5 fab foods for healthy weight gain

There are so many posts out there about losing weight, but what about the people who want to gain weight?

As tempting as it is to reach for processed foods for those easy calories, instead try incorporating these foods into your meals for a just as easy and much healthier calorie fix.

Avocado

Avocados are packed with healthy monounsaturated fats as well as being rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals. 100g (about half an avocado) contains:

calories (kcal) fat (g) carbohydrates (g) protein (g)
161 14.8 8.6 2.0

 

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How to eat it?

These bad boys are incredibly versatile:

Add to green smoothies, chop up and mix into salads, use in a dip, make brownies, make a chocolate mousse, smashed avocado on toast, and guacamole (of course).

Nuts and Seeds

Macadamia nuts, in particular, are a winner for high calories. A handful of nuts can easily take you up to 300-400 calories, so that’s certainly one snack sorted!

1 serving of nuts (1oz/28g) contains:

calories (kcal) fat (g) carbohydrates (g) protein (g)
almond 161 13.8 6.1 5.9
brazil nut 184 18.6 3.4 4
cashew 155 12.3 9.2 5.1
hazelnut 176 17.0 4.7 4.2
macadamia 201 21.2 4.0 2.2
peanut 159 13.8 4.5 7.2
pecan 193 20.2 3.9 2.6
pine 188 19.1 3.7 3.8
pistachio 156 12.4 7.8 5.8
walnut 183 18.3 3.8 4.3

 

Seeds aren’t as high in calories like nuts, given the amount you eat, but, since they’re so easy to eat, they’re a marvellous way to gain an extra few calories.

1 tablespoon of seeds contains:

calories (kcal) fat (g) carbohydrates (g) protein (g)
chia 49 3.1 4.4 1.6
flax 54 4.3 3.0 1.9
poppy 46 3.6 2.5 1.6
pumpkin 54 4.6 1.8 2.5
sesame 51 4.9 1.0 1.6
sunflower 58 5.2 2.0 2.1

 

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How to eat them?

Throw into salads, on top of smoothie bowls, oatmeal, toast; add to curries, rice, cakes and bread; make cheese sauce; use chia/flax eggs in all your baked goodies.

Nut and Seed Butter

This is an even easier way for that high fat and protein kick compared to eating whole nuts and seeds.

1 tablespoon contains:

calories (kcal) fat (g) carbohydrates (g) protein (g)
almond butter 98 8.4 1.0 3.8
brazil nut butter 114 10.9 1.2 2.2
cashew butter 99 8.3 2.8 3.1
peanut butter 89 6.9 1.7 4.4
pecan butter 114 11.1 1.5 1.5
pistachio butter 96 7.7 2.8 3.0
pumpkin seed butter 90 7.0 2.3 3.8
dark tahini 91 9 0.1 2.8
light tahini 95 8.9 0.1 2.8
sunflower seed butter 93 7.4 2.9 3.1

 

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How to eat them?

A great addition to smoothies, porridge and cakes; spread on toast; use in dressings, caramel; make yourself a peanut satay.

Starches

Starchy food is an easy way to bulk up a meal; they carry a hefty amount of calories too. According to the Eatwell Guide, for healthy eating about 1/3 of the food we eat should be made up of starchy food. So don’t hold back!

100g contains:

calories (kcal) fat (g) carbohydrates (g) protein (g)
bread, white 266 3.3 50.6 7.6
bread, wholewheat 247 3.3 41.4 13.0
bulgar wheat 213 0.7 37.7 8.3
millet 378 4.2 72.9 11.0
oats 367 8.4 56.1 12.1
pasta, brown rice 399 3.3 82.0 8.3
pasta, white 373 2.0 74.9 11.7
pasta, wholewheat 343 2.7 64.9 10.3
potato 86 0.1 20.0 1.7
quinoa 303 5 49.3 11.7
rice, basmati 365 0.9 78.7 8.4
rice, brown 272 3.2 47.6 7.5
sweet potato 76 0.1 17.7 1.4

 

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How to eat them?

Make curry, risotto, pasta bake, lasagne, salads, homemade chips; use oats in fruit crumbles and cookies. Be creative: sweet potato can be used to make a delish chocolate frosting.

Oil

Due to oil’s high-fat content, it is a huge offender for people trying to lose weight, so naturally, you just need to do the opposite and incorporate it whenever you can into your diet.

1 tablespoon contains:

calories (kcal) fat (g) carbohydrates (g) protein (g)
coconut 135 15.0 0.1 0.1
grapeseed 125 13.9 0.0 0.0
olive 123 13.7 0.0 0.0
peanut 126 13.8 0.0 0.0
rapeseed 126 13.8 0.0 0.0
rice bran 122 13.8 0.0 0.0
sesame 124 13.8 0.0 0.0
sunflower 124 13.8 0.0 0.0
walnut 124 13.8 0.0 0.0

 

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How to eat it?

Use in stir-fries, dressings, pesto, hummus; make hash browns, chocolate; add to salads; drizzle over homemade chips; bake all the cakes and sweet treats.


Sources and further reading:

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