Are Negative Calorie Foods a Myth?

Written by Oven Pride on February 16, 2017

negative foods

What if we told you that there are some foods that you can eat, without worrying about the calorie intake? Sounds too good to be true, but we assure you – negative calorie foods are not a myth and they certainly do exist! Even though they didn’t make it in to our top Food Trends for 2017 list, they are without a doubt increasing in popularity right now. Enjoyed as part of a healthy lifestyle, you can enjoy a range of foods (in moderation), without worry.

Let’s start with the basics…

What is a negative calorie food?

A negative calorie food is basically what it says on the tin – it’s a food that ‘burns’ more calories than it contains, taking the calorie count into negative numbers when eaten in moderation. These foods often contain a high water percentage and make for excellent snacks when keeping count of your daily calorie intake.

Negative Calorie Food List


Having an overall water content of around 75% celery is one of the better known negative calorie foods. Reaping additional benefits such as a high fibre content, a healthy dose of Vitamin A C & K and antioxidant properties, celery is also a snack favourite when paired with low calorie hummus or dips.


Again, containing a high water content and very little fat, this summer reminiscing fruit is the perfect snack for the whole family to enjoy. Not only is watermelon a great snack, but due to the water content, it is also an amazing source of hydration and can replenish your body effortlessly the morning after the night before!  Watermelon also contains a high content of Vitamin B.

Apples and Oranges

Another popular family favourite which is on the negative calorie list, is the humble Apple and Orange. Not only are these fruits great for helping you stay on track with your ’5 a day’, but studies have shown that eating these delicious fruits regularly can reduce the risks of some cancers and improve the overall health of your heart!

Lean Meats

Whilst not having a high water content, lean meats can still be considered a negative calorie food. The protein content in meats such as Turkey, Chicken and low fat Pork causes your digestive system to work a little bit harder temporarily causing a spike in the rate of your metabolism. The filling nature of these meats means that you’re also more likely to stay fuller for longer, and so the negative calorie benefit of eating these foods boosts into action. However, lean meats still contain fats and should be prepared in the oven or grill to ensure you’re making the most of their negative calorie benefits.


Broths have been getting a lot of attention lately, and with good reason. Generally packed full of flavour from vegetables and meats, broths are known to suppress your appetite through scent, making you feel as though you’ve ate a richer meal than you actually have. Perfect for a snack when you’re craving something more hearty, you can whip up a batch of broth from your Sunday lunch and enjoy it when the hunger pangs hit.


Don’t worry, your favourite morning pick me up is safe! However it is only unsweetened black coffee that reaps the benefits of negative calorie content; and although at first black coffee can taste a little bitter, the additional benefits such as improving the body’s ability to differentiate between thirst and hunger and a boost in metabolic rate really helps to sweeten up this morning wonder. It is worth noting that, like all food and drink, coffee should be drank in moderation and can have a negative effects on your body if drank too much (i.e. more than 5 cups a day).

Rocket Leaves

Containing only four calories per serving, Rocket is an amazing negative calorie food that goes with just about anything! These little green leaves are full of fibre which promotes a healthy digestive tract and like celery contain a healthy dose of vitamins A, C and K per serving. If you’re looking for creative ways to add more rocket to your diet why not try pairing it with soup or salads? It is also a great alternative to pepper in your food.

Have you been experimenting with negative calorie meals in your kitchen? Or have we missed off you favourite negative calorie meal? Let us know over on our Twitter @ovenpride

Hob Pride