October 15, 2012

Foods That Can Gain Weight

Foods That Can Gain Weight

photo credits: wildyeastblog.com

Do you need to gain weight? If so, you need to eat more calories every day, but don't rely on high-calorie junkfoods that aren't nutritious. Choose foods that are nutrient-dense and energy-dense whenever possible.

Breads and cereals are a good source of complex carbohydrates your body needs for energy. Bagels just happen to be extra calorie dense. While one slice of bread has about 70 calories, one small 3-inch bagel has over 150 calories. Top your bagel with cream cheese and some 100-percent fruit spread for an high calorie (but healthy) snack.

Pasta is another calorie dense source of carbohydrates so it can serve as the base of a healthy and high calorie meal (one cup of cooked spaghetti noodles has 220 calories). Top your pasta with lycopene-rich marinara sauce and add a quarter cup of shredded cheese for more calories and calcium.

Dried Fruits
Raisins are probably the most popular dried fruit in your local grocery store, but you can also find dried berries, apricots, cranberries, and even tropical fruits. You can give yourself a quick calorie boost by eating dried fruits instead of fresh fruits because they have less volume than their fresh counterparts, so one half-cup of raisins has more calories (over 200) than a full cup of fresh grapes (about 60) and still offers good nutrition.

Healthy Fats and Oils
Adding extra fat to your food is an easy way to add calories, but you want to be sure to choose fats and oils that are good for you. Olive oil is rich in healthy monounsaturatedfatty acids, while canola oil contains both monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturatedfats, including omega-3fatty acids. Extra virgin olive oil can add calories and flavor to pasta, bread, or vegetables, and canola oil makes a terrific all-purpose cooking oil. Walnut and grape seed oils are lighter in flavor.

Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids plus vitamin K, potassium and fiber. One avocado has over than 200 calories. Add avocado slices to your sandwiches or make guacamole and serve with baked tortilla chips. You can also add guacamole to soft shell tacos or burritos.

Nuts and Seeds
Squirrels store nuts for a good reason: they're rich in calories that keep them fed during the long cold winter. Nuts and seeds contain polyunsaturated fats that add healthy calories to your diet. Brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews sunflower seeds, flax seeds and pumpkin seeds are all good for you and offer a variety of flavors. You can eat roasted nuts and seeds by the handful or slather some apple slices with nut butters for a nutrient-dense and calorie-dense snack.

Make your own granola with any combination of dry cereals, nuts, seeds and dried fruits. Store your granola in an airtight container and serve it for breakfast. You can also pack some little plastic zippered bags with granola that you can take with you on a busy day. For more flavor and calories, you can add chocolate or peanut butter chips.

Fruit Juice
Choose 100-percent fruit juice instead of sugary sodas and energy drinks to get both calories and nutrients. Look out for fruit-flavored drinks that are mostly sugar or high-fructose corn syrup -- they just don't pack the nutritional value of 100-percent fruit juices. Vegetable juice (low-sodium is best) tends to be lower in calories, but still contains vitamins and minerals.

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