It seems like North America is obsessed with losing weight, but what happens if you want to gain weight? Some people are naturally quite small and they too feel the effects of bullying. It can be very hard for a person with a fast metabolism to gain body weight. For these individuals, even a few pounds can make the difference. Doctors say that having too low body weight can cause health issues like organ damage, lack of menstruation in women, and bone density loss to name a few.
Individuals who are recovering from eating disorders may also be interested in learning how to gain weight a healthy way. It is certainly true that drinking sugary sodas and eating french fries all day will make you gain weight, but your body may suffer the consequences of poor diet and lack of nutrition. Nutritionists recommend that the best way to gain healthy weight is by eating natural, whole foods and paying attention to caloric intake.
Here are 11 healthy foods that when eaten right can help you gain healthy weight…
1. Lean Red Meat
If you are trying to gain weight, enjoy some lean red meat. Steak contains a ton of protein and iron. But food experts warn that not all steak cuts are made equal. You want the fatty cuts where the meat is marbled. These cuts of meat will contain more calories, but they’ll also be way more delicious too! Look for rib-eye, t-bone, New York strip, and beef tenderloin. Red meat is high in cholesterol, so most food professionals don’t recommend it as part of a healthy diet more than a few times per week. Combining it with an unhealthy diet high in saturated fats could cause health effects.
2. Real Nut Butters
Natural peanut butter is packed with protein and fats, making it a great choice for people trying to gain weight the healthy way. One tablespoon contains around 100 calories and has 4 grams of protein. Real peanut butter is also high in folate, magnesium, vitamin E, and vitamin B3.
You can enjoy peanut butter mixed into oatmeal, topping a slice of whole grain bread, or as a dip for apples. When picking a brand of peanut butter, try to find varieties that are all natural, meaning they don’t have a ton of sugar and other ingredients added.
3. Whole Fat Milk
Dietitians say that one simple substitution you can make when trying to gain weight is swapping your skim milk for whole milk. It’s only 60 calories more a glass as the fat is left in. When you keep the fat in milk, the vitamins and nutrients stay in the solution. Whole milk is high in vitamin D and A.
Add whole milk where ever you would use skim, such as in oatmeal, cereal, sauces, or just as a glass of milk. If you enjoy milk in your coffee, you can also use cream here.
4. Tropical Fruit
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but tropical fruit can help you gain weight. Fruits like mango, papaya, bananas, and pineapple are amazing choices according to food experts. Why? They are full of natural sugars and can give you great energy.
Adding servings of fruit to your diet is a great and healthy way to gain weight. If you find it difficult to eat enough fruits and vegetables in a day, try blending them to make a delicious smoothie.
These delicious green vegetables are an excellent way to add heart-healthy fats to your diet. One half of an avocado contains 140 calories, but also contain high levels of potassium, folic acid, and vitamin E. Avocado also are filled with B vitamins.
Enjoy avocado added to salads, cut up on meat, or even spread on toast. Mash half a ripe avocado onto bread and season with salt and pepper. Delicious!
6. Natural Granola
Natural granola with no added refined sugar is a great cereal to enjoy if you are trying to gain weight. This tasty snack is made from rolled oats, sugar, and healthy fats (like nuts and coconut oil). More dried fruit and nuts can also be added.
You can buy granola pre-made, but it’s easy to make at home too! Enjoy granola topped with thick yogurt, fruit, and a drizzle of honey. This breakfast will be high in protein from the yogurt, filled with fiber from the oatmeal, and sugar from the fruit.
7. Whole Wheat Bread
Nutritionists say that eating healthy bread products is a great way to start gaining weight. If you’re adding bread to your diet, look for whole grains. While white bread is what we all grew up with, it’s not the best for your health. By refining the wheat so much, we strip the nutrients out of it.
Instead, opt for whole grain varieties. These contain a fiber and minerals that are missing in white bread. It will help you stay full for longer, and give you sustained energy.
8. Vegetable Oils
Nothing beats the taste of oil for cooking or in salad dressings. Extra virgin olive oil, safflower oil, coconut oil, and peanut oil are full of flavor and heart-healthy calories when enjoyed in moderation.
Plus, most oils are safe to use when cooking at high temperatures, unlike butter which will burn. Many vegetable based oils also have concentrated flavor, so you can use less when cooking.
Nuts are a great snack for gaining weight. According to foodies, they are full of fat and nutrients, but also contain a great deal of fiber. Eating only a handful of nuts can keep you full for hours. Not all nuts are equal for fiber though.
Almonds are a great choice, while macadamia nuts are very high in fat. Mixed nuts are a great option because you can get the nutritional benefit of many varieties in one snack. Add nuts to your salads, on top of Asian dishes, and in your breakfast cereals and oatmeal.
Cheese is one of North America’s favorite foods. And for good reason, you can add cheese into almost any dish. It has all the nutritional benefits of milk products, but most cheeses are high in fat, making it a good product to have if you are trying to gain weight.
Cheese comes in many delicious varieties, so pairing a cheese to your meal is a fun experience in moderation. Try goat cheese with eggs, Swiss with roasted chicken, and Parmesan on top of asparagus. On its own, cheese also makes a great snack because it’s high in protein.
One of the first things people cut when trying to lose weight are carbohydrates. Thus, add them back to your diet when you are trying to gain weight! The key is choosing carbohydrates that have nutritional value.
Potatoes are a great choice because they’re high in protein (really!), full of fiber, and contain a ton of vitamin C. Eat potatoes with the skin on for optimum nutrition. Once they’re peeled, the protein is cut in half. Also, you can mix it up with mini reds and sweet potatoes that pack more flavor that white potatoes.
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