In order to gain weight, you must eat a surplus of calories. Choose healthy fattening foods to promote good health and muscle development when gaining weight. Making healthy calorie additions helps underweight people look and feel better. Healthy fattening foods often feature heart-healthy unsaturated fats and concentrated nutrients, while unhealthy fattening foods may provide high amounts of saturated or trans fats, added sugars or artificial ingredients.
One avocado contains about 300 calories and 31 grams of fat. Most of the fat in the avocado is unsaturated, which can help lower cholesterol levels when used instead of saturated or trans fats. Avocados also provide vitamins E, K and C, as well as potassium and folate. Blend avocados into a high calorie smoothie made with pineapple, coconut water, agave nectar, lime juice, and vanilla extract. Add them to omelets, soft tacos or sandwiches. Slice avocado over salads or mash it into a dip for whole grain crackers.
Nuts are calorie and nutrient-dense foods. Nuts are naturally cholesterol-free and low in sodium, as long as you choose unsalted versions. In just 14 walnut halves, you get 190 calories and a day’s worth of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Approximately 22 almonds provide 35 percent of the recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, for vitamin E along with 160 calories. Other healthy nuts include pecans, macadamia and Brazil nuts. Add nuts to cereals or smoothies, spread nut butter on bread or snack on a handful between meals to fit in extra calories.
Dried fruit is a concentrated way to fit in fruit’s nutrition and a significant number of calories. One cup of raisins provides 434 calories, 1,086 milligrams of potassium, over 5 grams of fiber and 2.73 milligrams of iron. Compare this to just 104 calories in one cup of grapes. Dried apricots contain 212 calories per cup, compared to 74 calories in a cup of fresh apricots. The dried version also offers 6.5 milligrams of fiber and 2.35 milligrams of iron.
Heart-healthy fats are also found in most plant oils, including soybean, flax, corn, safflower, canola, olive and sunflower. These oils contain about 125 calories per tbsp. Add 1 tablespoon of flax oil to smoothies, toss pasta in olive oil before adding marinara sauce, dress salads with olive or safflower oil dressings, scramble eggs in canola oil and sauté chicken or fish in soybean or olive oil. An extra 3 tablespoons of oil daily results in an additional 375 calories – or a 3/4-lb. weight gain per week.
- New York Times: Fruit, Cut and Driedrel="nofollow"
- Underweight, A Heavy Concern: Meghan A.T.B. Reese; Today's Dietitianrel="nofollow"
- University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension in Lancaster County: Nuts for Nutritionrel="nofollow"
- Ask the Dietitian: Fat Lowering Tipsrel="nofollow"
- American Heart Association: Know Your Fatsrel="nofollow"
- mixed nuts image by Joyce Wilkes from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.