There is an enduring myth that certain type of foods have “negative calories”, meaning you use up more calories eating and digesting them than the number of calories they actually contain. Many have argued against this notion, and now a new study – albeit in lizards, and currently under review – has provided some important empirical evidence that negative calories are not a thing. That said, the research does have some good news.
Foods that are low in calories and high in water content and fibers, like celery, lettuce, grapefruit, cucumber, and broccoli are often purported to have “negative calories”. This is why they are often suggested in short term, sometimes worryingly extreme, weight-loss diets. For this new study, available to read on the biology pre-print site BioRxiv, the researchers looked at celery in particular, as it is the most cited example of this alleged property.
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