Susie Burrell

‘your food, your body, your life’

Top low calorie summer foods 

Steamy Summer days mean we are looking for light, refreshing foods and with many of us feeling the effect of several holiday weeks of overeating, it may also be time to get your diet back on track. Before you go and waste your hard earned $$$ on an expensive mix of pills and potions and diet detoxes, you will be pleased to hear that it is easy to give your diet an overhaul, simply by focusing on nutrient rich, low-calorie food. Here are some of the best foods to give your diet a Summer reboot, with foods you are likely to already have in your fridge at home.

Beetroot

The rich, bright colour and texture of beetroot give you some idea of how chock full of nutrition this vegetable really is. Beetroot contains a number of extremely powerful antioxidants known to support cell health and with minimal calories per serve, is a daily must include in your diet. Roast and add to salads, juice for a tasty mixed vegetable juice or grate and keep handy as an addition to sandwiches, crackers, dips and pates.

White fish

If calorie control is your goal, white fish is your superfood. Exceptionally high in protein, low in fat and calories, any type of white fish ranging from dory, perch, barramundi, sole, flounder and whiting is a superfood when it comes to weight loss. Served grilled, BBQ’d or even fried in a little olive oil, fish is a perfect base to light meals served with plenty of brightly coloured, nutrient rich veges.

Prawns

The old Aussie saying, ‘throw a prawn on the barbie’ is heard frequently during the warm Summer months when seafood is a fav for many families. Prawns are an extremely nutritious type of seafood, packed full of protein, calcium, iodine and zinc. And while prawns are often linked to adverse effects on cholesterol, there is no evidence that prawns specifically increase blood cholesterol, and thanks to their relatively low fat content you can enjoy them freely.

Cucumber

Consisting of more than 96% water, an entire cucumber contains just 60 calories and is good source of fibre and potassium, which helps to rid the body of extra fluid. Simply munching on a cucumber a day, and adding it to green juices and smoothies gives you the benefit of one of nature’s most powerful diuretics, especially if you feel bloated and heavy.

Watermelon

Often slammed for being relatively high in sugar, what is important to remember is that watermelon as the name suggests is 92% water, and contains just 45 calories per 1 cup serve, making it a low calorie, nutrient rich food despite the fact it contains some natural fruit sugar. High in antioxidants and the phytonutrient lycopene which is linked to heart health long term, you could do a lot worse than choosing some fresh watermelon to snack on. A great addition to mixed vege juices, a based to salads or as a filling tasty snack, watermelon like cucumbers will help to rid the body of extra fluid.

Greek yoghurt

Greek yoghurt not only contains much less sugar than the average serve of store bought yoghurt but it is much higher in protein which helps to keep your blood glucose levels regulated throughout the day. An added benefit will come if you choose a variety of Greek yoghurt which also contains probiotics, the live bacteria that will help to feed the good bacteria in the gut and is thought to have a powerful role in optimal immune functioning long term. Enjoy with some oats for breakfast, as a filling snack, as a light dessert option, add to smoothies and protein shakes or even as a dressing option with vegetables for a daily calcium boost.

Blueberries

Whilst all berries are good for us, it is blueberries that standout when it comes to health and longevity. With exceptionally high levels of antioxidants, blueberries are a rich source of Vitamin C and dietary fibre whilst also being relatively low in calories and carbohydrates. Enjoy as a light snack in between meals; as a fibre boost to smoothies and juices or as a sweet treat after dinner with a little Greek yoghurt and seeds or nuts.

Cottage cheese

Often forgotten, humble cottage cheese is one of the most nutrient dense foods you can enjoy, with minimal calories especially on a low-calorie weight loss eating regime. With a serve giving more than 16g of protein per ½ cup along with calcium, magnesium and Vitamin B12, adding a serve of cottage cheese into your day is a great way to bump your intake of essential nutrients for very few calories. Add to sandwiches or crackers for a protein rich filling, serve with cereal and fruit for breakfast or even use to help add flavor to salads and vegetables.

Red capsicum

Another nutrient rich, low calorie vegetable choice red capsicum is a rich source of carotenoids, the group of antioxidants known to play a powerful role in helping to down regulate a number of inflammatory pathways in the body. Red capsicum is packed full of Vitamin C, folate and fibre and with just 45 calorie per cup, you can enjoy an entire red capsicum as a filling snack and for a major nutritional hit. A flavoursome base to sauces, added to salads or teamed with hommus or Greek yoghurt, forget an apple a day to keep you in optimal health, a red capsicum a day is the way to go.

Green tea

If you are looking for a fat burning boost, adding in a couple of cups of green tea to your day is the way to go. Not only is green tea a rich source of powerful antioxidants that help to prevent cell related damage but there is also some evidence to show that green tea may increase fat metabolism. Any variety is a good choice, matcha even better and a great addition after meals to help neutralize sugar cravings. Green tea can easily be incorporated in Summer smoothies or as a refreshing iced tea to deal with the Summer heat.