Despite the rumors, research does not show celery to contain fewer calories than it takes to digest — so, according to MayoClinic.com, it doesn’t have “negative calories”. Still, this healthy vegetable has a place in your diet plan. While no single food can cause weight loss, eating celery can help you reduce calorie intake and get your fill of vitamin K, necessary for proper blood clotting. Talk to your doctor before making major changes to your diet or starting a weight loss plan.
Low Calorie Count
At just 18 calories per serving, raw celery is about as light as food gets. This is key in weight loss, as you shed pounds by eating fewer calories than your body burns. Considering the average moderately active woman burns 1,800 – 2,200 calories per day and the average moderately active man burns 2,200 – 2,800 calories per day, celery barely makes a dent in total caloric intake. However, that changes if you pair celery with fatty dips — adding a serving of ranch dressing, for example, tacks on an additional 145 calories.
High Water Content
Raw celery is mostly liquid, with about 96% coming from water weight. This aids with weight loss in two ways:
- The moisture adds bulk to celery, helping to fill your stomach.
- Proper hydration aids in weight loss because you’re likely to mistake thirst for hunger, prompting you to eat more food when your body really just needs water.
Most fruits and vegetables, including carrots, bell peppers and berries, are also high in water content, so it’s important to include an assortment of fresh produce in your diet.
Each serving of celery has about 2 grams of fiber, roughly the same amount as a slice of whole wheat bread or a cup of cabbage. Fiber adds bulk to food without supplying any calories, promoting satiety to help prevent overeating. It also aids in digestion, helping you stay regular, and may help prevent diseases such as diabetes and colon cancer. Most women need 21 – 25 grams of fiber per day, while men need 30 – 38 grams per day.
Raw celery has a crisp texture, helping to satisfy your cravings for a crunchy snack. By substituting celery sticks for potato chips or pretzels, you can achieve a similar “mouth feel” without the guilt. Celery sticks are also highly portable, helping you snack smart on the go. At mealtime, try substituting fatty croutons in salads or fried chow mein noodles to top your stir-fry with chopped celery pieces instead.