Calorie is a very important component in nutrition, especially when you are trying to manage your body weight or size. Amount of calories in foods is the backbone of weight loss diets with the fact that the fewer calories you consume the more weight you are likely to lose. This means you can manipulate the type of foods you eat by banking more on low calorie foods and avoiding the potential high calorie foods.
What is a calorie anyway?
Talking of calories, have you ever stopped to wonder what a calorie is? Maybe before we look at some of the possible low calorie foods it makes sense to remind us what exactly calories are. In a broader sense, a calorie is the amount of energy it takes to change the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree Celsius. Now, that is as far as physics is concerned. In the nutritional context however, a calorie is the amount of energy obtained from food that is available through cellular respiration. This is to say, every unit measure of food you consume produces a certain amount of energy that can be quantified. Food calories can therefore be indicated as kilocalories (kcal) or kilojoules (kJ). Quantitatively speaking, one food calorie is equivalent to 4.184 kilojoules. Ok, enough with the physics. But wait, do you even know why you need low calorie food?
Why eat low calorie foods
I guess by now you have heard of this, but just as a reminder; low calorie food is best of you are in for weight loss or just striving to maintain a healthy body weight. The principle is to consume as low amount of calories as termed healthy and where necessary, exercise to burn any initial excess calories in your body.
Examples of low calorie foods
I will categorize these foods into four categories; whole grains and natural starch, vegetable, lean proteins and fruits.
Whole grains and natural starch-low calorie foods in this categories include yams, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, brown rice preferably long grain rice, white potatoes, whole wheat bread, beans, whole wheat pasta, hot cereal rice cream and multy grain cereal mix which may include rye, oat, barley, and triticale.
Vegetables- perhaps this is the best low calorie foods of all the categories. This category offers low fat and calorie content as well as an abundant share of dietary fibers important during digestion. They include asparagus, broccoli, tomatoes, salad greens, spinach, onions, mushrooms, cucumbers, zucchini, French beans and snap peas.
Lean proteins-generally proteins have low calorie content; lean proteins on the other hand have low calorie contents and law fat content in particular. This include chicken breast, egg whites, salmon, turkey breast, top round steak especially from grass fed beef, flank stick, casein or whey protein available as protein powder additives, bison and trout.
Fruits-you must be familiar with that famous saying; an apple a day keeps the doctor away. In this category, there is more than just an apple; we have grape fruit, lemon, blueberries, oranges, bananas, cantaloupe, grapes, pineapples, and strawberries. I addition to having low calories, this category of fruits directly aids in weight loss due to the abundance in vitamin C
It helps to note that fats have the highest calorie amount, this means in your food choice, be sure to opt for those food with low and unsaturated healthy fat content. this means you will have to go for evaporated fat free milk, low fat yogurt and ice scream, fat free cheese, unbaked fish, English muffins, reduced fat cookies, popcorns, puddings, light spread margarine and so on.