Healthy High-Calorie Foods

June 24, 2011

Some high-calorie foods can actually be healthy. Don’t believe it? Keep reading.

You now have permission to stop avoiding all high-calorie foods indiscriminately. Healthy high-calorie foods are part of a balanced diet and provide your body with essential nutrients. However, not all high-calorie foods are equal. Know the facts and check with your doctor in order to make the right choices for you.

Some fats are beneficial. Healthy high-calorie fats such as flaxseed oil, peanut butter, nuts, avocados and olives are valuable energy sources. According to the Mayo Clinic, some essential vitamins are fat-soluble. Your body needs the fat in order to absorb them. Avoid saturated fat or trans fats as they contribute to a variety of diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, and always consume fats in moderation. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), you should limit your total fat intake to 20 percent to 35 percent of your daily calorie intake.

Load up with the right carbs. Complex carbohydrates (starches) such as whole grains, pasta, cereals, beans, potatoes, yams and rice have higher calorie densities than fibrous carbohydrates, and they’re good for you too. The USDA’s 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans states that 45 percent to 65 percent of your calories should come from carbohydrates. Healthy high calorie fruit juice, dried fruit and fruit such as bananas are also great healthy high calorie food choices.

Try the power of protein. You can beat an egg, but you can’t beat protein when it comes to a healthy high calorie food. Eggs, hummus, salmon, tuna, low-fat cheese, Greek yogurt, lean meats and protein supplements are healthy high calorie foods. A soy or whey protein shake can help increase overall caloric intake and can be added to other foods to boost the protein and calorie content. A recent USDA report states that about 35 percent of the daily caloric intake should come from protein. That amount varies depending upon health, weight and age of the individual.

Note: Avoid unhealthy high-calorie foods that contain saturated fats, too much sugar and simple carbohydrates.