BistroMD Health Library

Get excited about reading again with fun and interesting tips from our experts, including The M.D., our dietitians, and our fitness expert. In our health library, you will find all of the information you need to achieve your goals of making a healthy lifestyle change. So, start reading and start losing!

Healthy Recipes

Looking for a perfect recipe for tonight’s dinner, or need something healthy and delicious to take to a friend’s house for a party? Crafted by our award-winning chefs, and built on the nutritional foundation developed by Dr. Cederquist, these recipes are exactly what you’re looking for!

20 Delicious & Nutritious Low Calorie Foods with Recipes

The concept of “low-calorie” often leads to lower misconceptions of foods, including low in flavor and appeal. These 20 recipes not only feature low-calorie foods, but are nutritious and delicious!

20 Delicious & Nutritious Low Calorie Foods with Recipes


Low-Calorie Foods with Recipes

1. Apples
An apple a day keeps the doctor away! A small apple contains approximately 80 calories and 4 grams of fiber, including both soluble and insoluble types that have valuable roles in digestive and heart health. Skip out on packaged applesauce loaded with added sugar, syrups, and other preservatives and prepare one of these naturally-sweetened alternatives.

2. Berries
Packed with antioxidants and an average of 45 calories per ½ cup, berries are considered to be one of the most nutritious foods available. Enjoy the fresh flavors of raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries in this delectable mixed berry crepe recipe!

3. Broccoli
While “Eat your broccoli!” continues to be urged at the dinner table, the importance behind the phrase grants numerous health benefits. This bistroMD beef and broccoli stir fry is nutritionally balanced with the right amount of fiber, protein, and healthy fat.

4. Cabbage
Aside from cabbage’s reputation in mayo-based coleslaw, the green or purple plant is low in calorie and bursting with fiber and nutrients. Healthier uses of cabbage include one of the best tasting taco toppings, as well as being featured in this BBQ pulled pork recipe featuring a unique cabbage apple slaw!

5. Carrots
From vision to weight management, carrots offer significant health benefits for a low calorie cost of 50 calories per cup. And while most creamed soups are heavy in nutritional content, this creamy carrot and sweet potato soup offers a mere 173 calories!

6. Celery
Celery is notoriously known for its low calorie content, supplying a miniscule six calories per stalk. But if not so gung-ho on chomping down on its fibrous texture, give this braised celery recipe a try!

7. Citrus Fruits
Lemons, limes, and oranges offer vibrancy and fresh flavors without packing on unwanted calories, sugars, and fats. Whether in a cranberry orange yogurt parfait or these herb beef sirloin skewers with fresh lemon, feature citrus fruits for zesty low-calorie recipes!

8. Coffee
While it may not be a food, that morning cup of joe should not go unnoticed! Although a cup of coffee contains a mere five calories, the advantages it has shown to offer are anything but small! From weight loss to brain defense, learn about the brewing benefits of coffee here.

9. Cucumbers
Low in calorie but high in water content, cucumbers are an excellent snack choice to keep nourished and hydrated on a hot summer’s day. Stay cool as a cucumber with this dill cucumber salad recipe.

10. Grapefruit
Known for its semi-sweet yet slightly bitter taste, grapefruits are a nutritious fruit choice. For a low-calorie, naturally-sweetened treat, try this bistroMD recipe!

11. Kale
Packing on fiber and nutrients without loading up calories, the popularity of kale in the health world continues to sprout. Throw kale in salads, mix into smoothies, hide in casseroles, or crunch on this healthful alternative to packaged chips!

12. Lettuce
Whether iceberg, romaine, or leaf, the popularity of lettuce will never go out of style. Along with filling a salad bowl and topping a hamburger, the use of lettuce is a simple way to reduce carbs and calories, including in this Asian lettuce wraps recipe.

13. Oats
Low in calorie and packed in fiber, oats continue to show benefits in weight management and digestive and heart health. While most attribute traditional breakfast to drab and dull, amplify nutrients and flavor with these overnight oat recipes!

14. Peppers
Green or red, jalapeno or bell, peppers offer mild to spicy flavors to dishes. Slice bell peppers for a snack, add green chiles into stew, or stuff with these Greek-inspired ingredients!

15. Pumpkin
That fall staple is packed with vitamins without loading up calories, as one cup supplies 30 calories. Enjoy these 11 pumpkin recipes throughout the year, including a health-ified pumpkin spiced latte (PSL), pumpkin pie tartlets, and gluten-free pumpkin bread pudding.

16. Popcorn
The popped whole grain is a low-calorie snack, supplying a mere 30 calories a cup while offering insoluble fiber and B vitamins. Rather than dousing with butter and salt, add flavor by sprinkling on favorite flavors, including ranch and taco seasonings, cinnamon and cacao powder, and oregano and parmesan cheese.

17. Spaghetti Squash
From its high vitamin A concentration to its low calorie content, spaghetti squash is a valuable alternative to carb-rich pastas. Mimic the desirability of pasta with these 10 delicious, guilt-free ways to eat spaghetti squash.

18. Spinach
The use of spinach packs fiber and nutrients without adding on a substantial calorie load. Mix spinach into salad bowls or throw spinach into smoothies, casseroles, and eggs, as described in this breakfast frittata recipe.

19. Tomatoes
Whether you categorize tomatoes as a fruit or veggie, one thing is certain… Tomatoes are a low-calorie food and nonetheless nutritious. Instead of selecting jarred tomato sauces packed with added sugar and sodium, enjoy the fresh flavors of this baked tilapia with tomato caper sauce or four cheese tomato sauce with cheese ravioli.

20. Zucchini
And last but certainly not least… Zucchini! The summer squash can be featured in numerous low-calorie meals, including these 30+ zucchini recipes!

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