"But Granola Bars are Healthy!"
Wrong! You may have been led to believe that granola bars are great healthy snacks if you are trying to gain weight or even lose some. But they are processed, have artificial flavoring, and are loaded with sugar. In short, a granola bar is just about as nutritious as a candy bar - it's not nutritious at all!
Though calorie-rich, when consumed in moderation, there are certain foods that help you gain weight without resulting in any nutritional deficiencies. These foods contain the right balance of nutrients including carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, and even provide benefits like boosting the immune system, protecting the heart, and giving you gorgeous skin and hair. In order to achieve healthy weight gain, there are some tips that you should keep in mind and then go on to incorporate these foods in your diet.
- Marginally increasing the intake of the healthy foods that you already may be consuming will help you gain weight if that is your aim.
- Do not refrain from consuming carbohydrates in the form of rice, oatmeal, beans, and potatoes.
- This list does not mention fried foods anywhere, so stay away from your burgers, pizzas, and French fries. An occasional indulgence is permitted.
- Even when trying to gain weight, exercise is important so that you put on weight in all the right areas and have a toned, not flabby body.
Delicious and Healthy High-calorie Foods
Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, start your day by eating a portion of breakfast cereal every morning to give yourself a good, healthy calorie boost, as well as the required energy to face the day. An average serving size of wholewheat cereal (31 grams) will give you 106 calories. Breakfast cereals are also good high-calorie foods for kids. Ensure that you limit the intake of sugar-coated varieties as they will cause unhealthy weight gain in kids and adults alike.
Spread a thin layer of unsalted peanut butter on a slice of wholewheat bread to gain healthy calories. One tablespoon of smooth, unsalted peanut butter (16 grams) contains about 94 calories. You can also spread peanut butter on your favorite fruit or a celery stick for a delicious snack.
When enjoyed in small quantities, unsalted butter is a great source of healthy calories. One pat of unsalted butter (roughly one teaspoon or 5 grams) contains 36 calories.
High-calorie but healthy fruits such as bananas and avocados are helpful in your quest for weight gain. Both fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which are helpful in keeping certain diseases at bay. One medium-sized banana (118 grams) contains about 105 calories, while one avocado (200 grams) contains about 322 calories.
A daily handful of nuts, comprising walnuts (26 calories in one walnut), almonds (6 calories in one almond), and pecans (13 calories in one pecan) is useful in gaining all those healthy calories required for weight gain. These are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and proteins that are healthy for the heart. Consider the number of nuts based on the calories you wish to consume.
Consuming a cup of natural, plain, whole milk yogurt (8 fluid ounces or 245 grams) will provide you with about 149 calories, along with a good dose of calcium and protein. Do not opt for sweetened and flavored yogurts as these contain unhealthy fats.
Pasta is a good source of the complex carbohydrates required for a balanced diet, and it is not as high in calories as one may assume. It is the way it is eaten that makes it calorie rich and unhealthy. A portion of wholewheat pasta in a salad can actually make it a good source of healthy calories. One cup of cooked wholewheat spaghetti (140 grams) contains 174 calories, and can easily be made a part of a healthy salad or even a light dinner with a homemade tomato-based sauce.
Olives and olive oil are healthier choices of high-calorie foods. Sprinkle some olives on a salad or in your pasta, and draw the benefits of this fruit rich in vitamins A and E, and in omega fatty acids. One bottled/canned/pickled olive (2.7 grams) contains about 4 calories, while one tablespoon of olive oil (13.5 grams) contains about 120 calories.
As is the case with pasta, even potatoes have been tagged as unhealthy and fattening. However, there are several nutritional benefits of potatoes, and when eaten boiled or baked, without the sour cream, these can give you those necessary healthy calories to gain weight. A medium-sized baked potato (173 grams) with the skin and salt will give you 161 calories.
Dried fruits such as figs, prunes, raisins, and apricots are delicious, and can be added to anything you add nuts to. Be it your morning cereal or a salad, or simply enjoyed with a handful of nuts, these make for high-calorie and healthy snacks. 50 raisins (26 grams) contain about 78 calories, while one whole dried fig (8.4 grams) contains 47 calories. One pitted prune (9.5 grams) contains about 23 calories.
While not all of you may take to the taste of dates, those of you who do can enjoy these wonder fruits in a whole lot of ways - date chutneys, chopped date garnish on puddings, or a few in their natural form. Not only these help in healthy weight gain, they even help cut cholesterol, enhance the digestion process, and generally keep you feeling fit and healthy. One pitted Medjool date (24 grams) contains about 66 calories, so you can decide exactly how many calories you want to consume from dates. The number of calories will vary based on the variety you find.
Every chocolate lover is sure to jump at the opportunity to enjoy dark chocolate, irrespective of whether she/he is on a weight gain or weight loss program. This wonderful delight is great for both, when consumed in moderation. The antioxidants in dark chocolate contribute towards keeping you healthy, while its delicious bitter-sweet taste fulfills your sweet tooth craving. One bar of dark chocolate (17 grams) contains about 95 calories.
All bodybuilders swear by the protein that eggs provide and consume these frequently to help develop muscle. Along with proteins, you can definitely rely on eggs to give you some healthy calories. One whole hard-boiled egg (50 grams) contains 78 calories, while one fried egg (46 grams) contains 90 calories. If you use a small amount of oil to fry your egg, you can safely consume it regularly.
Salmon is enriched not only with healthy oils that contribute to weight gain, it is also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for good memory, great skin, and great hair. One pink salmon fillet (100 grams) contains 153 calories.
Fruit juices are great once in a while, and pack a whole lot of healthy calories for those of you enjoy them. For instance, a glass of fresh orange juice (8 fluid ounces) will give you about 112 calories. As far as possible, try consuming fresh fruit juices with the pulp to also get the fiber from them. Unsweetened canned varieties are great if you consume the varieties without added sugar. One drink box of orange juice (8.45 fluid ounces) contains 124 calories.
Cheese is delicious and healthy when eaten in small regular doses. Providing you with all the calcium and protein you need, a slice of cheese on a slice of whole-wheat toast with a few olives can make a great snack. A slice of cheddar cheese (28 grams) contains about 113 calories, while one wedge of feta cheese (38 grams) contains about 100 calories.
Packed with antioxidants and a whole lot of flavor, enjoy an assortment of berries raw, with yogurt, with your breakfast cereal, or simply make a smoothie and get all the healthy calories from each of these foods. One cup of fresh blueberries (148 grams) contains about 84 calories while one cup of fresh whole strawberries (144 grams) contains about 50 calories.
While a lot of you may make faces at the thought of having milk, you have to understand that whole milk gives you a lot of good calories as well as the necessary calcium and protein your body requires. A cup of whole milk (3.25% milkfat, 8 fluid ounces) packs 149 calories. If you don't enjoy it just like that, make a milkshake with your favorite fruits. Just remember not to add too much sugar or ice cream or the purpose of the drink will be lost. You may add a little plain yogurt to thicken it.
The consumption of these healthy high-calorie foods, combined with the right amount of weight training exercises to build healthy muscle, will help you gain the desired weight without getting fat. Enjoy these foods but do not take an overdose assuming they are healthy, as this again, will multiply the number of calories and lead to unhealthy weight gain.
Disclaimer: This article is general in nature. The calorie requirements for each individual may vary. Consulting a nutritionist is the ideal way to learn about healthy weight gain as per body type and calorie requirements.