Do spices have calories?

In this brief guide, we will address the query, ”Do spices have calories?”. We will also discuss the calorie content of different spices and which ones are considered zero-calorie spices. Moreover, we will also talk about the benefits of spices and their effect on weight gain.

Do spices have calories?

Yes, they do have calories but in a very negligible amount. The majority of people believe that spices contain zero calories but that’s completely wrong, most of them have a negligible amount of calories. 

Typically, a teaspoon of spices contains only 5-6 calories however they are a good source of nutrition in the form of vitamins and minerals. Likewise, some of the spices such as basil, stevia, etc contain zero calories.

A great way of adding natural flavor and color to your favorite recipes without boosting the calorie count is by using spices, which are renowned for their distinctive fragrances and flavors. In addition to the fragrance and flavors, they are also good for health benefits.

How many calories do spices have?

The calorie count for each spice is different. The number of calories per teaspoon (tsp) or tablespoon (tbsp) for some of the spices we use regularly are:

  • Black pepper (tsp)  – 5 cal
  • Cardamom (tbsp) – 16 cal
  • Chili powder (tsp) – 6 cal
  • Cinnamon (tbsp) – 17 cal
  • Cloves (tbsp) – 16 cal
  • Fenugreek (tbsp) – 36 cal
  • Garlic powder (tsp) – 10 cal
  • Lemon grass (tbsp) – 4 cal
  • Onion powder (tsp)- 7 cal
  • Pepper (tsp) – 5 cal
  • Rosemary (tbsp) – 1 cal
  • Basil (tsp) – 0 cal

Which spices contain zero calories?

There are no spices that contain zero calories. But there are a handful of spices that can be considered as ‘zero calories containing spices’. The calorie contained in them is so negligible below 1 calorie per serving that is hardly even worth counting.

Adding these spices to your recipe only increases the aroma and flavor of the food. Some of the spices that can be considered zero calorie-containing spices are:


They are green, leafy plants that increase the flavor and pleasant smell of the food. In addition, they provide a fragrant, sweet smell and papery taste


They are green, flowery plants that are used in soups and salads for tangy flavor with a flowery aroma.

Dill/Dill weed

Dill / Dill weed is feathery green leaves that are used in pickles and as a garnish for their different tastes and aroma. They have a unique test of bitterness. 

Garlic Salt 

Garlic salt is a mixture of garlic and salt where the ratio of salt is more than the garlic.

Salt/sea salt 

Although salt, and sea salt help to increase the taste of food they are not considered spices, they are minerals. Salts and other forms of salts have no calories. They can be considered zero-calorie spices.

Does spice increase weight?

No, spice alone will not increase weight but spicy food leads to ingestion of surplus calories which increases the risk of gaining weight. 

Spices contain a very low amount of calories, almost negligible, they help in increasing the aroma, taste, and appearance of food which concludes taking excessive and frequent food increases the risk of being overweight.

Adding spices gives your recipe layers of flavors and also makes the food appear attractive which leads to the intake of excessive calories than required which becomes difficult to burn down which is one way to gain weight.

Many spices are also used to promote weight loss. Find some of the spices and herbs used for weight loss here.

What are the health benefits of spices?

The various health benefits of spices are:

  • Most spices can boost the body’s antioxidant capacity.
  • They can help to boost metabolism and improve immunity.
  • They reduce inflammation and help to reduce cell damage.
  • Curcumin, which is found in turmeric, has many important health benefits including anti-cancer properties and it may even help in treating Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Many spices are known to be a great home remedy for treating different digestive problems like diarrhea and indigestion. It also helps to promote digestion.
  • Antimicrobial and antifungal properties of different spices like turmeric and ginger help to fight bacteria and fungal infection


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, ”Do spices have calories?”. We have also discussed the calorie content of different spices and which ones are considered zero-calorie spices. Moreover, we have also talked about the benefits of spices and their effect on weight gain.