Although standard nutritional advice is to focus on low-calorie foods like fruits and vegetables, when you are trying to gain weight it’s important to consume high-calorie foods. This means avoiding empty calories from processed junk food, but instead adding calorie-dense healthy foods.
Examples of these include whole milk, fatty fish, starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn, and nuts.
1. Dairy Products
Dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese are high calorie foods to gain weight because they contain lots of calories in a small volume. They also provide protein, calcium, vitamin D (if fortified) and potassium. Choose full-fat dairy because it contains more calories than low-fat options.
Oils are another food to consider when you’re looking for high calorie foods to gain weight. They are very calorie dense because they contain 9 calories per gram of fat, as opposed to 4 calories for carbohydrates and proteins. Choose extra virgin olive or coconut oil for cooking and use salad dressings that are fatty.
Other high calorie foods to gain weight include potatoes and other starchy vegetables, such as sweet potatoes and oats. These vegetables provide a good source of carbohydrates and fiber. They are also rich in micronutrients, such as vitamin A and C and iron. Add condiments like honey and mayonnaise to meals. They are high calorie foods to gain weight because of their calorie density and flavor. Consider adding them to scrambled eggs, soups and casseroles.
A person may need high calorie foods to gain weight for many reasons. They could be suffering from a medical condition that causes weight loss or they may need to increase their calorie intake to make up for poor dietary choices. They can also use them as a way to re-energise themselves after a workout or when they feel like they are lacking energy.
Meat snacks are a good source of protein and calories. They are generally low in carbohydrates, making them good for those seeking to gain weight. Examples of meat snacks include canned tuna, ham and pork tenderloin. You can buy these at a butcher shop, grocery store or online.
Other high calorie meat options include turkey, beef, lamb and chicken. They are also good for people seeking to build muscle. You can mix meat snacks with other healthy options such as whole grain snacks, like whole wheat bread or a bowl of cereal with milk on top.
Vegetables are a great source of nutrients and provide high-quality calories. These calorie-dense foods can help you gain weight as they are rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals and micronutrients (1). Vegetables can be a healthy addition to any meal and are also good for increasing your fiber intake.
Sweet potatoes are a good source of carbohydrates and provide plenty of calories. They are also rich in vitamin A, potassium and folate. You can roast or bake them.
Avocado is another delicious and nutritious food that is full of fats, carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals. It is also a source of dietary fibre, vitamin C and folate.
Lentils, also known as pulses, are a great source of protein, fibre and carbohydrate, in addition to vitamin A, K, C, folate and iron. They can be eaten as a side dish or added to soups and curries.
You can also add nutrient-rich vegetables to your meals such as spinach, tomatoes and cucumbers. You can use them to add flavour and texture to your dishes. It is important to seek out nutrient-dense combinations of foods that play well together.
Fruits contain many essential nutrients that are important for overall health, but it is the sugar in fruits that makes them high calorie foods to gain weight. Adding fruits to your diet can add variety and help you achieve your weight gain goals.
Fruits can be purchased fresh or frozen, and are easy to add to meals and snacks. A banana can provide 105 calories in one serving and can be added to smoothies or used to make a banana split for a delicious treat. 1 cup of raisins provides 247 calories, and are a great way to get extra calories in your diet.
Avocado is a creamy fruit with a smooth texture and mild flavor. This fruit is high in fat, but it is a healthy type of fat. It can be eaten raw as a snack or added to smoothies for a creamy texture. 1 medium sized avocado contains 340 calories.
Nuts are a great high-calorie food to include in your diet. They can help you gain weight in a healthy manner and are also rich in protein. They can be eaten raw or roasted. They are also a good source of vitamins and minerals like copper, iron, phosphorous, and potassium.
They can be added to salads, oatmeal, and yogurt to boost the calories and nutrition in your meals. They are rich in a variety of fats, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are considered heart-healthy fats. They are also a great source of fiber, vitamin E, and antioxidants.
Some nuts are more calorie dense than others. Macadamia nuts, for example, offer 720 calories per 100g. Pecans are another great calorie-dense nut. They are popular in baked goods such as cookies, and they can be dipped in chocolate for a treat.
You can also add nuts and nut butters to your meals, such as a spread on toast or in a smoothie. They are more versatile than other high calorie foods and provide you with a range of nutrients that help support muscle growth.