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waterskier2007's avatar

What foods besides celery contain negative net calories?

Asked by waterskier2007 (2050points) June 11th, 2008 from iPhone

aka what foods take more calories to est than they give you

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

13 Answers

Babo's avatar


thebeadholder's avatar

Iceburg lettuce, I believe.

MisterBlueSky85's avatar

If pickles make the list, cucumbers probably do, too.

I found a good list. Here ya go:

Apple, Asparagus, Beet Root, Blueberries, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cantaloupe, Carrot, Cauliflower, Celery, Chicory, Cranberry, Cucumber, Garden cress, Garlic, Grapefruit, Green Beans, Honeydew, Hot Chili, Lemon/Lime, Lettuce, Mango, Onion, Orange, Papaya, Peach, Pineapple, Radish, Raspberry, Spinach, Strawberry, Tangerine, Tomato, Turnip, Turnip, Watermelon.

Bon appetit!

waterskier2007's avatar

wow thanks GA’ed for sure

ljs22's avatar

Really? It seems a lot of items on that list are high in natural sugar, which means negative calories are unlikely. What’s your source?

andrew's avatar

Negative calorie foods are a myth.

According to the site MisterBlueSky85 linked, if I ate nothing but apples, honeydew, pineapples and papayas, I’d starve to death very quickly. Unlikely.

waterskier2007's avatar

@ andrew, i know there are no foods that contain negative calories, which is why in the description i put what i did. i just didnt want to make a question title super long. quit being so literal

MisterBlueSky85's avatar

@Andrew: Here’s a quote from one of the articles I found in your google search link:

There is a heated debate, but the evidence seems to indicate that yes, there are foods that create a negative calorie effect. For people who automatically yell, “That’s impossible!” without looking at the facts, well consider this very well known piece of survival knowledge: if you eat nothing but wild hares and wild rabbits for a large amount of time, you will starve to death. There aren’t enough calories or nutrients because of the rabbits’ diet, and the body takes too much energy to break down the protein that isn’t giving anything back.

So the idea of negative calorie foods works for a few reasons, and most of these foods have a few things in common that make this unusual situation possible:

1) All of these foods are extremely high in fiber. This makes it much easier for your body to digest quickly, and use every nutrient while passing the rest straight on through quickly enough that it can’t stick around to become fat.

2) All of these foods are either fruits or veggies. There is no other type of food on this list that falls into another food group. These food groups are commonly the healthiest types of food for you anyway, and almost never have any fat, though there are exceptions (like coconuts, which definitely do NOT make the negative foods list).

3) Most all of these foods will have a high water content. This makes sense since no matter how strong a metabolic effect a food has, the higher in calories it is the harder it will be to burn all of them off. Water has no calories, so fruits and veggies that are particularly high in water will have less calories and thus there is less to burn off while digesting.

andrew's avatar

@waterskier2007: I’m saying that even net-negative caloric foods are a myth.

@MisterBlueSky85: I call shenanigans!


’...“Having fruits on this list makes me really nervous,” she said. “Sure, things like papaya are high in fiber, but they also have about 15 grams of carbs per serving. There’s no way you’d burn that just digesting the fruit.”’

It’s the same deal with apples. Yes, they’re high in fiber and water, but they also contain significant amounts of fructose and glucose.

a) At least according to this site, the amount of calories your body uses to digest is proportional to the amount of calories you consume. (This makes sense to me, though I’d like to find a more scientific source)

b) I’m not convinced that a high-fiber food takes significantly more calories to digest, especially since we don’t digest fiber (as I found out when I ate too many cherries as a kid)

From the same article I listed:

Foods that technically are “negative-calorie” items, according to Marcia Byrd, clinical health educator at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Gilroy, are:







Green beans

Green cabbage

Iceberg lettuce





Certains kinds of zucchini
I’m still skeptical, though.

glial's avatar

Play-Doh ?

MisterBlueSky85's avatar

Well it looks like Andrew’s list and the list I found overlap in some ways. Maybe just consider the foods in both lists as negative net calorie foods?

Good police work, Andrew. :)

gooch's avatar

You forgot raw cabbage

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