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Free foods

PARVATHY R. KRISHNAN
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DIET Here’s a list of foods that are calorie-free

Did you know there are foods that don’t contribute calories to your diet? Though water and soda may be the only ones with zero calories, there is a list of foods that may be considered calorie-free. Using them to good effect in a diet will add palatability and variety. Herbs and greens give you antioxidants at no extra caloric cost. Nutritionally, a food has to be less than 20 kcal and less than 5 grams of carbohydrate per serving to be labelled a ‘free food’. (That is how the American Dietetic Association defines a free food).The logic is that one never eats or drinks several servings of these anyway and even if one did, they add nil or negligible numbers to the caloric constraints of diet. Some more foods deserve being mentioned here because they are very low calorie. They are kimchi and sauerkraut (in less than 100gm quantity), wheat bran (one tablespoon) and thin buttermilk. All vegetables (except starchy ones like potato) are low-calorie foods giving just 25 kcal per half cup of cooked portions. They add bulk and nutrition to the diet and should be fully exploited during meals to keep hunger at bay.

PARVATHY R. KRISHNAN

(The writer is a nutritionist)



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