Lemon provides non-fat, low-sodium, low-calorie flavor for beverages, salads, side dishes, entrees and desserts. Fresh-squeezed lemon juice boost flavor for recipes and provides an alternative to sugar and fat-laden beverage, condiment and sauce choices.
Fresh lemon juice contains 3 calories per tbsp., the American Diabetes Association reports. The calories come from 1 g of carbohydrate. Fat and protein amount to zero percent of the calories.
Lemons contain 6 percent of your daily value of vitamin C based on a 2,000-calorie diet, reports the American Diabetes Association. Lemon juice has 3 mg of sodium per tbsp.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website reports that beverage calories can add a substantial number of empty calories to your daily intake. For example, a whole-milk latte, two large sodas and a sweetened ice tea come to 796 calories. The website suggests low-calorie substitutions, including unsweetened sparkling water or water with a slice of lemon.
Squeeze lemon juice on steamed vegetables, salad and fish in place of butter, dressing and tarter sauce to cut fat and calories.