Should We Count Calories?
This is the million-dollar question. While some people swear in counting calories when it comes to weight loss, others are not so sure. It’s not as easy as reading the labels of the food you eat. Most foods don’t have their calorie content right, so you’ll need to inform yourself on stuff better. Reducing your calorie intake will almost surely result in weight loss, yet our body relies on calories in order to work.
Calories are essentially the fuel our bodies use to function. They’re not all equal. Calories from processed foods and sweets will only make you pack weight, while those coming from healthy foods will keep you satiated without making you gain weight.
According to some experts, every type of food we eat has different effects on our hormones. Some hormones store fat in our body while others release sugar or build muscle. Targeting the right hormones can result in weight loss, but it’s not as simple as that. Diets based on the same amount of calories, yet different ratios of protein, fat, and carbs, have much better results for losing weight than cutting calories from your diet.
With that being said, calorie counting can help you lose weight if you use the right foods. We’ve compiled a list of the best low-calorie foods which will make your body burn fat faster while keeping your health in check.
Tasty, hydrating, and full of minerals – that’s the shortest explanation for cucumbers we could think of. Plus, they’re incredibly low on calories. Half a cup of cucumbers has 8 calories, but a lot of vitamin K and electrolytes among other nutrients. Cucumbers have anti-inflammatory properties thanks to the presence of fisetin. This amazing compound has been found to protect nerve cells and reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline.
Additionally, cucumbers contain tannins and flavonoids which can eliminate pain and free radicals. All in all, you should really add cucumbers to your diet.
With only 44 calories per 100 gr., onions are the perfect dieting food. They’re also full of nutrients including vitamins B and C, potassium, and phosphorus. Newest studies have shown that onions might have chemopreventive properties as they can naturally fight free radicals. We’re not saying that they’ll cure cancer, but they might be the missing link to a cancer cure we’ve been looking for.
Furthermore, the folate in onions will help the brain produce important hormones that will keep your mood up and prevent depression.
3. Brussels Sprouts
These tiny balls of fun are packed with nutrients that can put other veggies to shame. Plus, they’re pretty low on calories – a cup has only 38. Besides vitamins C and K, Brussels sprouts are full of glucosinolates which can reduce the risk of colorectal and lung cancer. Their sweet, yet bitter taste is one-of-a-kind. We suggest eating them as a side-dish with pecans or goat cheese. Trust us – you’ll love it.
A full cup of celery has only 16 calories – that’s essentially nothing. On the other hand, the vegetable has a rich nutrient profile which includes potassium, antioxidants, folate, and vitamins A, C, and K.
According to some newest studies, fresh celery juice can inhibit the activity of TNF-A and NF-KB, two inflammatory tumor necrosis factors. In short, it means that it might be able to lower the risk of cancer. Additionally, celery is full of water and fiber which are great for your digestion.
Oranges are a great choice of food if you’re on a diet. They’re full of vitamin C and other nutrients to keep your health in check, while also having almost no calories at all. Oranges are full of folate, potassium, and a truckload of flavonoids and phytochemicals with antioxidant properties.
According to the American Heart Association, eating citrus fruits regularly can lower the risk of ischemic stroke in women by nearly 20%.
An apple a day keeps hundreds of diseases and conditions at bay. That should be an updated version of an old adage. Besides being amazing for your digestion, apples are loaded with potassium, vitamin C, quercetin, and other nutrients. The rich nutrient profile is what makes them so great for our health. Eat apples every day to boost weight loss and reduce your blood sugar levels as well.
Zucchinis are tasty and full of nutrients. The list includes potassium and fiber which are great for your cardiovascular health. You can barbecue them, steam them or stir-fry them – anything tastes great.
A cup of cabbage has only 23 calories and more than 50% of your RDA of vitamin C. Cabbage is also home to many other great nutrients which can keep your digestion and whole body in check. You can eat it raw, in a salad, stir-fry or steam it. Anything works for cabbage – it tastes great no matter how you prepare it.
Just like cabbage, kale is extremely low on calories, yet full of essential nutrients. How does 684% of your RDA of vitamin K sound? A cup of kale has only 33 calories, making it the perfect dieting food.
Coming from the same family as cabbage and kale, you can expect cauliflower to be full of vitamin C, K, and folate, yet low on calories. It also contains a lot of sulforaphane, which has been associated with lower blood pressure and improved kidney function.
We all hate it, but it’s actually one of the healthiest vegetables around. Half a cup of broccoli has only 27 calories. The green leafy vegetable is full of folate, vitamins A, C, and K as well as fiber and other nutrients that can fight a wide range of diseases and conditions. Broccoli can lower the risk of DNA and RNA mutations and reduce the risk of heart diseases and digestive problems. At the same time, it will improve your cholesterol levels and promote weight loss. Still planning on boycotting it?
Carrots are full of vitamin A which is great for our eye health. a single carrot contains only 30 calories, but it’s chock full of essential nutrients that can improve your overall health.
Asparagus is a great low-calorie food – it has only 32 calories per cup. The green vegetable can treat urinary infections and a variety of bladder and kidney problems. Additionally, it can also treat joint pain, hormone imbalance, constipation, neuritis, and even more serious diseases.
Watermelons are a perfect snack at 46 calories per cup. They are rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant which is great for your heart. Plus, it’s a refreshing and hydrating treat for the summer which can improve your health on many levels.