Onions are good for weight loss, as they’re low in calories, provide flavor to diet recipes, reduce appetite, and they’re an excellent source of health-promoting, fat-burning phytochemicals, such as quercetin!
How many calories in onions?
Above all, onions are good for losing weight because they’re low in calories. 100g of onions have about 40 calories. A medium onion has only 45 calories.
Moreover, onions help us consume fewer total calories in a day. Caloric deficit is crucial for losing weight. Try to consume lots of foods low in calories, with a high satiating effect. These foods make dieting easy.
Onions control appetite
Additionally, onions promote weight loss, as they can keep you full for a long time.
First, they’re high in fiber. A medium onion has about 1.9g of fiber, or 6% DV (Daily Value).
Fiber expands in the stomach, taking a lot of space. So, we feel full, and we eat less. In fact, a high-fiber diet can help you lose weight faster.
As a rule of thumb, we should consume 28g of fiber per a 2,000 calorie diet. On the contrary, lower doses increase the risk of obesity!
Furthermore, onions hydrate us, as they’re 90% water. We should be properly hydrated, in order, to burn more fat mass while dieting. Water is necessary for the metabolism of fat.
Onions are low in sugars
Additionally, onions are pretty low in sugars. 100g contain only 4.2g of sugars! Hence, onions don’t spike blood sugar levels. In fact, onions have an extremely low Glycemic Index of 15.
So, people with diabetes, people who follow a ketogenic diet, and overweight people who want to lose weight can eat onions regularly.
As a rule of thumb, you should prefer consuming lots of foods with a low glycemic index, if you want to lose weight. They promote fat burn, and help maintain a healthy body weight.
Vitamin C in onions burns fat
Moreover, onions are a good dietary source of vitamin C. A medium onion has about 8.1 mg of vitamin C, or 9% DV.
Vitamin C promotes weight loss, as it helps the body burn fat mass.
Oranges, kiwi, lemons, tomato, papaya, mango, and pineapple are common foods high in vitamin C. Also, these fruits are good for weight loss, as they’re low in calories, and contain necessary vitamins for a good metabolism.
Antioxidants in onions enhance weight loss
Most noteworthy, onions have an excellent antioxidant content. Actually, onions are among the richest sources of flavonoids, and greatly contribute to the overall intake of flavonoids.
Onions have 34 phenolics. 17 of them are flavonoids. The richest and the most important flavonoid in onions is quercetin (37%).
Quercetin has potent anti-obesity effect. It can improve body composition of overweight people. Additionally, quercetin may lower blood glucose levels.
Moreover, antioxidants in onions fight inflammation, and neutralize free radicals. High amounts of free radicals lead to oxidative stress, which can cause to obesity!
Furthermore, onions have prebiotics, which are a type of fiber. We can’t digest prebiotics. But, the beneficial bacteria in the gut eat them! So, onions support a healthy digestion system, which is beneficial for maintaining an ideal body weight. Also, regular consumption of onions can prevent nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
Onions may decrease blood glucose & cholesterol levels
Additionally, onions may help decrease cholesterol levels. Especially, red onions can significantly decrease LDL cholesterol. Also, onions may improve the total metabolic status. For instance, they can lower blood sugar, and triglyceride levels.[10,11]
Garlic can lower elevated cholesterol as well.
It seems that quercetin, the main antioxidant compounds in onions, is capable of altering the expression of genes involved in cholesterol metabolism! Also, it can increase blood HDL cholesterol levels.
The best sources of flavonoids and polyphenolic compounds are fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Follow a plant-based diet to lower the risk of developing obesity, type-2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease.
Onions are among the richest common foods in flavonoids.
Red, yellow, or white onion varieties are better for losing weight?
Red onions are slightly richer in antioxidants, as compared to other varieties. For instance, fresh red onions contain 415-1,917 mg of flavanols per kg. Yellow onions contain only 270-1,187 mg. White onions contain even lower concentrations.
Actually, flavonoids give onions their distinct color. For instance, the anthocyanins are responsible for the color of red and purple varieties. On the other hand, varieties high in flavanols are yellow or brown.
So, what’s the best onion variety for good health and weight loss? In fact, you should choose whatever onion variety you like the most. Different varieties have different concentrations of antioxidant compounds. Hence, you better consume all onion varieties to get all of them.
Above all, you shouldn’t discard the outermost layers of the bulb. They’ve the highest concentration of antioxidant compounds, as compared to the middle and inner layers.
Are sautéed onions good for losing weight?
Certainly, sautéed onions are a key ingredient for many diet recipes. They provide flavor with low calories. They’re used in every culture around the world. In fact, onions are the most widely cultivated vegetable.
As a rule of thumb, people who want to lose weight should avoid sauté onions in any vegetable oil. All vegetable oils are calorie-dense foods. A tbsp of any vegetable oil has 120 calories! Instead, you could sauté onions, adding only water. Skipping vegetable oil saves lots of calories.
You could combine onions with garlic powder for extra flavor.
Furthermore, heat can destroy quercetin and other flavonoids in onions. You should avoid cooking onions at temperatures higher than 150oC.
Moreover, you could add fresh onions to salads. You should try Greek salad. It’s the easiest recipe ever. Just add sliced onions, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, olives, and dried oregano. As a topping, sprinkle extra virgin olive oil.