Eva-Katalin / istockphoto.com

Sorry, Everyone: Celery Does Have Calories

Eat it all you want, but it won’t burn calories
Eva-Katalin / istockphoto.com

Might as well dip it in some ranch dressing, then. 

The negative-calorie myth has reached its end. Celery, Brussels sprouts, and other immensely fibrous, crunchy veggies are (gasp) caloric.

Regardless of this fact, people have believed for a while now that some foods can actually provide you with “negative” calories — which if you think about it, is a wild concept to wrap your head around. A food that negates calories instead of provides them.

Essentially, the idea is that when you eat these “negative calorie” foods, you expend more energy trying to digest the indigestible than you’ll take in from the foods themselves. For this reason, “diet-friendly” advice columns and bikini body tips have been advising the intake of these foods to enable continuous, “guilt-free” eating.

Well, we hate to break it to you, but those foods do actually have calories. All food does.

A stalk of celery is approximately 8 calories. That’s an incredibly low number — lower than some mints, to give you some reference. But the body is so efficient at digesting food that the entire stalk consumes only 2 calories of chewing, swallowing, and digesting energy.

Isn’t that kind of incredible? The body loves calories and food so much that it doesn’t want to get rid of any of those nutrients in the process of digesting. So it’s very efficient at extracting what it needs from food, without letting anything go to waste.

Really, this is good news for the human race and our overall health. But, to be completely frank, vegetables like celery do have calories. And eating tons of them won’t shed fat from your waistline due to caloric expenditure.


Please, though, don’t let that stop you from eating vegetables. Calories are nutrients. A food that’s zero-calorie, by nature, is zero-nutrient. Other than the joy of taste, what’s the use of that? Food is meant to be nutritious; you can literally take in more nutrients than are contained in a multivitamin, just from adding a few tasty foods to your diet. Instead of sticking to non-nutritious fillers, let’s all do that, instead.