Negative Calorie Foods: Fact or Fiction?

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All food has caloric content, so the term “negative calorie foods” may sound misleading. Some scientists say that since some foods are harder for the body to digest, the net effect of eating them creates a calorie deficit. In other words, the body burns more calories processing negative calorie foods than the foods actually contain. In theory, the more of these foods you eat, the less calories you take in, making them great for those trying to lose weight. However, negative calorie food diets are controversial, and not everyone agrees that negative calorie foods even technically exist. In any case, the fruits and vegetables on the negative calorie list are still healthy foods that should be included in any balanced diet.

Negative Calorie Berries

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Berries are unique among the negative calorie foods in that they contain moderate amounts of protein. Protein is extremely important in dieting, and many people forget they need it, preferring instead to sacrifice heavier foods in favor of those that are relatively empty of nutritional value. Most berries are tasty enough to eat on their own, and since they’re already “finger food” they’re easily portable. They’re rich in antioxidants, Vitamin C, and a host of other nutrients that boost your immune system (something else that’s good on a crash diet). Cranberries and blueberries help flush out your system, and are often used in the case of bladder infection for just that reason. Blueberries are also known, along with raspberries, to contribute to sustained eyesight. All these factors mixed with an extremely low calorie count (at an average of just 50 calories per cup for most berries) make berries a highly desirable negative calorie food.

Negative Calorie Fruits and Citrus

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At an average of less than 40 calories per fruit, citrus is extremely lightweight for the amount of space they can fill. Loaded with Vitamin C and high in fiber, citrus fruits will help even out your digestive system, and in high enough amounts, even flush it. While not the greatest thing to think about when talking about food, when talking about dieting it’s like the holy grail. Adding citrus fruits to your list of negative calorie foods will greatly increase your chances of getting that weight off and staying healthy in the process.

Negative Calories Melons

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Melons are fantastic summer filler foods with probably the biggest calorie deficit you can get. Since they’re mostly water, they help keep you hydrated which in turn is great for every single bodily function. On top of that they usually run at around 20 calories per wedge, which would be the same size as a 40 calorie citrus fruit or an entire cup of berries. It wouldn’t be very good to try melons alone, they should be part of the trio throughout the day along with berries and citrus.

Negative Calorie Vegetables

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Ah vegetables. Loathed or loved, they’re just plain good for you, in every way. Everyone knows celery as a nearly-zero calorie food already, but it wasn’t until recently that it became an obvious poster child for negative calorie foods. The real kicker is that celery may be very, very low calorie at only 5-8 calories per stick, but most other veggies follow not too far behind it. Vegetables mix the best (nutritional) qualities of citrus, berries and melons by holding mostly water-weight, containing decent amounts of protein, loads of fiber and they’re rich in nutrients. With all that going for them, all you need are the taste buds to match and you’re all set to follow an extremely effective negative calorie diet.

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