While some low calorie foods lack important nutritional benefits, healthy alternatives can sometimes pack too many calories. Just because you’re choosing natural and healthy foods doesn’t mean you can forget about portion control if you plan on keeping your ideal weight or even losing a few pounds.
Discover the best high calorie healthy foods that provide a lot of nutritional and fat burning benefits, but should still be eaten carefully, in relatively small portions that won’t lead to weight gain.
1. Peanut Butter
Rich in healthy fats and with a high protein content, peanut butter can contribute to fat burning, as long as you eat it in moderation. It’s low-cholesterol and can be a great help when you want to tone your muscles, but a single tablespoon adds up to over 100 calories. Spread it thin, on crackers, not on a full slice of bread to enjoy its benefits.
One of the best high calorie healthy foods, avocados are high-fat fruit, with an average of around 275 calories for a medium sized one. Their monounsaturated fats lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and they’re packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber. However, whether you add them to salads or make guacamole, you shouldn’t eat it every day, because the calories will quickly add up.
While quinoa is one of the healthiest grains, it’s also high calorie. A single cup of cooked quinoa contains more than 220 calories. It’s a great source of protein, fiber, potassium and omega-3 fatty acids, but you’re better off using it as a side dish, not a base for your recipes. Quinoa is very filling and can keep away hunger pangs but don’t forget about portion control.
4. Olive Oil
It’s a better option that salad dressing, but you shouldn’t drown your vegetables in olive oil, not even the extra virgin kind. It’s one of the best high calorie healthy foods and it’s a huge part of the healthy Mediterranean diet, but a single tablespoon had 120 calories. If you want to enjoy its benefits without too many calories, drizzle it carefully.
With up to 500-600 calories per cup of granola and 250-300 calories for a granola bar, this mixture of whole grains, nuts, dried fruit and sugars should definitely be on your watch list. Even when you’re choosing varieties sweetened with agave nectar, the calorie count will still be high. Exercise restraint when you’re eating them in the morning and don’t raise the calorie content with high fat milk or yogurt.
Rich in calcium and packed with protein, cheese is definitely one of the best high calorie healthy foods if you’re not lactose intolerant. An ounce of cheddar has over 110 calories, while Parmesan can take it closer to 130 calories. If you like to cook cheesy dishes, go for lighter cheeses, like part-skim mozzarella, and start limiting how many cubes you eat per day.
A great source of potassium and fiber, bananas are a perfect option for a healthy snack, but you shouldn’t munch on too many at once. They contain plenty of vitamins, but a single banana can include around 100 calories if it’s medium or over 120 if it’s large.
Packed with healthy fats, nuts are also a good source of antioxidants and contribute to cardiovascular health. They’re one of the best high calorie healthy foods, whether they’re toasted or raw, but you can’t get carried away. Most nuts pack over 100 calories in a single tablespoon, and half a cup of macadamia nuts can go over 450 calories.
9. Dark Chocolate
Rich in antioxidants, dark chocolate isn’t always low calorie just because it doesn’t contain any milk. If you choose the wrong kind, you might be eating just as many calories thanks to the high sugar content added to make it tasty when it has a high bitter cocoa content. Always check the label for sugars, don’t assume it’s low calorie because it’s dark.
10. Whole Grain Bread
Definitely one of the best high calorie healthy foods, whole grain bread can have a positive impact on your digestion, cardiovascular health and even your energy levels. Portion control is still needed, since just two slices of bread include around 200 calories, before you even start thinking what to put inside it!