Calories are the basic unit of energy found in all foods and are necessary to maintain the body's vital functions or basal metabolic rate. The amount of calories a person needs depends on factors like their age, gender, and lean muscle mass.
Eating too few calories for a prolonged period of time causes a person to become underweight (per the BMI) leading to muscle atrophy, weakened immunity, and eventually, organ failure. Conversely, eating too many calories causes a person to become overweight and obese, increasing their chances of heart disease, type II diabetes, and cancer.
Healthy high-calorie foods include nuts, seeds, dark chocolate, dried fruit, avocados, whole grains, milk, dairy, eggs, fish, and meats. The amount of calories a person needs depends on their age, gender, activity level, and muscle mass. The DV for calories is 2000 calories.
Other Dried Fruit & Fruit Juices High in Calories (Calories per 1/2 cup): Dried Cherries (266), Dried Blueberries (254), Dried Pears (236), Raisins (217), Dates (208), Dried Apricots (191), Dried Peaches (189), Figs (186), Dried Cranberries (185), Dried Apples (104), Prune Juice (91), Grape Juice (76), Passion Fruit Juice (74), Pineapple Juice (67) and Pomegranate Juice (27). Click to see complete nutrition facts.
Other Whole Grains High in Calories (Calories per cup, cooked): Teff (255), Amaranth (251), Spelt (246), Kamut Khorasan (227), Quinoa (222), Brown Rice (218), Millet (207), Pearled Barley (193), Wild Rice (166), Buckwheat Groats (155), Bulgur (151), Soba Noodles (113), and Oat Bran (88). Click to see complete nutrition facts.
#8: Milk, Dairy & Eggs (Goat's Cheese, Hard)
Per 2 oz (56g)
Per ounce (28g)
Other Milk, Dairy & Eggs High in Calories (Calories per ounce, unless otherwise specified): Soft Goat's Cheese (75), Feta (74), Whole Milk (149 per cup), Buttermilk (152 per cup), Powdered Milk (159 per 1/4 cup), Ricotta (108 per 1/4 cup), Greek Yoghurt (99 per container), Protein Powder (45 per tablespoon), Whey (28 per tablespoon), 1 Boiled Egg (78). Click to see complete nutrition facts.
#9: Oily Fish (Mackerel, Cooked)
Per fillet (88g)
Per 3oz (85g)
Other Oily Fish High in Calories (Calories per 3oz, cooked): American Shad (214), Herring (213), Halibut (203), Salmon (175), Trout (162), Butterfish (159), Tuna Steak (156), Tuna Canned in Oil (168), Canned Sardines (191 per can), Canned Anchovies (95 per can). Click to see complete nutrition facts.
#10: Meat (Beef Brisket, Cooked)
Per piece (314g)
Per 3oz (85g)
Other Meat High in Calories (Calories per 3oz, cooked): Ground Pork (334), Turkey Bacon (321), Lamb Shoulder (303), Duck, Meat & Skin (286), Pork Shoulder (269), Goose, Meat & Skin (259), Veal Loin (241), Chicken Dark Meat (219), Chicken Drumsticks (173). Click to see complete nutrition facts.
Add high calorie foods to existing dishes - Nuts, seeds, and dried fruit make a great addition to salads, rices dishes,pasta dishes, etc...
Add healthy fats and oils to existing dishes - Add olive oil, peanut oil, or safflower oil to as many foods as possible. I.E.: rice, sandwhiches, salads...
Increase portion sizes - Create larger meals of calorie dense foods like rice, mashed potatoes, and pasta.
Drink Calories - Drinks are an easy way to intake calories on the go. Drink juice, soy milk, milk, smoothies, and other healthyhigh calorie beverages.
Do Muscle Building (Anarobic) Exercizes - Muscle building exercizes increase appetite and also increase weight as your body builds muscle. This is especially true when combined with high protein foods like nuts, peanut butter, fish, or beans.
Track your progress and set goals - Setting goals and targets is important to any achievement. Set healthy weight gain targets each month. No more than 10lbs (~5kg) a month is reasonable. Keep track of your weight gain in regards to the Body Mass Index (BMI) and be sure you do not go over into an unhealthy weight range.
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In addition to nuts and seeds, peanut butter, and dark chocolate, here are more high calorie foods recommended for gaining weight.