When it comes to healthy weight gain, you should aim to include foods in your diet that are both nutritious and calorie-dense. Don’t be tempted to choose foods based only on their calorific content, as although you will gain weight, you might end up eating too much sugar and saturated fat.
Here are five healthy foods which are naturally calorie-dense, so you can gain weight whilst giving your body the nutrients it needs to feel great.
Although oats are known as a diet food, they can also help with weight gain, especially when made with whole milk. Oats are a source of minerals such as manganese and zinc, as well as containing B vitamins and iron. Make sure to choose the wholegrain oat variety over refined oats. The soluble fibre in oats, beta-glucan, may also help lower cholesterol. Plus, it’s easy to make this healthy snack high in calories. Just 50g oats made with 300ml whole milk packs 372 calories and 15g fat. 1 Adding nuts, dried fruit or Manuka honey to your bowl will give you extra calories whilst offering even more health benefits.
Handpicked content: Three easy but delicious porridge oat recipes
Eating plenty of avocado is a great way to add healthy fats, fibre and many vitamins to your diet including vitamin C, vitamin E and potassium. It’s also an excellent food for healthy weight gain. Just one avocado contains between 250 – 400 calories, 2 depending on the size. Eating a smaller avocado or half a larger avocado each day alongside your meals and snacks will help top up your calories for a steady weight gain. You can spread avocado onto toast, make guacamole, or add slices to salads and sandwiches. If you’re the kind of person that gets full quickly, you can even blend an avocado in with your morning or mid-day smoothie.
3. Protein powder
Protein helps us put on mass because it builds muscle tissue. However, if you’re underweight, there is a possibility that you become full too quickly and don’t always feel like eating. This is where protein powder comes in, as it can help you meet your calorie deficit without having to eat large amounts of food. A typical protein shake made with milk can deliver hundreds of calories in just a few sips. Protein powders can be made from whey, soy, pea or rice proteins and come in many different types- just be careful to avoid ones with artificial colours and flavours.
Handpicked content: DIY protein shakes
Tahini is a thick butter-like dip made from toasted ground sesame seeds. It’s very high in protein, and rich in vitamin E, B vitamins and calcium. At nearly 100 calories per tablespoon 3, you should consider adding it to your diet for healthy weight gain. Tahini can be used as a dip, a spread, and added to dressings and sauces. It’s very creamy and can also be used in baking and added to vegan milkshakes.
5. Nut butters
Nuts are rich in protein, fibre and healthy fats and can help you boost your calorie intake. 4 A tablespoon of peanut butter has around 100 calories 5 as well as being a source of vitamin E and magnesium. You can choose between a wide variety of nut butters that are available including almond, peanut, hazelnut, cashew and macadamia butters. However, make sure the one you choose one that is made from 100% nuts and has no added sugar or salt.
Handpicked content: Three delectable nut butter recipes
Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please consult a doctor or healthcare professional before trying any remedies.
Shop our Food and Drink range.
1. [Online] http://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/calories/porridge-made-with-50g-oats-300ml-whole-milk-373510537?v2=false.
2. [Online] http://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/calories/generic-1-whole-medium-avocado-82501442.
3. [Online] http://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/calories/626631296.
4. [Online] https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/Underweightadults.aspx.
5. [Online] http://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/calories/231647516.