Choosing the right foods when trying to lose weight can be confusing. What about zucchini, is it good for weight loss or fattening?
Zucchini is a food that is rising in popularity. Zucchini is technically a fruit, not a vegetable although in cooking it is often used as a vegetable.
Like most vegetables, many people will benefit in terms of weight loss by eating more zucchini. It is in fact one of the better vegetables for weight loss. Find out just how good zucchini is and how it compares to other vegetable options for weight loss.
Micronutrients in zucchini
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in zucchini.
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 raw zucchini provides you with approximately (1):
- Vitamin C: 28% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Vitamin B6: 11% of the DV
- Manganese: 9% of the DV
- Riboflavin: 8% of the DV
- Folate: 7% of the DV
- Potassium: 7% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 5% of the DV
And some other vitamins and minerals in less significant amounts. The amount of other vitamins and minerals in zucchini is decent compared to many other whole foods.
Zucchini also contain certain kinds of antioxidants, substances that help your body deal with oxidative damage (2). It is not entirely clear if and to what extent antioxidants help weight loss.
Fiber in zucchini for weight loss
Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.
Zucchini contains around 1.1 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
That’s a decent 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 zucchini you can reduce the time you spend craving for food a decent amount.
Does zucchini help you lose weight?
You still need a final piece of the puzzle. The amount of calories in zucchini.
Zucchini contains 16 calories per 100 grams. 11.5 of these calories come from the carbohydrates (3.3 g per 100 grams of which 1.1 g fiber).
You can definitely fit in zucchini in low carb diets like the keto diet.
The amount of calories in zucchini is very low, even compared to other low-calorie vegetables. Fruits, legumes, meats, and everything in between are usually higher in calories than zucchini.
Zucchini 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 zucchini, is enough to help them lose weight.
If you don’t like zucchini there are other low-calorie, satiating foods out there too but zucchini is definitely one of the better ones.
If you are gaining weight while eating zucchini, the first place to look at is the rest of your diet and other lifestyle habits. Zucchini is generally not fattening.
How to eat zucchini for weight loss
Zucchini makes for a great snack on its own but it also known for some other recipes in the diet world.
First of all you can still use zucchini in classic raw vegetable dishes like salads or smoothies.
Where the culinary potential of zucchini really stands out is its potential to be a great substitute for pasta. Pasta is generally high in calories and not that filling. By replacing pasta with zucchini you get a more weight loss friendly meal.
Zucchini noodles are a great replacement for spaghetti. You can also use sliced zucchini in lasagna.
Zucchini vs other popular vegetables for weight loss
You now know how good zucchini is for weight loss but how does it compare to certain other vegetables? Find out how good zucchini is for weight loss vs cucumber and eggplant.
Zucchini vs cucumber
The first comparison is between zucchini and cucumber. If you look at the calorie amounts you can see that these two foods have about the same amount. Zucchini contains around 16 calories per 100 grams vs the 15 calories per 100 grams of cucumber (3).
Cucumber contains around 0.5 grams of fiber per 100 grams, zucchini 1.1 grams. Zucchini contains slightly higher amounts of vitamins and minerals.
The difference won’t be big but zucchini will be slightly better for weight loss than cucumber.
Zucchini vs eggplant
There is a relatively big difference in the amount of fiber in these foods. Zucchini has about 1.1 grams of fiber per 100 grams vs eggplant with 3.4 grams. Zucchini contains slightly higher amounts of vitamins and minerals.
The difference in fiber makes eggplant likely better for weight loss than zucchini.
Chart of zucchini vs other popular vegetables
All in all, the differences between these foods won’t make that much of a difference when it comes to losing weight. If you like all these vegetables equally you might as well choose the ones that are slightly better for weight loss.
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 zucchini (1), cucumber (3), and eggplant (4) to compare.
|Values Per 100g||Zucchini||Cucumber||Eggplant|
|Calories||16 calories||15 calories||24 calories|
|Fiber||1.1 g||0.5 g||3.4 g|