Is Swiss Chard Good For Weight Loss?

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A bunch of fresh Swiss chard with red stalks lying on a wooden surface. (is swiss chard good for weight loss?)

Yes, Swiss chard can be beneficial for weight loss. It is low in calories and high in fiber, which can help you feel full and reduce overall calorie intake.

As a nutritionist, I always advocate opting for foods that are nutrient-dense and are low in calories. Swiss chard belongs to this category.

But what makes it good for weight loss? Let’s find out.

Nutritional Value Of Swiss Chard

As per the USDA, 175 g of cooked Swiss chard contains the following nutrients:

Serving Size: 100 g

Calories: 35
Protein: 3.2 g
Carbs: 7 g
Sugar: 1.9 g
Fiber: 3.6 g
Fat: 0.1 g

Potential Benefits of Swiss Chard For Weight Loss

Low in Calories

Swiss chard is notably low in calories. This characteristic is crucial for weight loss because losing weight typically requires consuming fewer calories than the body burns.

By choosing foods like Swiss chard, which provide bulk and nutrients without many calories, you can more easily maintain a calorie deficit – consuming fewer calories while still feeling satisfied.

This approach is more sustainable and healthful compared to eating smaller quantities of high-calorie foods.

High in Fiber

The high fiber content in Swiss chard is another key factor for weight loss. Dietary fiber is not digested by the body, so it adds bulk to your diet without adding calories.

Fiber-rich foods like Swiss chard take longer to chew and digest, leading to a slower, more gradual rise in blood sugar levels.

This prolonged digestion process helps you feel full and satisfied for a longer period, reducing the likelihood of overeating or reaching for additional snacks.

Additionally, fiber can help regulate the digestive system, which is beneficial for overall weight management.

Volume Eating

Swiss chard is an excellent example of a “volume food,” meaning you can consume a large quantity of it without consuming a lot of calories.

This is particularly beneficial for weight loss because it allows you to fill your plate and stomach without overloading on calories.

This strategy is essential for those who feel more satisfied with larger portions.

The psychological aspect of seeing a full plate can also be satisfying, making it easier to stick to a calorie-controlled diet.

Low Glycemic Index

Foods with a low glycemic index, like Swiss chard, are digested and absorbed more slowly, resulting in a slower and smaller rise in blood sugar levels after eating.

This slow release of glucose into the bloodstream provides a more sustained energy source and helps control appetite by preventing rapid spikes and drops in blood sugar that can lead to cravings.

Stabilized blood sugar levels can make it easier to resist the urge to snack unnecessarily, which is a crucial aspect of weight management.

Downsides Of Swiss Chard For Weight Loss

Limited Protein Content

Swiss chard, like most leafy greens, is low in protein. Protein plays a crucial role in weight loss because it’s essential for building and maintaining muscle mass.

Muscle mass is important as it boosts metabolic rate, meaning the body burns more calories even at rest. For effective weight loss, a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fats is essential.

Relying heavily on Swiss chard without sufficient protein intake can lead to muscle loss, which in turn could slow down your metabolism, potentially hindering weight loss efforts.

Additionally, protein is known for its satiating effect. It helps you feel full for longer, which can aid in reducing overall calorie intake.

Without adequate protein in your diet, you might find yourself feeling hungry more often, leading to increased food intake.

Can Lead to Nutrient Imbalances

While Swiss chard is rich in vitamins and minerals, it doesn’t provide all the nutrients your body needs.

A varied diet is crucial for overall health and to ensure you’re getting a wide range of nutrients.

Over-relying on Swiss chard or any single food can result in imbalances.

For example, you might miss out on essential fatty acids, complete proteins, or other vitamins and minerals not abundant in Swiss chard.

Nutrient imbalances can impact overall health and may also affect your energy levels and physical well-being, which are important for maintaining an active lifestyle during weight loss.

Tips For Incorporating Swiss Chard In a Weight Loss Diet

Combine with Protein Sources

Pairing Swiss chard with protein-rich foods is an excellent strategy for a balanced and satisfying weight-loss meal.

Combining the low-calorie, nutrient-dense chard with a protein source can help keep you full longer and support muscle maintenance and growth, which is important in any weight loss journey.

There are many ways to incorporate protein with Swiss chard:

  • With Animal Proteins: Add cooked chicken, turkey, fish, or lean beef to a Swiss chard stir-fry or salad. For example, grilled chicken breast or salmon can be laid atop a bed of sautéed or raw Swiss chard.
  • With Plant-Based Proteins: For a vegetarian or vegan option, mix Swiss chard with quinoa, lentils, chickpeas, tofu, or tempeh. These protein sources can be added to salads, stir-fries, or even Swiss chard wraps.

When cooking, consider using herbs and spices for flavoring to keep the meal interesting and tasty without adding excessive calories. For example, a sprinkle of lemon zest, garlic, or fresh herbs like basil or cilantro can greatly enhance the flavors of both Swiss chard and the protein source.

Also Read: Are Protein Pancakes Good For Weight Loss?

Use as a Salad Base

Swiss chard can be a refreshing and nutritious base for salads. Its leaves have a crisp texture that provides a satisfying crunch, similar to romaine or iceberg lettuce, but with more nutrients.

You can tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces and mix them with other salad greens like spinach, arugula, or kale for added variety and texture.

Dressing your Swiss chard salad lightly with a homemade vinaigrette (a mix of olive oil, vinegar, mustard, and herbs) can enhance the flavor without adding too many calories.

Avoid creamy dressings which are typically higher in calories and fats.

Also Read: Is Caprese Salad Good For Weight Loss?

Stir-Fries and Sautés

Adding chopped Swiss chard to stir-fries or sautéing it is a great way to enjoy a warm, nutritious dish. The chard wilts down and blends well with other ingredients.

Start by sautéing garlic and onions in a small amount of olive oil until they’re fragrant and translucent.

Then add the Swiss chard and cook until it’s wilted but still vibrant. This method preserves the nutrients while enhancing the flavors.

You can also add other vegetables, lean protein, and spices to create a well-rounded, low-calorie meal.

Incorporate in Smoothies

Swiss chard can be an excellent addition to smoothies for an extra nutrient boost. The leaves are rich in vitamins and minerals but have a milder flavor compared to some other greens like kale.

Combine Swiss chard with fruits like bananas, apples, berries, or citrus fruits to balance the taste.

The sweetness of the fruits will help mask the earthiness of the chard, making it more palatable if you’re not used to green smoothies.

Substitute for Higher-Calorie Ingredients

Using Swiss chard leaves as a wrap is a creative and healthy way to reduce calorie intake.

The large, sturdy leaves can hold various fillings, replacing higher-calorie options like bread, tortillas, or other wrap materials.

Fill Swiss chard leaves with ingredients like grilled chicken, turkey, hummus, fresh vegetables, or quinoa. Roll them up tightly for a nutritious, low-carb alternative to traditional wraps and sandwiches.

Add to Soups and Stews

Swiss chard is a great addition to soups and stews. It adds volume and nutrients without significantly altering the flavor profile of the dish.

Chop the leaves and stems and add them to your soup or stew in the last few minutes of cooking.

The chard will cook down and become tender, infusing the dish with its mild, slightly earthy flavor.

Make Healthy Chips

Baking Swiss chard leaves into chips is a simple and healthy way to satisfy your craving for something crunchy and salty.

Preheat your oven and prepare a baking sheet. Wash and dry the Swiss chard leaves, then tear them into chip-sized pieces, removing the stems.

Toss them lightly in olive oil and your choice of seasonings like salt, pepper, garlic powder, or paprika.

Arrange the leaves in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake until they are crispy. These chips are a great low-calorie snack that’s also packed with nutrients.

Alternatives To Swiss Chard for Weight Loss


Kale is extremely low in calories but high in volume, allowing you to consume a large portion without consuming many calories.

This can be particularly beneficial for creating a feeling of fullness, which helps in reducing overall calorie intake.

Kale’s versatility in cooking means it can be used in various dishes like salads, smoothies, and soups, which helps in keeping your diet diverse and interesting.

This diversity can prevent diet fatigue and help in sticking to a weight loss plan.

Also Read: Is Kale Good For Weight Loss?


Spinach has a high water content, which helps in creating a feeling of fullness without adding calories. This can reduce the likelihood of overeating.

Spinach has a mild flavor and wilts down significantly when cooked, making it easy to add large quantities to dishes like omelets and smoothies without altering the flavor profile too much.

This helps in increasing the volume of your meals without increasing the calorie count significantly.

Also Read: Is Spinach Good For Weight Loss?


Arugula’s distinct peppery flavor can enhance the taste of dishes without needing additional high-calorie dressings or condiments.

This can help in reducing the overall calorie content of meals.

Like other leafy greens, arugula has a low energy density, which means you can eat a lot of it without consuming a lot of calories.

This is beneficial for managing hunger and reducing total calorie intake.

Also Read: Is Argula Good For Weight Loss?

Romaine Lettuce

The crunchy texture of romaine lettuce can be psychologically satisfying for those who miss the texture of higher-calorie foods.

Using romaine in salads, wraps, or as a sandwich base can add a satisfying crunch without adding significant calories.

Romaine lettuce has a high water content, which helps in keeping you hydrated.

Proper hydration is key in weight loss as it can help in appetite control and enhancing metabolism.


Watercress is extremely low in calories but packed with nutrients.

Including nutrient-dense foods in your diet can be beneficial for weight loss as they provide essential vitamins and minerals while keeping calorie intake low.

The unique, slightly spicy taste of watercress can add a flavor boost to dishes, which may reduce the need for additional, higher-calorie flavorings.

This can be particularly useful in salads, sandwiches, and as a garnish.

Also Read: Is Watercress Good For Weight Loss?


Swiss chard is low in calories like majority of the green leafy vegetables. You can use it perfectly well in salads, soups, or sauces.

Just make sure to combine it with other protein sources since it lacks it.


Is it safe to eat Swiss chard every day?

Yes, it is generally safe to eat Swiss chard every day as part of a balanced diet.

Is chard healthier raw or cooked?

Both raw and cooked chard are healthy, but cooking can reduce its oxalate content, which is beneficial for people with kidney stone concerns.

Is Swiss chard high in calories?

No, Swiss chard is low in calories.

Who should not eat Swiss chard?

People prone to kidney stones might need to limit Swiss chard intake due to its high oxalate content.

This post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a commission for purchases made through links at no extra cost to you. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Rahul is a professional nutritionist certified by the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) and a personal trainer certified through the American Council of Exercise (ACE). He has a special interest in the science of nutrition and how it can impact the body.

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