When it comes to dieting to lose weight, utilizing low calorie foods is key.
In order to help you learn to incorporate these foods into your diet, we’ve created printable calorie charts for popular fruits and vegetables for fast and easy reference. Now you can enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables with full awareness of their calories, to support healthy weight loss goals.
Before we dive into the details, let’s spend some time learning more about what exactly calories are, so we can better understand why this piece of nutritional information is relevant when it comes to weight loss.
What Are Calories?
To put it simply, calories refer to a unit of energy that foods provide us with when we consume them. This means that when you look at the calorie count on a food label, you’re reading how much energy your body can get from consuming that food and its calories.
Why Does Eating Fewer Calories Matter?
In order to function, human beings need energy. We need energy to move our muscles, to work our brains, to walk, and talk. Normal daily function isn’t possible in the long run if we don’t have a consistent source of calories coming in, and out, of our bodies.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to calories is that calories fuel what our bodies do, which is why you need to have a good level of calories going in for the work you do to push them out.
This concept is why eating fewer calories, in general, can be seen as good for weight loss. However, this doesn’t mean that everyone needs to focus on it.
For example, a person who needs enough energy to sustain their daily jog will need less calories than an Olympian training for multiple hours a day. Depending on your level of physical activity and health goals, you may need more or less calories per meal.
This is also why eating fewer calories truly only matters for those who don’t participate in high levels of physical activity. If you are a sedentary person who watches television all day, but still consumes a ton of high calorie meal and snack options, you’ll be taking in more energy than you can put out.
When this happens, the body begins to store excess calories in the form of weight gain. This is why for many overweight people, focusing on lowering calories per meal by eating smaller serving sizes, or replacing unhealthy foods with fruits and vegetables, is the first step in achieving weight loss.
Benefits of Low Calorie Vegetables and Fruits
Why should you start focusing on low calorie food as a part of your diet? The answer is clear as day when you look over the benefits.
As we touched on above, the standout benefit of eating low calorie foods is how they can assist in weight loss.
When we consume more calories than we burn, the body begins to store them as excess fat, leading to weight gain. By choosing to be more conscious of what we eat, and trying new recipes with fruits and vegetables, you can more easily achieve healthy weight loss.
Eat More Nutrients and Vitamins
The other benefit of eating low calorie fruits and vegetables is the fact that low calorie food tends to be better for you.
We’re not talking about 100 calorie snack packs and diet sodas here. When you truly begin to focus on eating fewer calories, you’re going to turn to fresh fruits and vegetables over snack foods.
The benefit here is that a majority of fruits and vegetables, especially low calorie ones, have several nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support better overall health.
For many people, beginning to eat a low calorie diet means building a more balanced diet overall. If you want to up your vitamin and mineral intake, low calorie foods will inspire you to get fruits and veggies on your plate.
The vitamin and nutrient content found in fruits and vegetables can also help you to improve your mood. Fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of things like b vitamins and vitamin c, which can do wonders to support body health and thus an improved mood.
Eating these low calories can also help you to have more energy! Rather than getting your energy from things like caffeine with crashes, you can have nice sustained energy that comes from a healthy diet of food like broccoli, carrots, or red cabbage.
Help Existing Health Conditions
The vitamins and minerals in foods low in calories are also often recommended by wellness professionals as a way to assist in healing from health conditions.
For example, if you are someone who struggles with regulating blood sugar levels, a healthy diet can be a key factor in helping you gain control. Low calorie foods are great replacements for sugary, carb heavy foods that lead to blood sugar spikes.
Low calorie foods can also help to lower cholesterol levels, which is beneficial for heart health. Overall, low calorie foods have the vitamin and nutrients needed to support better overall health, making them worth incorporating.
Calories and Nutrition Facts for Fruits and Vegetables
Now that we’re familiar with the benefits, let’s take a look at some low calorie fruits and vegetables you need to incorporate into your diet!
10 Low Calorie Fruits
Watermelon Calories (30 Calories per 1 Cup)
Watermelon is one of the most popular melons out there, and is thankfully a guilt free food! Watermelon is super rich in water, making it a refreshing, low calorie fruit to snack on. It’s also a great source of vitamin c.
Strawberry Calories (32 Calories per 1 Cup)
Strawberries are the lowest calorie berry on our list, which we’re sure fruit lovers are relieved to hear. You can enjoy a 1 cup serving of sliced strawberries guilt free, knowing they are low in calories and are high in beneficial vitamin C.
Apricot Calories (48 Calories per Fruit)
The average apricot (35g in size) is one of the most low calorie fruits out there, with just 48 calories per fruit. It’s also a nutrient dense food, packed with b vitamins, vitamin c, vitamin e, and vitamin k.
Grapefruit Calories (52 Calories per Half Fruit)
When you think of a stereotypical diet breakfast, a classic half a grapefruit might come to mind! There’s a reason these fruits became so popular for those pursuing weight loss, with their low calorie count and high amount of vitamin c associated with citrus fruits.
Apple Calories (62 Calories per 1 Cup)
A serving of one cup of apples contains just 62 calories, making them a great snack option. You can eat these as slices, or even take a small apple with you to work as a quick snack.
Raspberry Calories (65 Calories per 1 Cup)
Raspberries make a delicious snack that is low in calories, and also come packed with beneficial fiber for good gut health!
Grape Calories (67 Calories per 1 Cup)
Who doesn’t love grapes? This is an amazing fruit to graze on when hungry, with a low amount of calories for easy minded snacking.
Blueberry Calories (84 Calories per 1 Cup)
Blueberries are a great snack for healthy weight loss, and incorporating nutrients into your diet. Not only are they delicious, but blueberries also have good amounts of fiber, vitamin c, and vitamin k to improve overall health, and boost your immune system.Cherries (95 Calories per 1 Cup)
Cherries can be great to snack on when they’re fresh in the summertime as a nice low calorie snack! Plus, a serving of cherries is full of vitamins and minerals like dietary fiber, potassium, and vitamin c.
Banana Calories (100 Calories Per 1 Medium Banana)
Bananas are one of the more high calorie fruits on our list, but this is what makes them such a great, filling snack, especially after a workout. Bananas are super high in fiber, and also have a lot of potassium which is good for your muscles.
10 Low Calorie Vegetables
Arugula Calories (5 Calories per 1 Cup)
A one cup serving of Arugula contains just 5 calories, making it a great green choice for salads and garnishes! This green is known for being rich in folate, calcium, potassium, and vitamin k.
Cucumber Calories (8 Calories per 1 Cup)
When it comes to picking delicious low calorie snacks, cucumbers are an ideal choice. A 1 cup serving of cucumbers contains just 8 calories, due to their extremely high water content. This is why they’re such a popular food for dips, not adding additional calories to your snack.
Celery Calories (17 Calories per 1 Cup)
Like cucumbers, celery is another vegetable with high water content that lowers its calories. While there aren’t a ton of nutrition benefits when compared to other vegetables, celery is still a great replacement for high carb foods when eating dips and other snack food.
Mushrooms Calories (21 Calories per 1 Cup)
For the purposes of this list we’re talking white mushrooms, but mushrooms, in general, tend to be low in calories. These little guys contain a ton of essential nutrients in every serving, providing things like b vitamins and selenium.
Bell Pepper Calories (24 Calories per 1 Cup)
Bell peppers are a popular vegetable, coming in a wide range of colors and shapes, and are a rich source of beneficial antioxidants and vitamin c. Best of all, a one cup serving is only 24 calories, meaning you can eat a high volume with no issue!
Asparagus Calories (38 Calories per 1 Cup)
Asparagus is a delicious vegetable, with many nutrients and a low calorie count that make it a great addition to any diet. A serving of asparagus is rich in vitamin k and folate, as well as other beneficial antioxidants.
Kale Calories (49 Calories per 1 Cup)
Kale is a leafy green that has exploded into popularity, becoming the new favorite vegetable for many according to the most popular articles about healthy foods. Kale is super rich in nutrients like vitamins a, c, and k, and makes a nutritious addition to salads and smoothies.
Carrots Calories (50 Calories per 1 Cup)
Carrots are another great vegetable that is low in calories, with only 50 per serving. We also love that carrots are rich in a nutrition source called beta carotene, as well as lutein, which are beneficial in supporting better immune function and eye health.
Broccoli Calories (54 Calories per 1 Cup)
Broccoli is an amazing vegetable to incorporate into a healthy diet. Not only is it low calorie, but cruciferous veggies like broccoli are also linked to lower risks of developing some cancers and conditions like heart disease.
Brussels Sprouts Calories (70 Calories per 1 Cup)
We know brussels sprouts aren’t everyone’s favorite, but they are a super filling low calorie vegetable! Brussels sprouts are full of fiber, vitamin c, and other beneficial nutrients in every single serving.
Download a Printable Calorie Chart for Fruits and Vegetables
If you’d like to be able to quickly reference the fruits and vegetables we listed above, feel free to download the printable lists linked here.