While many people are concerned about losing weight, there are also people who are looking for ways to gain weight naturally and in a healthy way. Healthy weight gain may help increase energy levels and endurance. It may also help you build muscle and strength. For some people, healthy weight gain may help make them look more attractive. There are cheap healthy high calorie foods that will help you gain weight but not break the bank.

Why not just eat fast food?

Fast food is out of the question. That’s because fast food is accompanied by serious health risks such as heart disease and diabetes. People who want to gain weight need cheap healthy high calorie foods. The healthy way to gain weight naturally is with protein-rich foods, which will also generate attractive lean muscle mass.

What should I look for in cheap healthy high calorie foods?

The three primary nutrients for the human body are protein, which supplies amino acids; fats, which supply fatty acids; and carbohydrates, which supply glucose. These three primary nutrients are also the foods to gain weight with! Here’s a snapshot of how to optimize your diet with cheap healthy high calorie foods.

Protein is king.

The protein should be the basic component of each meal and each snack. The protein builds lean muscles. That does not mean fast food hamburger! Make sure your protein sources are lean: chicken, fish, or vegetarian alternatives such as beans and tofu. Your serving of protein should be the largest portion on your plate. Lean protein snacks include hummus, nuts, low-fat cheese and yogurt.

Carbs aren’t bad.

Enjoy plenty of whole carbohydrates. This does not mean highly processed white carbohydrates like french fries, white bread and bagels! Think brown. Whole grain carbohydrates include products such as multigrain biscuits, whole wheat bread and basmati rice. People who watch their weight, avoid high carbohydrates and reduce the intake of whole carbohydrates to one or two servings a day. As your goal is to gain weight, you can eat whole carbohydrates with each meal. Seven-Grain Cracker submerged in hummus makes a substantial snack!

Don’t forget your fruits and veggies!

Eat at least five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day. You can boost your serving intake by also drinking 100 percent natural fruit juices. Also, be sure to add a fruit or vegetable to every meal. We could change that old saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” to “Five servings a day keeps sickness at bay!”

Fat’s are your friends.

Enjoy healthy fats: Fats promote the absorption of nutrients, facilitate nerve transmission and maintain cellular integrity. This does not mean eating fatty fries! Not all fats are the same. There are good fats and bad fats. The good guys are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats lower LDL, or bad, cholesterol and they also increase HDL, or good cholesterol. Tasty examples are nut, canola and olive oils. Polyunsaturated fats lower LDL and total cholesterol, too. A great source of both fat and protein are whole eggs. 

Cheap healthy high calorie foods list

The following listed below are some of the cheap healthy high calorie foods that will help you gain weight but not clog your arteries.

  • Bananas:

Bananas contain a lot of useful minerals and vitamins which make them a very healthy and nutritious food item. They not only have the benefit of being healthy but they also pack a lot of calories as well. One medium banana will provide you with about 115 calories.

  • Nuts:

Nuts are high in calories and fat but they also have other healthy ingredients such as healthy monounsaturates. This makes them a healthy but calorie high snack you can use in between meals to keep your body gaining the most weight possible.

  • Pasta:

A typical serving of pasta will provide you with around 800 to 1,000 calories. This makes pasta and other carbohydrates great for gaining weight. Other healthy carbohydrates you should consider including in your diet are whole grains, cereals, beans, potatoes, and rice.

  • Olive Oil

Olive oil is the best alternative to stick on margarine and butter, it is very important to keep serving size in mind. Just one tablespoon of olive oil has 120 cal. Yes olive oil is high in fat, it is high in mono-unsaturated fat and it has several health benefits including maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases, breast cancer, and Alzheimer’s. You can use olive oil with salads, roasted veggies and as a replacement for margarine.

  • Homemade Granola

It is one of the foods that have always been classified as healthy. It is important to check the nutrition facts on granola package. Mostly it is made with natural ingredients such as oats, nuts and seeds; granola is full of nutrients. These are high in calories about 300 cal per half cup. Homemade granola is best way to enjoy it from guilt free. Keep your serving size to ¼ to ½ cup and you can enjoy with plain yogurt or milk.

  • Avocado

Creamy, smooth and nutritious avocado have it all. They are full of vitamin C and K, potassium, fiber and many other nutrients. Half an avocado gives you 15 grams of good monounsaturated fats, and although technically they are a fruit, they have almost no sugar (0.2 grams per half). Keep in mind a whole avocado ranges between 300 and 500 cal.

  • Almond Butter

Like granola, almond butter is yet another rich in nutrients food you can enjoy, but it can be loaded with added sugar and fat. Nuts generally are high in cal, around 190 to 200 calories per handful. One serving size of almond butter (2 tablespoons) has about 4 gm of protein, 2 gm of fiber, and 18 gm of fat. It also has iron, vitamin E and magnesium. A little bit of almond butter goes a long way- one serving size has up to 200 calories. Avoid reduced fat versions of almond butter, because they actually have higher sugar content. Plus, try to buy almond butter with the fewest added ingredients, and the low in sugar and sodium contents. Natural brands usually have fewer additives compared to their commercial counterparts.

  • Dark Chocolate

Most of us have heard it: dark chocolate is good for you. It is full of nutrients and antioxidants and can help reduce blood pressure and control blood sugar levels, as well as improve mood. A chocolate are most likely to contain 530 calories. Eat in a bar during the week or get individually packaged dark chocolate for 50 calories per piece. While these foods contain many calories, they can certainly be part of a diet that promotes good health and well-being.

Other cheap healthy high calorie foods

  • Breakfast cereals – Eat 10 to 20 grams more of the recommended serving portion.
  • Peanut butter – Spreading it on bread will give you a total of 192 calories
  • Cheese
  • Dressings
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Guacamole
  • Yogurt
  • Pure fruit juice.