7 Low Calorie Grains

By: Jackie Martin    Last Updated: January 9, 2023       


Low Calorie Grains

Grains are a great food to eat if you are looking for low calorie meals.

With so many low calorie grains out there, you can also be sure that you will be able to use different grains in your meals every single day.

So what are the best low calorie grains out here? Here are just a few that you should consider incorporating into your meals.

1. Buckwheat


One fantastic grain to eat if you are looking for something that is low in calories is buckwheat. Buckwheat is technically a seed which originates from the Fagopyrum esculentum plant.

There are a number of different health benefits of buckwheat. For starters, it may help you to improve the health of your heart.

It can sometimes aid in reducing the amount of inflammation and cholesterol levels in your system.

Likewise it’s also known for being low on the glycemic index, so it doesn’t tend to massively increase blood sugar levels. This makes it suitable for diabetics.

Likewise, buckwheat is also gluten free and contains lots of fiber so it’s good for your gut. You’ll be especially happy if you’re vegetarian because it’s a grain that’s high in protein.

It’s also super low in calories and can work in pretty much any kind of meal.

2. Brown Rice

Brown Rice

Brown rice is almost like the ultimate superfood. It’s jam packed with vitamins and minerals that are essential for your wellbeing. It’s also versatile and can go with most meal options.

Brown rice contains antioxidants, B group vitamins, phosphorus and magnesium.

It also has a high amount of selenium and is rich in fiber. When you eat brown rice, you may find that you feel a lot fuller afterwards.

Brown rice may also be able to improve maternal health, particularly for mothers who are lactating or breastfeeding.

For nursing women, eating brown rice has been shown to potentially reduce stress, depression and fatigue.

If brown rice doesn’t do it for you, why not try red or black rice instead? These are similar whole grains that contain high amounts of antioxidants.

3. Oats


Oats are another excellent low calorie grain. They are excellent to eat when you are on a diet, since you can eat a larger amount of them for fewer calories than comparable grains.

There are a number of different benefits to eating oats. For starters oats contain high amounts of avenanthramide which is a type of antioxidant.

The role of the antioxidant is to protect your heart. As such, oats are great for your cardiovascular health.

In addition to that, oats are very high in fiber – in specific, beta glucan fiber. This kind of fiber is known particularly for its efficiency in absorbing high levels of water.

Because of this, when you eat oats they start to swell inside of your stomach and this can make you feel much fuller overall.

This makes you less inclined to try to eat more, making them a fantastic choice if you are trying to lose weight.

4. Quinoa


Quinoa is a food that’s becoming more and more popular as time goes on, and it’s not difficult to see why.

This delicious grain comes with a lot of different health benefits. In just 100g of quinoa once cooked, you will get just 120 calories.

This grain is especially beneficial if you are following a vegan diet or primarily eat plant based foods, since it’s quite high in protein and amino acids.

The benefits don’t stop there, either. Eating quinoa may actually lower your chances of getting chronic diseases thanks to the anti-inflammatory phytonutrients in it.

It also contains a lot of omega 3 fatty acids and is great for helping you to lose weight thanks to the low calories and high protein content.

It’s a good grain if you want to keep your blood sugar balanced, and it’s even suitable for consumption if you have coeliac disease or an intolerance to gluten.

5. Lentils


Lentils are another source of plant based protein. They are incredibly low in calories, providing you with 105 calories per 100g serving, so even less than quinoa.

Like quinoa, eating lentils may actually help you to minimize your risks of chronic diseases like diabetes.

Lentils are also fantastic for your digestive system thanks to the prebiotic fiber inside of them.

They are good for your heart and helpful for keeping your blood sugar levels in check since they have a very low glycemic index.

6. Rye


Whole Rye is full of nutrients and vitamins that are essential for your health!

Many researchers even say that the number of nutrients in one serving of rye is more than what you would expect from any alternative whole grain.

It’s jam packed with fiber and one serving only has around 100 calories in total.

Not only that but one serving of rye contains a whopping 50% of your daily recommended iron intake. It can be used in a variety of meals making it very versatile too.

7. Barley


Finally we have whole grain barley! Barley is one of the best whole grains for weight loss due to its low calorie content.

Not only that though, it’s also fantastic for helping to reduce cholesterol levels in the body. It’s just important that you ensure that you choose the right kind of barley.

Stay away from pearled barley since this is refined barley – instead, you want to be buying whole grain barley.

Should I Avoid Grains To Lose Weight?

You may think that it’s necessary to avoid eating grains in order to lose weight.

This is actually not at all necessary – there’s certainly no evidence to suggest that you need to stay away from grains in order to lose weight.

In fact, the benefits of grains far outweigh the problems. You may find that eating the right grains actually helps you to lose weight.

What Grains Are Not Good For Weight Loss?

While there are many grains out there that are low in calories and excellent for weight loss, there are also grains that are not so good for weight loss.

The grains that you want to stay away from are the refined grains. Eating these grains will help you to reach your daily recommended calorie intake, but they don’t come with any extra nutritional value.

The first grain to stay away from is white rice. White rice is high in calories and doesn’t contain a lot of fiber.

Its nutritional value is poor, and its glycemic index is quite high too. You will find that you feel hungry again shortly after eating white rice – it’s not very filling.

Instead you should try to eat brown rice as it has better nutritional value.

Another grain to avoid is wheat. This food is one that you want to avoid if you don’t want to gain weight, or it should at least be eaten sparingly.

It’s exceptionally high in calories and wheat is also very easy to eat in excess. Wheat also has a high glycemic index and will very quickly raise your blood sugar.

Finally there’s couscous. This grain may seem super healthy, but the truth is that it’s just empty calories for the most part. There’s barely any nutritional value. It’s best to only eat it in moderation.

Other Low Calorie Foods For A Healthy Diet

Grains aren’t the only foods that are good for a healthy diet. There are also a wide variety of other things that can supplement a healthy diet. Fruit and vegetables are a particularly good choice. Try things like broccoli, brussel sprouts and cabbage.

Carrots can go in pretty much any dish, and asparagus makes an excellent side dish. You can also try to eat fungi like mushrooms.

Ultimately any foods should be eaten as part of a balanced diet – that means a combination of protein, fats and carbohydrates.

It’s not just about the food, either. You should also make sure that you are drinking plenty of water.

Water is filling, so if you drink a cup of water before a meal then you may be less inclined to overeat.


These 7 low calorie grains are fantastic for when you are on a diet and want filling and nutritious foods to eat.

When eaten as part of a balanced diet, these grains will help you to feel healthier when you eat them too. Don’t be afraid to try them out in different and unique recipes either.

Experimenting with these different grains may help you to find your new favorite meal, and it will be healthy and low in calories!

As long as you eat the right grains, you will easily cut the number of calories you eat in half.

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