What are negative calorie foods?

Bonjour,

Sacre Bleu! Negative calorie foods? How is that even possible? I agree, the very notion of negative calorie foods is quite surprising and intriguing to say the least: how come a calorie can be ‘negative’?

Negative calories foods?

Let’s get this right first.

All foods contain calories. However all calories aren’t created equal! Calories from nutrient-rich foods are the ones we need to feel, look and be at our best. Calories from nutrient-poor foods (also called empty calories – see below at the end of this article) are definitely the ones we need to avoid.

And there are negative calories… They are called negative as some research suggest that digesting negative calorie foods actually makes you consume more calories than the calories those foods provide… Interesting, isn’t it?

We still need more scientific evidence but it is quite clear that the ‘thermic effect’ or ‘dynamic action’ of these foods is real. The great news? You can eat UNLIMITED quantities without putting on weight. Combined with the list of foods I gave you a few weeks ago, they could definitely help you if you’re looking at shedding a few kilos…

 

What are negative calorie foods made of?

Very low in sugar and very rich in fibre, phytonutrients and… water! The amount of water makes us feel satisfied quite quickly and therefore we end up eating less.

Remember: water (2 to 3 litres a day) is the best appetite control tool you’ll ever have. Use it! It’s cheap, it’s super healthy and it works. Even better if you can increase your water intake with negative calorie foods.

Fibres are also key for weight-loss while phytonutrients are vital for your health… We definitely should worship all these negative calorie foods!

 

So…What are the best negative calorie foods?

Negative calories foods: green plants!

Negative calories foods: green plants!

They are all plants! The champion? Celery with 8 calories for 100 grs only! Eat as much as you want: you won’t gain one gram as you’ll use more than 18 calories to eat and digest it! Celery also helps eliminate fluids and its high amount of fibre helps digestion. Rich in potassium, sodium, phosphorus, vitamins C and B, the humble celery might become your new best friend!

– Then all leafy greens with a special mention for lettuce and rocket – which were also in my list of greens better than kale. Without knowing it, the French seem to master the art of negative calorie foods: they start most of their meals with a huge green salad made of lettuce, rocket or spinach. This definitely contributes to explain the French Paradox, which refers to why the French are one of the slimmest populations on the planet! However if lettuce and other greens are mostly calorie negative, the dressing you’ll be using isn’t… In particular if you use pre-made dressing, often loaded with bad fats, MSG and sugar. Yes, as I said in one of my articles before, it’s all in the dressing!

Fresh herbs are also part of this group alongside onions. Onions was one of Marguerite, my great grandmother’s favourite foods for its endless list of health benefits. It is now proven that onions have anti-cancer and immune booster properties.

– Gherkins. Well, real gherkins only – not the ones full of sugar and other artificial ingredients! Gherkins are mostly made of pickled and fermented cucumbers, one of the best negative calorie foods, and one of the best foods for your gut, loaded with friendly bacteria. You can have as many as you want… but again only if they are natural.

 

Negative calorie foods vs. empty calorie foods.

I am totally with you… It’s really confusing. Long story short, and as mentioned earlier, negative calorie foods are good for you, empty calorie foods are definitely not good for you.

Don’t be fooled by the word ’empty’ which might make you think they won’t have any impact on your waistline. Empty calorie foods are actually the foods that bring a lot of calories but NO nutrients – clearly the foods harming your health and expanding your waistline, foods such as alcohol, sugar and sugary dishes…

Worse: when you eat these calorie empty foods, you then don’t feel hungry for nutrient-rich foods which offer key life-building blocks you need, to be at your best such as vitamins and minerals. If you’re depleted in these key life-building blocks (proved to be the most healing nutrients for most conditions), you simply can’t enjoy good health, not to mention a sustained healthy weight.

 

So…  Which negative calorie foods are your favourite? Mine are definitely rocket and gherkins… Real gherkins!

Bon appetit and have a great week!

Yves

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