Pin Me

List of Foods That Burn Fat

written by: Lucinda Watrous • edited by: Donna Cosmato • updated: 6/11/2010

Foods that burn fat are found in great amounts in many foods. Adding the following foods on this two-part list will boost your metabolism and fat burning power. Balance these in your diet with a lowered caloric intake and increased exercise to watch the pounds melt away.

  • slide 1 of 12

    Cayenne Pepper

    Cayenne Pepper Nutrition Facts: 1 tablespoon contains approximately 17 calories, 1 g of fat, 2 mg sodium, no cholesterol, 3 carbohydrates--1 g dietary fiber and 1 g sugar, and 1 g protein. Cayenne pepper contains 44% of the daily value (DV) of vitamin A, 1% calcium, 7% vitamin C, and 2% iron, based on a 2000 calorie diet.

    How Cayenne Pepper Helps to Burn Fat: Cayenne pepper is considered to be one of the most powerful fat burning spices because it triggers a thermodynamic fat burning reaction in the body that lasts for hours after it is eaten. No particular amount is suggested for optimal fat burning. It also changes the way the body processes cholesterol.

    How to Add Cayenne Pepper to Your Diet: Cayenne pepper has quite a heat kick to it. Those who cannot handle spicy foods or are combating acid reflux issues may not want to add this to their diet. It works well when added to dishes such as chili, or guacamole, and is used in the lemonade mixture for the Master Cleanse or Lemonade Diet. Add it to lean proteins for the best results.

  • slide 2 of 12



    Nutrition Facts: Ginger root has no fat, carbs, protein, sodium, or cholesterol in a serving size of 1 teaspoon. It only contains 2 calories and is considered a good source of: vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese.

    How Ginger Helps to Burn Fat: Ginger helps to expand the blood vessels and improve circulation. It burns fat by increasing body temperature and metabolism up to 20%. It also helps to detoxify the body.

    How to Add Ginger to Your Diet: Ginger root provides a strong flavor, therefore, a little goes a long way. Make your own ginger ale or ginger snap cookies. Add small pieces to vegetables while cooking. Sprinkle into salad dressings or flavor teas and coffees.

  • slide 3 of 12

    Low Fat Dairy Products

    131012552 74c0a6bc96 t 

    Nutrition Facts: Depending on the low fat dairy product chosen, nutrition facts vary. For the purpose of this article, we will include nutrition facts for skim milk, as this is a common ingredient in many other dairy products. An 8 ounce glass of calcium fortified skim milk contains 86 calories, no fat, 5mg cholesterol, 128mg sodium, 12g sugar/carbohydrates, 8g protein, 23% DV vitamin A, 50% DV calcium, 4% DV vitamin C, and 1% DV iron.

    How Low Fat Dairy Products Helps to Burn Fat: Milk is thought to increase the body's ability to burn fat and build muscle when compared to other post-work out drink options because of its nutrient rich content. Studies are still being conducted to determine exactly how it burns fat, but current research shows it can help individuals lose up to twice the amount of fat than using other drink options such as soy or protein shakes. When the body builds muscle, it burns more fat on its own even at rest.

    How to Add Low Fat Dairy Products to Your Diet: Drink a glass of milk with breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Eat yogurt (watch for sugar content, though) with or for breakfast or as a snack between meals. Eat low fat cheese on sandwiches, salads, burritos, and pastas.

  • slide 4 of 12


    Cinnamon Nutrition Facts: In a 1 tablespoon serving size: 19 calories, no fat, 1mg sodium, 6g carbohydrates, no sugar, 4g dietary fiber, no protein, 8% DV of calcium, and 4% DV iron. It is a good source of vitamin K and manganese.

    How Cinnamon Helps to Burn Fat: Cinnamon helps to metabolize sugar up to 20 times faster, while also lowering blood sugar levels.

    How to Add Cinnamon to Your Diet: Flavor toast, coffee, hot chocolate, and other low fat desserts with this spice.

  • slide 5 of 12

    Citrus Fruits

    citrusfruits Nutrition Facts: Depending on the citrus fruit at hand, nutrition facts will vary slightly. We will take a closer look at the orange for the purpose of this article. One cup contains 85 calories, no fat, no sodium, or cholesterol, 21g carbohydrates where 17 are sugar and 4 are dietary fiber. Oranges are a good source of vitamin C, thiamin, folate, and potassium. The bad thing is most of the calories come from the sugar.

    How Citrus Fruits Help to Burn Fat: Vitamin C has a fat burning component which helps dilute the fat in the body to assist it in leaving the body.

    How to Add Citrus Fruits to Your Diet: Drink juice with breakfast. Eat a fruit salad. Squeeze citrus juice in water. Top a salad with mandrin oranges. Eat the raw fruit sliced as a snack.

  • slide 6 of 12
    10 Foods That Burn Fat to Help You Get in Better Shape: Part 2: Garlic, Soybeans, Essential Fatty Acids, Berries, and BananasMany people are looking to lose weight and want to learn more about foods that burn fat so they can make sure to include them in their diet. This article discusses 10 different foods that burn fat that are easily added to diets in a variety of ways, and are likely already in your diet in some capacity. Check this out to see what you're eating and how to kick start your fat burning abilities and take a look at the last five foods on our list.
  • slide 7 of 12


    Garlic Bulbs 

    Nutrition Facts:1 clove of fresh raw garlic contains: 4 calories, no fat, no cholesterol, 1mg sodium, 1g carbohydrate with no fiber or protein. It is a good source of calcium, phosphorus and selenium, and thought to be a very good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, and manganese.

    How Garlic Helps to Burn Fat: It is the vitamin C in garlic which helps it to burn fat. It is a natural antibiotic and helps to stabilize the blood sugar levels. By keeping the insulin levels low, it boosts the body's fat burning power.

    How to Add Garlic to Your Diet: Garlic is commonly found in Mexican and Italian Cuisine. Add it to your marinara sauce, salsa, salads, soups, and so forth. Eat it roasted.

  • slide 8 of 12


    berries Nutrition Facts:There are several berries to choose from, and while we suggest using a mixed berry approach, for the purpose of this article, we will take a closer look at the blueberry. 1 cup of raw, fresh, blueberries contains: 84 calories, no fat, 1mg sodium, no protein, and 21g of carbs where 4 are dietary fiber and the rest are sugar. These are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese though the downfall is the majority of the calories come from natural sugars.

    How Berries Help to Burn Fat: Berries and apples contain pectin. It binds with water and therefore helps to limit the amount of fat the cells in your body can absorb. The pectin drowns the fat.

    How to Add Berries to Your Diet: Make a fruit salad. Grab a small handfull of berries and eat them as a snack. Top healthy oatmeal and yogurt options with them.

  • slide 9 of 12



    Nutrition Facts: 1 cup of raw mashed banana contains 200 calories, 1g of fat, 2mg sodium, 51g carbohydrates with 28g being sugar and 6g as dietary fiber, and 2g of protein. It contains 3% DV of vitamin A, 33% DV of vitamin C, 1% DV calcium, and 3% DV iron. It is a good source of vitamin K as well.

    How Bananas Help to Burn Fat: Potassium, also found in milk and oranges, is a naturally occurring substance that boosts the metabolism and helps the body regulate its water balance.

    How to Add Bananas to Your Diet: Eat them as a snack, or with cereal in the morning. Try them as a part of a fruit salad.

  • slide 10 of 12


    soybeans Nutrition Facts: 1 cup of raw green soybeans has 376 calories, 17g fat (mostly unsaturated fats), 38 mg sodium, 28g of carbohydrates--11 of which are dietary fiber, and 33g of protein. It is a good source of thiamin, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and manganese, and is considered a very good source of vitamin C and folate. It contains 9% DV vitamin A, 124% DV vitamin C, 50% DV calcium, and 50% DV iron.

    How Soybeans Help to Burn Fat: Soybeans are full of a chemical known as lecithin. This chemical stops the body from builiding up so much fat in the cells.

    How to Add Soybeans to Your Diet: Purchase a bag of them at a local health food store and eat a handful of them three to five times a week.

  • slide 11 of 12

    Essential Fatty Acids

    avocados Nutrition Facts: Essential Fatty Acids contain linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acids that the body cannot produce on its own and must come from the diet. These acids are commonly known as omega-3 and omega- 6 acids. When enough of these are in excess in the body, they work together to make the non-essential fatty acid, omega-9.

    How Essential Fatty Acids Help to Burn Fat: It may seem counter-intuitive that fats help burn fat. What is important to consider is there are different kinds of fats, and it is more of caloric intake versus burn that leads to weight gain, not fat itself. Fatty acids burn fat by transferring fat soluble vitamins through the body and are a necessary factor in maintaining healthy skin, eyesight, and brain development.

    How to Add Essential Fatty Acids to Your Diet: There are several different food sources for essential fatty acids including the aforementioned soybean, the pictured avocado, various nuts and seeds, and oils such as olive, canola, and sesame.

  • slide 12 of 12

    All images presented in this article are available from Flickr under the Creative Commons license which allows for free commercial use. Nutritional facts presented in this article are estimated based on the most recent available information presented at