There are many reasons a person could be looking for low-calorie foods, and not all are weight-loss related. Many people track their macros and calories for fitness; others are on a strict nutrition regimen. Whatever the reason, you might be surprised how many of these foods are low-calorie. Members of an online forum shared ten of their favorite low-calorie foods that they can’t live without.
If you’re trying to find a healthy source of protein with fewer calories, consider shrimp. One member offered a simple recipe with shrimp, garlic, and some butter to fry it. I make a similar recipe, except I use coconut oil and add many spices to it.
2. Sweet Potato
If you think sweet potatoes or yams are just for Thanksgiving, think again. You can throw a sweet potato in the oven (or air fry or microwave in a pinch) and make it a sweet or savory meal. Add whatever leftovers you have in the fridge and see what combination works for you.
3. Nonfat Greek Yogurt or Skyr Yogurt
Dairy products typically get a reputation for being high in calories, but a few types of yogurt pack a lot of protein into a low-calorie serving. One person recommended Skyr specifically and suggested pairing it with nuts or granola for a snack or breakfast.
Many people mistakenly assume that hummus is high-calorie because it’s often paired with meat, pita, or rice. Like anything, you can undoubtedly overdo it, but you can eat a large portion of hummus and stay within your calorie budget. Plus, if you pair your hummus with vegetables like cucumber, carrots, or bell peppers, you don’t have to worry about adding many calories to your snack.
I won’t be the person who insists that cauliflower tastes like a perfect swap for potatoes or rice. However, if you add plenty of seasonings and work to get the consistency right, cauliflower is a great low-calorie replacement for these starches.
Vegetables like squashes are a great way to add volume to a curry or soup without adding many calories. You can also include squash in a pasta dish or stir fry, or consider baking spaghetti squash and using it as a base for your meal.
7. Canned Chicken or Tuna
Unlike other canned meats and meat products, tuna and chicken from the can are excellent, low-calorie options. If you’re calorie conscious, consider alternatives in broth or water rather than those soaked in oil.
Whether you’re using mushrooms as a swap for meat, stuffing them, or using them in a stir fry, mushrooms add a lot of bulk with very few calories. There are so many ways to use these versatile vegetables.
9. Bags of Coleslaw Mix
Although you may think about prepared coleslaw, which typically is swimming in mayo, the bagged mix of cabbage and carrots can be used in a few different ways. Add it to tacos or salads for extra crunch, or cook it in stir-fries.
If you are a seafood lover and can afford oysters either out to eat or at home, they’re surprisingly low-calorie. Most raw oysters aren’t even 50 calories for half a dozen!
Written by: Daisy Frisch