body should equal the calories you burn while eating it.

How do zero calorie foods help you lose weight?

Zero calorie foods help you lose weight by reducing the number of calories you take in each day, simply by removing the calories from your normal meals, and substituting zero calorie food for those calories. You will automatically consume fewer calories and put less strain on your body’s metabolism.

Is rice an empty calorie food?

Yes, rice may be an empty calorie food, but it’s not different from potato with respect to body weight change and composition.

Rice is a higher glycemic index food than potato. It causes a higher percentage of body fat increase too. Potatoes cause a higher percentage of lean body mass increase. Hence, the net effect is about the same. 

What are some negative calorie foods myth?

A negative calorie food is a food that supposedly requires more energy to digest than it provides in calories. The concept of negative calories is one of the oldest nutrition myths. People who believe in this concept often think they lose weight just by eating such foods. However, losing weight requires much more.

Does zero calories flour exist ?

Yes , zero calorie flour exist. They contain no calories .

Final Takeaway 

One of the best ways to limit how much you eat is to avoid eating foods that are high in calories when compared to their counterparts. However, not all foods are created equal. Some healthier alternatives can not only help a person with their weight loss goals. However, it also provides vital vitamins and minerals that help your body function. 

Most importantly, first, check with your physician before adding some of these ingredients to your diet.


20 Best Mediterranean Diet Dessert Recipies

Are Rice Cakes Healthy


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *