Low Calorie Food Options
One of the key suggestions when aiming to eat healthier is planning your meals. Mapping out your meals with higher volume, lower-calorie options ensures that you never feel restricted and stay fuller for longer! Bulking up your meals with these 9 pantry staples means you always walk away feeling as energized as possible.
Oats are having their moment in the spotlight right now, with people realizing the versatility of this super affordable and healthy traditional breakfast food. Not only can you liven up the classic (and often looked down on) porridge with amazing toppings and flavors, but now oats are being used for so many things. They are a flour alternative, the main ingredient in a delicious baked oats dish, and are even being added to smoothies… the list goes on! Oats are one of the best ways to kick off your day to be a healthy one. Oats hold plenty of health benefits from aiding in lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels, to being high in fibre and protein, and low in fat and sugar.
Yoghurt is not only versatile in terms of what it can be used for, but the many flavors and brands out there now offering amazing low calorie, low sugar options are extensive! Yoghurt bowls topped with anything you fancy like granola, fruit, chia seeds or honey is so delicious and the perfect quick, summery option. Not only that, but they are great in baking and smoothies too. Yoghurt is great for your gut, being high in probiotics and is naturally high in calcium and protein too.
Non Starchy Vegetables
There is no surprise here that non-starchy vegetables are on the list of the best high volume, low-calorie foods to always have in your kitchen! We are big advocates for bulking up as many meals as possible with vegetables to fill you up and provide you with extensive amounts of essential vitamins and minerals. The more the merrier (and healthier)! There is a reason we have always been told to have five servings of vegetables every day. Some of the non-starchy vegetables we always have on hand include capsicum, cucumber, zucchini, carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, tomatoes, mixed leaves… the list goes on!
Low Sugar Fruits
Some fruits are higher in fructose than others. For example, grapes, bananas and apples, even though they are still great and definitely recommended, are slightly higher in calories due to their higher natural sugar content. A few examples of fruit that provide a huge amount of bang for your buck when it comes to their volume to calorie ratio include berries, mandarins, oranges and kiwi fruit to name a few.
Another food that is versatile and packed to the brim with essential vitamins and nutrients is the trusty ol’ egg. Not only are eggs super affordable, but the number of ways you can enjoy them is huge. Each egg is approximately 80 calories, so whipping up poached or scrambled eggs with a whole bunch of non-starchy veggies is one of the best ways to start your day. Other meals like frittatas and omelettes are wonderful too – the perfect breaky or lunch that is sure to fill you up!
The next two foods mentioned are always great to have stocked up in your pantry ready to go. Canned fish such as salmon and tuna are perfect when you are on the run and need a quick lunch or dinner without too much pre. Prep up salad or vegetables and combine canned tuna with it for a protein-punched, high volume, low-calorie meal. Or even stack up rice cakes or crackers with tinned fish and a little avocado for a healthy fat-filled quick snack!
Canned Legumes and Vegetables
Similarly, canned legumes such as beans, lentils or chickpeas and vegetables such as tomatoes and corn are affordable, delicious and a great quick bulker that you can add to a whole variety of family favorite meals. Some examples include spaghetti Bolognese, Mexican mince, curries, salads, stir-fries and soups! Legumes are a wonderful low-calorie plant-based protein source and are easy to use as a swap for meat-based meals too.
If you are a lover of fizzy soft drinks, a wonderful swap that will set you back very little to no calories is kombucha. Not only does kombucha come in a variety of tasty flavors, but the benefits to your gut are also immense, being a fermented drink. For the perfect lunchtime drink pairing or a Friday night tipple swap, kombucha is a great go-to to have on hand. We love the Remedy brand, coming in at 10 calories per 250ml! You could even try making your own, with this recipe here!
And lastly rice cakes are the perfect crunchy base for a light snack or a larger loaded lunch.