- All calories are not bad
- Healthy nuts and seeds are nutrient rich
- Oily fish has been linked to many health benefits
We all are under the impression that excessive calories are harmful for your health and may lead to weight gain. Well, not all calories are bad. Just as we distinguish between healthy and unhealthy fats, simple and complex carbs, in a similar manner we should also distinguish between good calories and bad calories. Good calories are not necessarily made up of low-calorie foods. Good calories come from high-calorie and even high-fat foods. The key to include them in your diet is the ratio of calorie count to nutritional value. Some good calories and healthy foods are those that provide lean-protein, healthy-fats and complex carbs from fresh, whole and nutritious foods. Bad calories are those that don't provide your body with good nutrition and instead make you gain weight. These come from processed foods, sugar, refined flours, unhealthy fats and artificial ingredients. In the following article we will explore some healthy foods which are high in calories but you can include them in your diet guilt-free.
Nutritionist Pooja Malhotra said, "All calories are not created equal. So some foods, though high in calories, are still considered healthy, because these aren't empty calories. These calorie dense foods are also nutrient dense."
Delhi-based nutritionist Pooja Malhotra lists some high-calorie foods which can be eaten in moderation:
1. Healthy nuts and seeds
Healthy nuts and seeds are nutrient rich. They contain healthy fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals including zinc which can improve sexual health and boost immunity. They are high in calories as well. You can opt for roasted nuts as your evening snack. Nut butters are also an excellent way to get good calories into your daily diet. You can make with some of the healthy nuts like almonds, cashews or walnuts. Just make sure you do not add refined sugar to your nut butters. These are extremely delicious and you can add it on your smoothies or spread it to your toast.
"These are high in calories, because they have a good amount of mono unsaturated fatty acids and omega 3, alongside some protein, fibre, and a whole lot of minerals and antioxidants. These are a must-have but just a handful a day makes a great snack. More than that will significantly add to your total calories," added nutritionist Pooja Malhotra
Cheese is generally known to be a highly calorific food . However, the calorie and fat content in cheese is not as high as you think. Moreover, the calories in cheese depends on how the cheese is made and how much water the cheese contains. Furthermore, cheese in moderation can be a great source of essential nutrients like protein and calcium. You can have a slice of cheese in the evening or grate it on your salads and sandwiches. Pooja Malhota further added, " Cheese contains saturated fat which are usually short chain. Though high in calories, it is also is a good source of protein, calcium and phosphorus. Cheese could be a part of almost any meal, eat it with some whole grains and veggies for breakfast or by itself for a snack."
Also read: Did You Know How Many Calories Rice Has?
3. Full fat yoghurt
Yogurt is rich in nutrients like calcium, protein and friendly bacteria that helps in keeping your gut healthy. Full fat yoghurt is nutritious and delicious. It keeps you full for longer; thereby helping you maintain a healthy weight. You can add full-fat yoghurt in your smoothies, desserts or oatmeal. But do not add sugar to your yoghurt. You can add fresh fruits, pepper or some nuts.
4. Fatty fish
Fatty fish is an excellent choice if you want to add calories to your diet. It is full of nutrients like calcium, fluoride and phosphorus. Fatty fish tends to be higher in calories than white fish. Fatty fish like salmon, cod, trout and mackerel are high in omega-3 fatty acids which are excellent for brain. Oily fish has several health benefits, like lowering the risk of heart disease, improved mental ability, and protection from cancer, dementia and rheumatoid arthritis.
5. Homemade sweets
Sweets prepared at home with ghee, flour and healthy nuts and seeds can be consumed in moderation. These sweets are healthy as compared to the sweets available in the market and other bakery stuff. You can use some healthy alternatives while preparing them. These include wheat or nuts and even ghee instead of refined oil. But keep in mind, even these can be harmful if taken in excess quantities. Nutritionist went on to say "Home made ladoos too are high calorie because they have ghee, some sweetener as well as nuts and seeds. Yet, these are healthy as they also contain lots of minerals and fibre. Again, portion control is the key. These can be consumed occasionally at mid morning snack time (not every day) but never after meals."
(Pooja Malhotra is a nutritionist based in Delhi)
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