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15 Healthy Foods that help to Gain Weight Fast
Though the number of obese people is increasing at an alarming rate worldwide there are people who are thin/skinny and want to increase their weight. Sometimes being too thin can be a problem too.
Reasons for being thin
Being thin maybe because of under-eating or because of malnutrition. If one is thin because he/she is not taking enough calories through diet and in time it is possible for him/her to end up with several nutritional deficiencies and other related problems.
These people who are undernourished may show signs of fatigue, lack of energy, irritability, lack of concentration and most important may have low immunity. A study concluded that being underweight, that is BMI lower than 18.5 kg/m2, maybe another risk factor for cardiovascular disease, particularly in people below the age of 40 (1).
Here are some foods which help to gain weight safely
First, go to a doctor and rule out if there are any reasons for you being underweight. If there is no medical reason and your doctor gives you a go-ahead to eat food containing more calories then start planning your diet.
Even if you want to gain weight do it in a healthy manner. Eating wrong food, being physically inactive will lead to putting on the wrong type of weight. Try to achieve the right composition, put on more lean body mass not just fat. Do it gradually and once you reach ideal weight then try and maintain it.
Here are some foods which will help you do so.
- Nuts and oilseeds
This food group which consists of nuts and oilseeds are energy-dense because of their high-fat content. But at the same time, they provide a good amount of protein and micronutrients. They can be incorporated into a balanced diet to gain weight.
They can be eaten as a snack or can be included in several recipes.
- Nut butter
There are several types of nut butters available in the market. Almond butter, peanut butter, soy nut butter, hazelnut butter, cashew nut butter and mixed nut butters are some of them. These can be used as spreads or can be added to sauces and gravies to increase the calorie content of the diet and these will increase other nutrient contents too.
- Milk and milk products
Dairy products such as milk, curd, cheese can be increased in the diet to add calories. These are good sources of calcium, vitamin D and B12. Whole milk will make the diet even more calorie-dense.
- Milk-based beverages
Fruits such as banana, mango or strawberries when added to milk and blended they make delicious as well as nutritious milkshakes. They not only contain reasonable amounts of calories, but they also are packed with micronutrients and antioxidants.
When whole milk is used to make yogurt, it becomes a good source of energy and also is a good source of calcium. Fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, banana and mango can be added to yogurt to make it nutritious.
- Dry fruits
Raisins, dates, apricots, figs and other dry fruits supply sufficient calories and are good sources of health-promoting micronutrients and antioxidants.
Eggs are low carbohydrate foods that provide fat, protein and several micronutrients. These can be included in the diet easily and they are an affordable source of complete proteins.
Fish is a great source of complete protein and a good source of omega 3 fatty acids. Add fish to your diet as they add calories and health benefitting constituents.
- Protein bars
These are convenient to carry around and are packed with proteins and would be a great snack for those who are physically active. They will provide energy, as well as help, meet protein requirement.
All fruits are not high in calories but supply micronutrients which help in digestion and utilization of other foods. They also provide sufficient dietary fiber that helps in maintaining gut health.
- Whole grains
Whole grains are rich sources of calories as well as micronutrients and dietary fiber. It is sensible to get calories from whole grains rather than refined foods.
- Rice, Pasta and noodles
These are food which can be eaten in substantial amounts very easily. Because of the high carbohydrate content, they can provide calories in high quantity.
- Fats and oils
This group is energy-dense. Whether it is oil, ghee or butter all of them supply 9 kcals per gram. Even a little ghee added to rice will increase the energy content of the diet. But do not go overboard because consuming too much fat leads to other health issues.
- Starchy vegetables
Potatoes, sweet potatoes and yam are some examples of starchy vegetables. These supply good amounts of calories and can be added to the diet increase calories.
These smoothies are made using fruits or vegetables, with milk or yogurt or without any dairy product. These are loaded with micronutrients which are needed for the utilization of macronutrients in the body.
Do not try to gain weight by eating unhealthy foods such as foods made with refined ingredients, sugary drinks and those with empty calories. Make sure foods you eat along with calories provide nutrients too. Try to put on lean body mass and not fat and do not forget to eat a balanced diet.
- Park, D., Lee, J. and Han, S. (2017) Underweight: another risk factor for cardiovascular disease? A cross-sectional 2013 Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) study of 491,773 individuals in the USA, Medicine. Vol. 96(48).