What are Negative Calorie Foods?
Negative calorie foods widely advertised in diet plans are foods that supposedly use more energy to digest than they provide in calories, thereby resulting in a calorie deficit. Many of these 'so-called' negative calorie foods are mostly vegetables and fruits with low calorie count per volume.
Along with a balanced diet and regular exercise, eating a lot of these foods can lead to weight loss because they satisfy hunger by filling the stomach, with only a few calories.
A medium-sized apple contains about 100 calories.
Apples are a good source of soluble fiber which help lower cholesterol and increase satiety. They also contain vitamin C which helps boost the immune system. Antioxidants present in apples have added benefits.
Half a cup of broccoli contains only about 25 calories.
Apart from being a low calorie food, it also contains vitamin A, C, folic acid and calcium. These nutrients keep the eyes healthy, strengthen the immune system, reduce memory loss and strengthen bones respectively.
Cucumbers have very high water content but not many notable nutrients. However, they provide only 15 calories and are a very effective negative calorie food. Cucumbers make for an excellent snack and salad ingredient.
Cucumber is often pickled. Bear in mind that sugar is used in the pickling process and this will contribute extra calories.
Celery sticks provide only 20 calories and are primarily made up of water and fiber. It has been found to help lower uric acid levels.
Half a cup of lettuce provides only 8 calories. It is a rich source of fiber. Aside from being a negative calorie food, the fiber in lettuce increases satiety which is an important factor in portion control for weight loss.
What does Research say?
There is no sufficient scientific evidence to fully back the claims of negative calorie foods. Many experts argue that there are only a handful of foods that may actually exhibit this property.
Many fad diets are solely based on negative calorie foods for weight loss. Only consuming negative calorie foods is not the ideal way to shed a few kilos.
The foods mentioned can be included in the normal diet, owing to their limited calorie content.
If weight loss is the goal, exercise must be done in conjunction with a healthy diet that includes some of the foods listed.
How to Use Negative Calorie Foods?
The foods mentioned are best used in a salad or can be eaten individually.
Use low calorie salad dressings like yoghurt, lime juice, olive oil and vinegar in moderate quantities for preparation.
Celery has an acquired taste but can be made into a juice and consumed.
Broccoli can be steamed with mild seasoning before consumption.