Dietitians Suggest 7 “Bad” High-Calorie Foods to Include in Your Diet

Dietitians Suggest 7 “Bad” High-Calorie Foods to Include in Your Diet

In a world where diet culture is deeply ingrained, meals high in calories are frequently vilified. Undoubtedly, a lot of meals contain a lot of calories and might cause weight gain if consumed in excess. The proverb “calories in, calories out” states that our metabolism controls our body weight. You may have heard this before. But this unduly simplified stereotype is commonly applied to any food that has a substantial energy source in it.

Calories are only a form of energy that can be present in every meal we eat; they are not inherently harmful. Higher-calorie foods can provide your body with a lot of nourishment, and in certain cases, they’re the simplest way to do it, according to intuitive eating dietician Christine Byrne, M.P.H., RD, owner of Ruby Oak nourishment in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Numerous nutrient-dense and high-calorie foods exist, and they can undoubtedly be a part of a balanced diet. We conducted interviews with nutritionists to ascertain which items, despite having a greater calorie count, they specifically advise include into your diet.

Include These 7 “Bad” High-Calorie Foods in Your Diet

1. Complete Eggs

Due to the egg’s greater fat and cholesterol content, eating the entire thing has drawn criticism. On the other hand, if you consume the entire egg, you won’t receive its full nutritional value. “Eggs are nutritional powerhouses, despite their undeserved negative image. They are a fantastic source of protein and contain folate, vitamins A, D, and E. Sandra Chavez, M.S., RDN, notes that “plus cholesterol from eggs does not appear to be a driver in our ‘bad’ cholesterol levels.”

2. Whole Milk

The founder of Kindred Nutrition in Frederick, MD, Amy Goldsmith, RDN, claims that cow’s milk has been incorrectly categorized as a “bad” food. Whole milk and other full-fat dairy products include more total calories due to their higher fat content, but they also contain a range of vitamins, many of which are fat soluble and require fat in the diet to be effectively absorbed and utilized by the body. According to Goldsmith, “it is a high biological value protein, meaning it contains all 9 essential amino acids.” The amino acids that are considered essential are those that our body cannot produce on its own and must be obtained from diet.”Unlike some substitutes that are marketed as ‘healthier,’ it has zero added sugar and is a great source of calcium and vitamin D,” says Goldsmith.

3. Pasta

Although whole-wheat or legume-based white pasta is sometimes referred to as a “refined food,” this well-liked grain actually contains a surprising amount of nourishment. In a 2-ounce portion, pasta offers 2 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein—a combination uncommon in “white” grains, which are typically devoid of fiber. You’ll also benefit from a wonderful iron and B vitamin boost. It’s possible that pasta’s “bad” image stems from its tendency to be overindulged. It can be simple to include a lot of calories in a pasta dish because it’s frequently combined with high-fat, calorie-dense sauces.

To improve the nutritional value of your pasta dish, think about using a whole-wheat kind with more fiber, serving it with vegetables and protein, and reducing the quantity of sauce you use. Nonetheless, scientists concur that white pasta alone still packs a significant nutritional punch.

4. Potatoes

Potatoes, which are high in phosphorus, potassium, and fiber, are underappreciated. Potatoes are a starchy vegetable, but they also have a surprisingly low carbohydrate content—just 27 grams per potato. Although they can be an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, you need watch how you prepare them and how much fat and sodium you add.

“This nutrient-dense vegetable gets a bad reputation because of its high glycemic index, meaning it contains rapidly-digestible carbohydrates that can spike your blood glucose,” says Brooke Baird, RDN, LD of Simply Divine Nutrition. However, potatoes are an inexpensive item to add to your grocery cart because they provide high levels of potassium, magnesium, fiber, and vitamin C.

5. Cheese

Even though full-fat dairy products like cheese have a lot of calories, we shouldn’t shun them. Cheese offers essential elements like calcium, protein, and dietary fat. The founder of Louisiana Nutrition Associates, Krista Wale, RD, LDN, says, “Rich in protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients, cheese supports bone health and muscle maintenance. Those with lactose intolerance may find that cheese is often more tolerable compared to milk due to its lower lactose content.”

6. Seeds and Nuts

Nuts are extremely nutrient-dense in addition to being high in energy. Nuts are a prime example of a high-calorie meal that shouldn’t be avoided because they are full of heart-healthy fat, fiber, and minerals like selenium and magnesium. In addition to substantial amounts of magnesium and vitamin B6, peanut butter provides a combination of fat, plant-based protein, and a small quantity of carbohydrates.Byrne suggests storing single-serving packs of peanut butter at your work desk to enjoy with a piece of fruit or atop yogurt for a snack. It’s also quite simple to spread peanut butter on toast or spoon it over instant porridge in the morning. Though their precise nutrition can vary, other nuts, seeds, and nut and seed butters are also excellent sources of vitamins, protein, and healthy fat if you’re not a fan of peanuts.

7. Dressing for Salads

If you were raised in the era of low-fat eating, you may still be affected by giving up high-fat foods like salad dressing. Although it is true that certain meals increase the number of calories in your meal, this does not imply we should completely cut them out. Salad dressings can be very nutrient-dense and improve the way nutrients are absorbed from the salad they are served with, particularly when made with unsaturated fats like avocado or olive oil.

“Vitamins that are fat soluble, such as A, K, E, and D, should be taken with a fat source! For optimal advantages, pour some olive oil over your greens, says content creator Alyssa Smolen, M.S., RDN, CDN, who is based in New Jersey.

The Final Word

Making dietary selections solely based on a food’s calorie count is not the greatest course of action for your health. Several high-calorie foods can also be beneficial to nutrition, such as pasta, full-fat dairy products, salad dressings, eggs, and more. Take into account the food’s nutrient makeup in addition to its total calorie count. Although it has a lot of calories, does it also include a good amount of heart-healthy fat, fiber, vitamins, and minerals? This context is important, and you risk missing out on all of these fantastic nutritional advantages if you eliminate high-calorie items just because they are high in energy.

Sanchita Patil

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