50 Tasty Foods Under 50 Calories
1 Calorie: Radish
How much? 1 radish
They're not just a garnish, especially if you want to shed a few pounds! Radishes are extremely low in calories, high in fiber, and break down more slowly in your digestive system—keeping you fuller longer.
2 Calories: Bell Pepper
How much? 1 slice, raw
Burn, baby, burn! Studies shows these fiery little peppers can help you torch fat faster. Plus, the folate and vitamin B6 found in these flavor-filled vegetables can reduce swelling in arteries, helping to reduce your risk of heart disease.
3 Calories: Cauliflower
How much? 1 floret
These crunchy florets are filled to the brim with belly-filling fiber. And if you're ever craving the creamy taste of mashed potatoes but don’t want the fat and calories, try this raw mashed potato recipe —100 percent made from cauliflower!
4 Calories: Strawberry
How much? 1 strawberry
Strawberries serve up some big health benefits! According to researchers at the University of Warwick, snacking on this popular summer treat can help prevent heart disease and diabetes. Mike Roussell, Ph.D, and SHAPE Diet Doctor columnist, suggests using berries as the base for a healthy smoothie. They add tons of flavor for very few calories, the mark of all the best foods for weight loss.
5 Calories: Scallion
How much? 1 scallion
Scallions, also known as green onions, are the perfect low-calorie, low-sodium, and fat-free flavor addition to almost any meal. Plus, research shows that scallions (along with onions and garlic) can help reduce inflammation and your risk of some cancers. Add chopped scallions to omelets, salads, or stir-fries. You can go crazy—100g of fresh leaves is just 31 calories!
6 Calories: Celery
How much? 1 stalk
It's the quintessential diet food. But if noshing on plain celery sticks doesn't appeal to you, try this quick and easy recipe to sneak it into your diet. Bonus: Researchers at the University of Missouri found that a compound in celery stopped certain breast cancer tumor cells from multiplying and growing in rats.
7 Calories: Spinach
How much? 1 cup, fresh
Thanks to Popeye's bulging biceps, this leafy green is best known for its muscle-building power. But spinach is also a rich source of plant-based omega-3s and folate, which help reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis. Aim for 1 cup fresh spinach or 1/2 cup cooked per day.
8 Calories: Dill Pickle
How much? 1 pickle
Pickles offer a completely guilt-free way to satisfy a salty, crunchy craving. And it's super easy to make your own: thinly slice cucumbers and douse them in rice vinegar. That's it!
"Cucumbers only have 16 calories per cup and the rice vinegar only adds 1 calorie per teaspoon but tons of flavor," says Chicago nutritionist Dawn Jackson Blatner, R.D.
9 Calories: Hearts of Palm
How much? 1 hearts of palm, canned
They may not be the most common vegetables, but these white wonders should be a staple in your diet! With minimal calories, loads of fiber, and a delicious artichoke-like flavor, they're a great addition to any meal.
10 Calories: Romaine Lettuce
How much? 1 cup
Not all lettuce is created equal. Choose Romaine as the base for your salad and you'll not only add a variety of textures and flavors to your meal, but also a big hit of nutritional value. Extremely low in calories and high in water content, Romaine lettuce is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, and vitamin C.
11 Calories: Tomatillo
How much? 1 tomatillo
A relative of the tomato, this green fruit is often used for salsas or preserves. It's low in calories and high in flavor, making it a great addition to healthy recipes like these decadent spinach enchiladas or this tomatillo turkey stew. Neither dish comes close to breaking your calorie bank!
12 Calories: Asparagus
How much? 4 spears, cooked
This low-calorie, high-fiber veggie is a great food for weight loss and overall health. But did you know asparagus can also help prevent a bad hangover? According to Korean researchers, asparagus helps boost levels of a key enzyme that breaks down alcohol. Cheers to that!
13 Calories: Broccoli
How much? 1 floret
You know broccoli is healthy—it's low in calories and loaded with calcium. Another reason to love the fibrous veggie? It helps fight cancer! A 2011 study published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research
found that one of the primary chemicals in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables selectively targets and kills cancer cells.
14 Calories: Cucumber
How much? 1 cup, diced
A cucumber is about 90 percent water, making it an ideal snack for when you're trying to slim down. It's also the perfect ingredient for refreshing summer side dishes like this Sicilian Orange-Cucumber Salad.
15 Calories: Mushrooms
How much? 1 cup, raw
Mushrooms are not only low in calories, but their meaty texture and potent flavor fill you up fast. In fact, Dr. Oz touts the mushroom to be a "secret weight loss food" since they're high in fiber and low in calories—the perfect equation.
16 Calories: Lemon
How much? 1 lemon
Lemons deliver some surprising health benefits. Studies show that the scent of lemon oil can actually create a greater sense of concentration, while increasing alertness. Lemons also contain pectin, a soluble fiber that has been shown to help with weight loss—so add some lemon to your water to feel fuller and prevent between-meal munchies.
17 Calories: Apricot
How much? 1 apricot
Sweet, juicy, and satisfying, apricots make the perfect summer snack, especially if you're watching your weight. So it's not surprising the tasty fruit made our list of the top 50 foods for weight loss.
18 Calories: Summer Squash
How much? 1 cup
Squash is often linked with crisp fall weather and Thanksgiving feasts, but this summer squash is even lower in calories than its winter counterpart. Check out this recipe for mouthwatering spaghetti squash and lean meatballs. It's one of our all-time favorite food swaps for weight loss!
19 Calories: Cabbage
How much? 1 cup
We've touted bok choy (one type of cabbage) as an excellent food for weight loss, but it's just one of literally hundreds of cabbage varieties that deliver fantastic health benefits. For maximum rewards, cook your cabbage by steaming. Research shows that steamed cabbage retains more cancer-fighting enzymes than raw or microwave versions.
20 Calories: Egg White
How much? 1 egg white
The debate about the health benefits of eggs has raged on for years. However, one thing is fact: One egg white has just 20 calories. And with the amount of protein it provides, it's a great way fuel up on the road to weight loss.
21 Calories: Parmesan Cheese
How much? 1 tbsp
Parmesan cheese has more calcium than all other cheeses and is chock full of protein—both of which help metabolize fat. Just be sure to keep your portions in check. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons (just 42 calories) on your salad for an incredible flavor boost that won't derail your diet.
22 Calories: Tomato
23 Calories: Hummus
How much? 1 tbsp
Hummus adds flavor and protein to veggie dishes without a lot of extra calories. Plus, the fiber and antioxidants found in this Middle Eastern bean dip have lasting health effects. Try these out-of-the-box ways to enjoy hummus. Just be mindful of portion control, as this is one healthy food that's easy to overdo!
24 Calories: Cantaloupe
How much? 1/8 melon
Filled with antioxidants, cantaloupe makes the perfect sweet and refreshing snack. One of their hidden health benefits? Cantaloupes contain many vitamins and minerals that can help prevent eye problems.
25 Calories: Sugar-Free Gelatin
How much? 1/2 cup
It may not be as creamy as sugar-packed desserts like ice cream, but at 25 calories per serving, sugar-free gelatin is a great substitute for satisfying your sweet tooth.
26 Calories: Olives
How much? 5 olives
Olives are packed with nutrients and make a super satisfying snack. Add them to salads for a healthy dose of monounsaturated fats, which can help prevent heart disease and stroke by lowering levels of bad cholesterol and raising levels of the good stuff. At just 26 calories for five olives, it's easy to keep your diet in check.
27 Calories: Plum
How much? 1 plum
Plums, part of the stone fruit family, contain compounds that work in your cells to protect against aging and disease. They also have anti-diabetic and anti-obesity properties. AND they're delicious. At just 27 calories each, it's a win win win!
Sick of eating your fruit plain? Check out this delicious plum salad!
28 Calories: Pineapple
How much? 1 slice
Pineapple contains a potent mix of vitamins, antioxidants, and enzymes that make it a powerful inflammation fighter. Enjoy 1/2 cup two or three times a week—it's perfect for when your sweet tooth starts to bite.
29 Calories: Star Fruit
How much? 1 star fruit
When you're bored with apples and oranges, spice things up with the tart and slightly sweet star fruit. It's an excellent source of vitamin C and naturally free of sodium and cholesterol—all reasons why we included star fruit on this list of the best foods for weight loss.
30 Calories: Carrot
How much? 1 carrot
You know raw vegetables are a smart addition to any healthy diet plan, but they're not always convenient for on-the-go snacking. Enter carrots. They're low in calories and one medium-sized raw carrot (or 3 ounces of baby carrots) offers nearly 2 grams of belly-filling fiber.
31 Calories: Air-Popped Popcorn
How much? 1 cup
Popcorn lands in a variety of spots along the calorie spectrum. Order a bag at the movies and you'll easily take in an entire meal's worth of calories before the final credits, not to mention the 17 grams of fat from the butter. On the other hand, air-popped versions (sans toppings) make a great low-calorie, high-fiber snack.
32 Calories: Leeks
How much? 1 cup, cooked
Leeks belong to the same vegetable family as garlic and onions, so they boast many of the same health benefits like fighting inflammation that can lead to heart disease. The tasty, affordable, and versatile veggie adds a lot of flavor to dishes without a lot of calories. Plus, because they're high in fiber, they aid in digestion.
33 Calories: Brussels Sprouts
How much? 1/2 cup, cooked
Registered dietitian Alexandra Oppenheimer from New York calls Brussels sprouts "nutrition cannonballs." And for a good reason. With just 10 calories, 1/2 gram of fiber, and 1/2 gram of protein per sprout, they'll keep you satisfied while eating fewer calories. Just don't sabotage your healthy dish by cooking them with too much oil or bacon. (We love this simple roasted Brussels sprouts recipe!)
34 Calories: Snow Peas
How much? 1/2 cup, cooked
Snow peas are great for snacking because they don't require any shelling. And since almost 25 percent of snow pea's calories come from protein, they'll keep you full and help stave off between-meal munchies. Enjoy them raw or try tossing them into your next stir-fry.