When we hear foods are “high fat” or “high calorie,” we often think they must not be healthy.The following foods are very calorie dense, but can still be part of a healthy diet in moderation. The most calorie dense foods are those that are high in fat because 1 gram of fat has 9 calories, compared to protein and carbs, which have only 4 calories for every gram.You need at least some dietary fat for your hormones to function properly and for the absorption of vitamins and minerals.
While olive oil is an excellent alternative to stick margarine and butter, it’s important to keep serving sizes in check, because just 1 tablespoon has 120 calories. But, while olive oil is high in fat, it’s high in monounsaturated fat, which has several health benefits, including helping to maintain healthy cholesterol levels and lowering the risk of several cardiovascular diseases, breast cancer, and Alzheimer’s.3 Use olive oil with your salads, roasted veggies, and use it to replace margarine.
Some people give dried fruit the side eye for fear it's filled with calories and sugar. But they are all-natural and contain no added sugars. Regular consumption of raisins over a variety of snack crackers showed a positive impact on both post-meal glucose levels and systolic blood pressure. Just make sure to use the right serving size.
Granola is one of the foods that always seems be classified as healthy. But it’s especially important to check out the nutrition facts on granola packages. Since it’s usually made with natural ingredients, like oats, nuts, and seeds, granola can be full of nutrients. However, many brands of granola are very high in calories as well as sugar. The best way to enjoy granola guilt-free is to make it homemade, sans the added sugar. Use oatmeal, and get your good fats in, with dry-roasted nuts, seeds, olive oil, and maybe a little dried fruit.
Almond butter is another one of those foods that is rich in nutrients, but can be loaded with added sugar and fat. Nuts in general are high in calories. One serving size of almond butter (2 tablespoons) has about 4 grams of protein, 2 grams of filling fiber, and 18 grams of fat. It also delivers iron, magnesium, and vitamin E. A little bit of almond butter goes a long way- one serving size has up to 200 calories. Avoid reduced-fat versions, because they actually tend to have higher sugar content. Plus, try to buy almond butter with the fewest added ingredients, and the lowest sugar and sodium content. Natural brands usually have fewer additives compared to their commercial counterparts.
Dark chocolate is full of nutrients and antioxidants plus may help lower your blood pressure and control blood sugar, and boost your mood. Munch on one bar throughout the week or pick up individually wrapped dark chocolate for 50 calories apiece. So enjoy, but in moderation.