To gain weight you need to consume more calories then you burn, it doesn’t matter where those calories come from. But when it comes to all around health you want to make sure the foods you are eating are going to keep you healthy and not cause negative health effects such as raising blood sugar, causing fatigue, or increasing inflammation in the body. That is why you want to make sure you are gaining weight from healthy foods rather than junk food.
Read below to learn the top healthiest foods to help you gain weight:
Organic whole milk
Skip the low calorie almond milk and reach for organic whole milk to add to your coffee, smoothies, cereal, oatmeal, etc. Organic whole milk is a great healthy weight-gainer because it is packed with calcium, calories, protein, and fat.
Whey protein is a great addition to smoothies, oatmeal, or any other mixable food to increase both the calories and the protein content. Whey protein is a complete protein making it an excellent source of protein.
Think potatoes and sweet potatoes. Starchy veggies are a great way to consume healthy carbohydrates that are also dense in calories and vitamins.
Add coconut oil to everything and anything because coconut oil is very nutrient and calorie dense and generally has little to no flavor. Examples of foods and meals to add coconut oil to include smoothies, eggs, oatmeal, sweet potatoes and veggies.
If you aren’t a fan of coconut oil, then go for grass-fed butter, or use both! Grass-fed butter is packed with calories and nutrients and can be virtually added to anything you want. Plus, everything tastes better with butter, am I right?!
Go for organic cheese whenever possible and add it to any savory dish. Cheese is calorie dense and is also packed with fat, protein, and calcium.
Fatty meat, poultry, and fish
Think organic beef, chicken thigh, and fatty fish like wild salmon. Stick to fattier proteins because not only will these be tastier, they will also be a great source of extra calories. Avoid anything dry which can be harder to eat and will generally be lower in calories and flavor.
Pasta is a great weight-gainer because it is easy to eat and is dense in calories. Add a protein and fat source to your pasta, such as a meat based or cream based sauce.
Nut butter is packed with calories and healthy fat as well as vital nutrients, making it a great choice for increasing calories. Add nut butter to smoothies, oatmeal, toast, or fruit.
Fruit is a healthy sweet food that is helpful for gaining weight because most fruit is high in carbs and calories. Eat fruit alone or add to cereal, oatmeal, smoothies, or enjoy with nut butter
Rice is very calorie dense and tends to not fill you up because it has little fiber. Add rice to savory dishes to increase the calorie content and as a way to add some texture to your meal as well.
I’m not saying go and eat a loaf of bread, but use bread as a base to eat other foods. Examples of times to eat bread include sandwiches rather than salads, or adding healthy protein and fat sources such as eggs or almond butter.
Full-fat Greek yogurt
Full-fat Greek yogurt is a great source of calcium as well being dense in calories, protein, and fat. I recommend Greek yogurt over other types of yogurt because it has the highest amount of protein – around 20 grams of protein per serving! Just be sure to check how much sugar a serving contains and stick to less than 10 grams of sugar per serving.
The key to gaining weight the healthy way is to basically eat as many calories as you can by eating high calorie, nutrient dense foods, while also keeping sugar low and sticking to organic and grass-fed animal products whenever possible.
Note: If you already have high blood sugar or other dietary concerns you should consult your provider first before changing up your diet.
About the author: Sarah-Kate Rems is an Ivy League trained Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner with an expertise in preventative healthcare. She considers nutrition and exercise to be the basis of well-being and is a strong advocate for daily physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet. Sarah-Kate is also a co-founder of The Mindful Tech Lab.
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