Choosing the right foods when trying to lose weight can be confusing. What about cauliflower, is it good for weight loss or fattening?
Cauliflower is a popular vegetable all around the world, especially in the low carb diet world. The ways to eat cauliflower vary from raw, on its own, to a part of other dishes for example as a pizza crust.
Like most vegetables, many people will benefit in terms of weight loss by eating more cauliflower. Find out just how good cauliflower is, how you want to consume it for more weight loss and how it compares to certain other popular foods.
Micronutrients in cauliflower
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in cauliflower.
Micronutrients are a group of nutrients your body absolutely needs to survive and thrive. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. These are involved in basically every aspect of your health, including weight loss.
100 grams of raw cauliflower provides you with approximately (1):
- Vitamin C: 77% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Vitamin K: 20% of the DV
- Folate: 14% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 11% of the DV
- Potassium: 9% of the DV
- Manganese: 8% of the DV
- Vitamin B5: 7% of the DV
And some other vitamins and minerals in less significant amounts. The amount of other vitamins and minerals in cauliflower is good compared to many other whole foods.
If you have trouble reaching your daily vitamin and mineral goals cauliflower can help you a nice amount with a few of these goals.
Cauliflower also contains certain kinds of antioxidants, substances that help your body deal with oxidative damage. It is not entirely clear if and to what extent antioxidants help weight loss.
Fiber in cauliflower for weight loss
Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.
Cauliflower contains around 2.5 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
That’s a good amount of fiber per 100 grams compared to many whole foods.
Fiber has multiple benefits for weight loss. First of all, it feeds your microbiome, the microbes that live in your intestines. The health of your microbiome influences your body’s health and weight. Feeding it well is usually not a bad idea.
Fiber also helps you feel less hungry without adding a lot of calories to your diet. Hunger and cravings can be a big pitfall for people trying to lose weight, so avoiding this is a big plus.
With the amount of fiber in cauliflower you can reduce the time you spend craving for food a good amount.
Does cauliflower help you lose weight?
Before knowing whether or not cauliflower deserves a spot in your weight loss diet you still need a final piece of the puzzle. The number of calories in cauliflower.
Cauliflower contains 25 calories per 100 grams. 19.3 of these calories come from the carbohydrates (5.3 g per 100 grams of which 2.5 g fiber).
You can definitely fit in some cauliflower in low carb diets like the keto diet.
There are vegetables lower in calories than cauliflower but cauliflower is still generally very low in calories. Fruits, legumes, meats, and everything in between are usually higher in calories than cauliflower.
Cauliflower is a very low-calorie food that can help you feel fuller with its fiber content. This can help you avoid higher-calorie foods. For most people that, and thus eating more cauliflower, is enough to help them lose weight.
If you don’t like cauliflower you don’t have to go out of your way to force it into your daily eating habits, cauliflower is not a unique weight loss food. There are other foods that are just as good, or even better for weight loss.
If you are gaining weight while eating cauliflower, the first place to look at is the rest of your diet and other lifestyle habits. Cauliflower is generally not fattening.
How much cauliflower should you eat a day to lose weight?
Nutrition is always a bit of a puzzle in terms of what the perfect diet looks like. It’s a pretty individual thing.
Consuming enough vitamins and minerals is important for both your short and long-term health and weight loss. Cauliflower will provide you with some vitamins and minerals but you will need other nutritious foods as well.
A typical serving size for cauliflower is about 1 cup which is about 100 grams cauliflower.
Some people use this serving size as a daily recommendation for everyone but every situation is different.
If you are close to your daily vitamin and mineral goals you can see how much cauliflower still fits within your daily calories. The amount will be different from individual to individual from day to day, it can be 0 too.
Does cauliflower burn belly fat?
Targetting fat loss in a specific area like your belly is generally not possible. Not by eating more of a specific food or by doing a specific exercise. To burn belly fat you have to lose weight overall.
Since cauliflower can help you lose weight in general this food can also help you lose belly fat once your body wants to lose fat in your abdominal area.
How to eat cauliflower for weight loss
There is a wide variety of ways to eat cauliflower. Some are better than others for weight loss.
The best ways to eat cauliflower for weight loss would be just raw as a snack or boiled, potentially with some parmesan cheese if you like that and if it fits within your daily diet. You can also add cauliflower to these popular healthy recipes:
Cauliflower is very popular in the low carb world because it is a great replacement for certain high-carb foods. The main two replacements are cauliflower rice instead of regular rice and a cauliflower pizza bottom instead of dough.
Cauliflower rice is basically just grated cauliflower so still weight loss friendly. A pizza on the other hand, even if it has a cauliflower bottom, is generally rather high in calories due to the oils and cheese on it.
Cauliflower vs other popular foods for weight loss
You now know how good cauliflower is for weight loss but how does it compare to certain other foods? Find out how good cauliflower is for weight loss vs broccoli, potatoes, rice, and quinoa.
Cauliflower vs broccoli
Broccoli is a tiny amount higher in fiber, 2.6 grams per 100 grams. In terms of vitamins and minerals, broccoli takes the lead.
The difference will not be very big but cauliflower is likely better for weight loss than broccoli.
Cauliflower vs potatoes
Some people also use cauliflower as a replacement for potatoes. If you look at the calorie amounts you can see that potatoes contain a relatively high amount more. Cauliflower contains around 25 calories per 100 grams vs the 87 calories per 100 grams of boiled potatoes (3).
Boiled potatoes contain around 1.8 grams of fiber per 100 grams, cauliflower 2.5 grams. These two foods contain similar amounts of vitamins and minerals but with the emphasis on different nutrients.
Cauliflower will likely be better than potatoes for weight loss.
Cauliflower vs rice
Due to the popularity of cauliflower rice, the comparison with regular rice is a big interest. The thing with rice is that you have brown and white rice, and within these categories, you have different types with different nutritional values. For this comparison, long-grain brown rice (4) and long-grain white rice (5) will be used.
Both brown rice and white rice are higher in calories. This kind of brown rice contains about 111 calories per 100 grams and the white rice 130 calories.
Secondly, 100 grams of brown rice contains less fiber than cauliflower, 1.8 grams. This kind of white rice contains about 0.4 grams of fiber per 100 grams. Lastly, rice has lower amounts of vitamins and minerals.
All in all, cauliflower (rice) will be better than “real” rice, both brown and white, for weight loss.
Cauliflower vs quinoa
Lastly the comparison between cauliflower and quinoa, another food you can replace with cauliflower. Quinoa is higher in calories than cauliflower, 120 calories per 100 grams vs the 25 calories per 100 grams of cauliflower (6).
Quinoa contains around 2.8 grams of fiber per 100 grams so slightly higher than cauliflower. These two foods are very similar in the amounts of vitamins and minerals.
The big difference in calories makes cauliflower better for weight loss than quinoa.
Chart of cauliflower vs other popular foods
Looking at the different nutritional values you can see why cauliflower is such a popular food substitute in the dieting world.
The amount of vitamins and minerals in the foods does matter for weight loss and health but you can’t simplify that in one number. You can check out the numbers for cauliflower (1), broccoli (2), potatoes (3), brown rice (4), white rice (5), and quinoa (6) to compare.
|Values Per 100g||Cauliflower||Broccoli||Potatoes||Brown Rice||Quinoa|
|Calories||25 calories||34 calories||87 calories||111 calories||120 calories|
|Fiber||2.5 g||2.6 g||1.8 g||1.8 g||2.8 g|