When it comes to weight loss, calories matter, but maybe not as much as you might think. If you are trying to lose weight, caloric intake does matter; you need to create a calorie deficit in order to lose weight. However, this doesn’t mean that calories are bad; in fact, there are many foods that are both healthy and highly caloric. Calories aren’t the only factor that matters when choosing food. Think about eating 900 calories in the form of a hamburger and fries compared to eating 900 calories of healthy food: while in both cases, you have eaten 900 calories, at least in the second scenario, you are benefiting from the nutrients from the health food, as well as intaking fewer saturated fats and less sodium.
With this in mind, it is clear that calories are only part of what to consider when you are choosing what to eat. In this blog, we will go through five examples of healthy foods that also happen to be highly caloric.
Some people avoid nuts because not only are they caloric, they have high fat content. However, the fear of fat has proven to be not as valid as once thought. Nuts are high in fat, but it is unsaturated, or “good”, fat. Pistachios in particular are a great snack because they are lower in calories than many other types of nut, so you can eat more of them and feel more satisfied. Additionally, because you need to go through the effort of cracking the shell in order to eat pistachios, it slows you down, allowing you to avoid overeating. On top of that, there is research to support the idea that eating a small amount of nuts every day prevents heart disease (in the context of a healthy diet). Pistachios are a great snack to keep stashed in your desk at work or whenever you’re on the go.
Olive oil is a fantastic addition to any diet because it is a plentiful source of healthy fats and antioxidants. It also happens to be high calories; one tablespoon of olive oil is 119 calories. However, do not let the calorie count dissuade you from incorporating this healthy oil into your diet; among high-calorie health foods, it is king. The key is to have a light hand with it; measure out a tablespoon, which is a serving, anytime you use it. You can use it while you cook, and as a tasty base for a salad dressing (try olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, and a dash of salt and pepper for a tasty, simple, and healthy dressing!).