Many people would say that they want to lose weight, and even more would say that they should be eating healthier than they are. The thing is that a lot of people think that these two things are interchangeable. If you start to eat more healthy food then you’ll lose weight, right?
Well, that isn’t always the case. In fact, there are a lot of healthy foods out there that could make you gain weight. This doesn’t make them bad foods, it just that being healthy isn’t really about losing weight. Being healthy is ensuring that your body is getting enough nourishment.
Now there are many foods out there that are both healthy and can help with weight loss, high-protein foods, for the most part, are very healthy, as are vegetables. Potatoes are a great food for health as not only do they contain Vitamin C and other vitamins/minerals, but they also increase satiety. This is the feeling of fullness you get after a meal.
Having more foods that increase satiety means that you will eat less during a meal, and won’t feel the need to snack afterward. This article is going to look at foods that are healthy but also high in calories. If you are looking to lose weight then, by all means, consume these foods just be aware that you need to be careful with portion sizes.
If you are looking to gain weight then these foods are an excellent way to do so without having to eat a tonne of junk food – which is what most amateur bodybuilders end up doing.
Five healthy foods that are high in calories
In this section, we are going to list the benefits of each food, and then list the calories per serving. This is a better way of measuring calories (many people use calories per 100g) because it is more realistic. Yes, 100g of rice cakes is 350+ calories but considering each rice cake is around 9g it would take a lot of rice cakes to hit that target.
Olive oil is one of the healthiest fats around and has been a staple part of the Mediterranean diet for centuries (known for being the healthiest diet on earth). Olive oil has particularly high levels of monounsaturated fat, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K. It also has a high amount of anti-oxidants. There have been studies that have found it to help protect against heart disease and strokes .
However, the amount of calories that are present in even just a tablespoon of olive oil are truly staggering. One tablespoon of olive oil contains 119 calories, think about how much olive oil you drizzle over your salad or how much you cook your roast potatoes in. Most people will cover a roast chicken in three or four tablespoons of olive oil in one go!
There is absolutely no doubt that you should be consuming olive oil in your diet, but if you are looking to lose weight just remember to track how much oil you are using per day as it can make a big difference! Think about using a cooking spray as an alternate, not for every meal but for some. They may not have any nutritional benefits but at 1 calorie per spray, you could see a big difference on the scales!
Grass Fed Butter
With the huge rise in popularity of ketogenic diets (high-fat, low-carb) certain “healthy” fats have become very popular. Now if you are following a ketogenic diet you’ll probably want to ignore this article because it will be looking at food from the point of view that Ketogenic diets are not suitable for everyone, nor are they optimal for most. They might work for you personally, but so do a lot of other diets.
So now that we’ve got that out of the way let’s look at the health benefits of grass fed butter. Grass fed butter has high levels of vitamin K in it and contains Conjugated Linoleic Acid which probably doesn’t help improve your body composition but may influence fat-oxidation slightly . Butter also helps lower hunger for up to two hours .
But a tablespoon of grass-fed butter contains 100 calories! Yes, it is healthy but not THAT healthy. If you added the amount of grass-fed butter to a cup of coffee that Bulletproof coffee asks you to you would be adding 200+ calories to your diet.
Almonds are high in fibre, high in protein, and high in monounsaturated fat. They also contain Vitamin E. They have been shown to lower cholesterol and like butter, they can increase satiety . However, they also contain 163 calories in a handful!
On the back of some packs of Almonds the recommended serving size is 100g, that’s 576 calories. Make sure that if you are going to snack on some almonds, that you keep the serving size down to a handful or you might end up gaining weight.
Peanut butter is a great source of Vitamins E, B3, and B6 and there is a high amount of protein per serving. Lots of people in the fitness community view peanut butter (and other nut butters) as a healthy, meat-free source of protein.
However whilst two tablespoons contains 8g of protein, they also contain 16g of fat. With each gram of fat equalling 9 calories, it probably comes as no surprise to you that those two tablespoons of peanut butter are almost 200 calories (188 for the pedants).
Other than maybe coconut oil, no food has risen in popularity among the health conscious as fast as the avocado. It is now branded as a superfood by clever marketing companies and can be found on the Instagram wall of any personal trainer or gym goer in existence. Considering how healthy they are this probably comes as no surprise.
Avocados are high in fibre, high in Vitamin C, Iron, Vitamin B-6, and magnesium. They are also very high in monounsaturated fat. The thing is though that a 200g avocado (small to medium size) contains 322 calories. That is a lot of calories! Add that to your lunch or dinner and you’re going to struggle to keep it under 800 calories.
As mentioned earlier, the aim of this article is not to discourage you from eating these foods, if anything the aim is to draw your attention to their benefits. But if you are looking to lower calories so that you can lose weight, you should exercise caution when adding these foods to your meals.
Maybe stick to only half an avocado with your lunch or just one tablespoon of olive oil on your salad. Drop the three handfuls of almonds (or pretty much any nut really) down to one handful a day. Doing this will ensure that you continue to get the vitamins and minerals that your body needs whilst also keeping you within a calorie deficit.
If your goal is to maintain your weight or even gain weight, then these foods are fantastic additions to your diet. Remember it is possible to become overweight or even obese by consuming too many calories – even calories from healthy foods. This can lead to ill-health, though obviously, you would still be in better shape than someone who gained weight from junk food.