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. Having too low body weight can cause organ damage, loss of menstruation in women, and bone density loss.
Individuals who are recovering from eating disorders may also be interested in learning how to gain weight a healthy way. Here are 10 healthy foods that when eaten right can help you gain a healthy weight.
1. Red Meat
If you are trying to gain weight, enjoy some red meat. Steak contains a ton of protein and iron. Not all steak cuts are made equal though. 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 enjoy it with a healthy diet. Combining it with an unhealthy diet high in saturated fats could cause health effects.
2. Peanut Butter
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. Peanut butter is also high in folate, magnesium, vitamin E, and vitamin B3. 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
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. They are full of natural sugars and can give you great energy. Adding in servings of fruit into your diet is a great step to gaining weight. No one ever became fat by eating fruit, so don’t worry about eating too much! 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 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.
Granola is a great cereal to enjoy if you are trying to gain weight. This tasty snack is made from rolled oats, sugar, and butter. Dried fruit and nuts can 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
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.
Nothing beats the taste of butter for cooking. It is full of flavor and good calories. Butter does have saturated fats, so enjoy it in moderation. A good option is to incorporate ghee into your diet. This Indian ingredient is ultra clarified butter. It is safe to use when cooking at high temperatures, unlike butter which will burn. Ghee also has concentrated flavor, so you can use less when cooking. Enjoy eggs fried in butter or ghee for a tasty and nutritious breakfast.
Nuts are a great snack for gaining weight. They are full of fat and nutrients, but also contain a great deal of fiber. Eating only a few 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 the favorite foods in North America. You can add cheese into almost any dish. It has all the nutritional benefits of milk products. 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. 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.