Vegetables are one of the most important food groups for having a healthy body, but which ones are low in calories. Vegetables are not only packed with healthy nutrients, they are also a great source of dietary fibre. Lentils for example are high in fibre and fairly high in calories too, about (80 calories per oz dried weight). One of the lowest calorie vegetables is mushrooms which are only about (4 calories per oz raw weight). One of my favourite low calorie vegetables is mung bean sprouts because they are so versatile, a good meal filler and also good for your health, and only (9 calories per oz raw weight).
Probably the most versatile and most used of all the vegetables is the tomato which is (5 calories per oz raw weight) and is also good for your health, by providing antioxidants, which in turn helps your immune system to fight off disease. Onions must come a close second to the tomato in versatility and comes in at (10 calories per oz raw weight) the onion can compliment so many different types of dishes, and you can create a variety of flavours, depending on how you cook it of course. Sliced onion and tomato with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of basil are a great side dish for many summer or winter dishes.
Green and red bell peppers are two more of the versatile low calorie vegetables the green is (4 calories per oz raw weight) and the red is (9 calories per oz raw weight)) bell peppers are very similar to the tomato in that they are also full of antioxidants and being a very good source of vitamin C. Lettuce is an unusual vegetable, because in my experience people seem to put it on their plates just as a decoration, and going by my friends, you either hate it or you love it. Lettuce, apart from being quite attractive on the plate, is only (4 calories per oz raw weight) and even has some vitamins such as A, C and K plus a small amount of iron.
Carrots and cauliflower are another two tasty low calorie vegetables and they are both only (10 calories per oz raw weight) also these are full of health giving vitamins and minerals. One of my favourite low calorie ways of cooking carrots is to roast them. Cut the carrots into 3x1inch pieces and cook them in the oven at 200c for 40 minutes (no fat, oil or butter). I prefer cauliflower with a meat dish that has a sauce or gravy, low calorie and low fat of course. If you are on a diet and you have a day off, why not have some cauliflower cheese it is a delicious meal. I use cauliflower and leeks they give the dish a good flavour and make it look attractive too.
Vegetables can be a little deceiving at times, for instance if you are on a low calorie diet and potatoes (20 calories per oz raw weight) are one of your favourites, and you also like parsnips, you would naturally think that parsnips are so much less in calories than potatoes, but parsnips are (18 calories per oz raw weight) so really there’s not much between them, in fact potatoes have less fat than parsnips. This is just an example of how careful you must be when trying to eat low calorie vegetables because most people are unaware of the calorie content of the vegetables they eat.
The above are just a few of the many low calorie vegetables, but its worth noting that most, if not all vegetables have something to offer in promoting your good health, whether it’s the fibre content, vitamins and minerals or antioxidants. If you are on a low calorie diet you should always keep an eye on the calorie content of your vegetables, as I said earlier they can be deceiving.
I hope the above paragraphs have given you some food for thought on low calorie vegetables and how they can contain more calories than you think which is not very helpful when trying to eat the lower calorie ones. There are many good calorie books available in the stores or you will find lots of free calorie counters on line.