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Healthy High Calorie Foods & Snacks
When doctors want patients to gain weight, they don't prescribe cakes, cookies and pies. Instead, they give them a list of healthy, high calorie foods that will provide the body with nutrients needed to build a strong body. High calorie foods are ideal for those who are trying to gain weight, and/or have children who are underweight. And since the average person only eats 2,000 calories a day, these foods are a great way to add a little something extra into one's diet.
Of course, if you're eating too many of these high calorie foods without exercising or lifting weights, then you're putting yourself at risk for becoming overweight; this leads to a lot of other health issues like type II diabetes, cancer and heart disease. That said, let's go over what high calorie foods are good to eat, and which ones should be limited.
List of Foods High in Calories
- Cooking Oils
Vegetable, soybean, peanut, palm, and olive oil all have extra high calorie counts. Even worse is that some of these oils contain hydrogenated and Trans fats. Vegetable oil may be the worst with 44 calories per teaspoon, which means one cup of vegetable oil contains almost 2,000 calories!
Olive and Canola oil, on the other hand, are both good choices as far as cooking oils go. Overall, keep the use of oil to a minimum – especially if you're watching your figure!
- Seeds and Nuts
Nuts and seeds are packed full of minerals and vitamins that are healthy for your heart as well as digestion. They make great snacks, but are also high in calories, so don't forget about them when you will be creating your own list of healthy high calorie snacks.
On average, nuts and seeds have about 950 calories per cup, which can easily blow your calorie intake for the day. Eat seeds and nuts in moderation, and keep in mind that a safe serving size is one-fourth cup or less.
- Peanut Butter
An easy go-to snack is a peanut butter sandwich; however, if you're watching your weight, be careful not to add too much peanut butter to your snack! Peanut butter can be full of hydrogenated oils and loaded with extra sugar, so choose natural peanut butter to avoid unhealthy calories.
One tablespoon of peanut butter contains about 95 calories, and those calories can really add up when you're spreading it on bread. A better choice is to replace the bread with a couple of celery sticks.
- Dark Chocolate
It's common knowledge by now that dark chocolate is a better choice than milk chocolate, but it still isn't perfect! Dark chocolate gives your body antioxidant power, but should still be eaten in moderation.
If you're looking to gain weight, you can add cheese to nearly any steamed or cooked vegetable to add calories and flavor. Cheese gives you a good source of calcium – assuming it isn't over-processed. Cheddar cheese is one of the most popular flavors, and it gives you 455 calories in just one cup.
Bananas are good for those wanting to gain weight and they're nutritious. Eating one large banana gives you 120 calories, and when you pair it with toast or peanut butter, it can really add to your calorie count. But be careful not to over-eat bananas if you're watching your weight because they can make you pack on pounds.
When it comes to yogurt, things get a little complicated. Yogurt has great potential to be a healthy snack, but when flavors and artificial sweeteners are added, it becomes more and more unhealthy.
Some yogurt offers 118 calories per serving; however, the trouble is from added sugars. You don't want to gain weight the unhealthy way, so try eating Greek yogurt since it gives you more protein.
Eggs are traditional breakfast food, but like many other foods, they can be eaten at any time of the day. One large egg contains 74 calories and is a great source of protein and natural fat. Limit the consumption of eggs to avoid raising your cholesterol levels.
If you're concerned about your cholesterol, then only eat the egg whites because these have very little cholesterol and calories, yet still give you the nutrients eggs have to offer.
Whole milk has 146 calories in 1 cup, which is almost as much as a can of soda! The difference is that milk won't make you addicted and assault your body the way that soda does. Add whole milk to your meals for calcium and calories.
Pasta becomes high in calories only when you eat more than the suggested serving size. One serving size of pasta has about 260 calories, and with tomato sauce, it bumps up the nutritional value without overthrowing the calorie count. When you get two or three servings of pasta, it becomes a high calorie food, so keep moderation in mind.
Avocados are a healthy high calorie food – similar to bananas – and they're rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals. Avocados can be made into guacamole or put on sandwiches; either way, if you eat one cup of sliced avocado, you're putting 235 calories into your body. But who eats one cup of avocado alone anyways?
Potatoes have gotten a bad reputation for causing weight gain. However, the reason why they're so negatively portrayed isn't because they're unhealthy; it is because people eat them wrong. Loading potatoes with a bunch of butter and sour cream is an easy way to gain weight! Eating a medium-sized baked potato puts roughly 160 calories into your body.
- Dried Fruits
Figs, raisins, and apricots are all tasty snacks, and when you pair them with nuts, it's even better. However, the calories can really stack up if you over-eat dried fruit, so pay attention to serving sizes!
One dried fig gives you 47 calories and only one-fourth cup of dried prunes has 102 calories, which isn't that much at all. Raisins will put 85 calories into your body if you eat one-fourth of a cup.
- Fruit Juice
Fresh juice is refreshing and offers plenty of healthy calories when you don't add lots of sugars and chemicals to the equation.
Fresh orange juice has about 134 calories, and when you keep the pulp, you're also giving yourself a good source of fiber. The key is to avoid juices with a lot of additives so that you're not getting unhealthy calories.
Looking at things from a broad perspective, there are a lot of healthy, high calorie foods available at grocery stores. And while they may not be the most convenient foods to find, they're going to keep your body much healthier than processed foods that have lots of unhealthy calories like potato chips and soda.