Underweight is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) below 18.5. This is estimated to be less than the body mass needed to sustain optimal health. Some people are just naturally underweight and need to gain a few pounds in order to be healthy in general. Being underweight can be just as unhealthy as being obese, if not more. People who are underweight are at risk of osteoporosis, infections, fertility problems and early death.
Cause of unhealthy weight loss
- Eating disorders
- Thyroid problems
- Celiac disease
So, before taking any medication, it is recommended to consult your physician if you are losing weight uncertainly.
A common mistake while attempting to gain weight is eating extremely high calorie foods with absolutely no nutritional value. That will lead to poor fitness and increased fat mass instead of lean muscle. Here are 10 foods that aids in healthy weight gaining:
1. Whole Fat Milk
Milk is a great source of protein and carbohydrates, along with many other nutrients making it great for weight gain. Opt for whole milk which has more fat content than skimmed milk. It’s only 60 calories more a glass as the fat is left in. When you keep the fat in milk, the vitamins and nutrients stay in the solution. Whole milk is high in vitamin D and A. Besides milk, daily intake of full fat yogurt, cream and other dairy product would be beneficial.
If you like the taste of butter and want to put on weight, then you should definitely include it in your diet. Natural peanut butter is packed with protein and fats, making it a great choice for people trying to gain weight the healthy way. One teaspoon of peanut butter contains about 94 calories, 4 grams of protein, 8 grams of fat, and 3 grams of carbs. Peanut butter is also high in folate, magnesium, vitamin E, and vitamin B3.
Nuts have one of the highest amounts of energy for their weight of any kind of food, and they’re certainly one of the healthiest of the calorie dense food groups out there. All nuts, whether they are almonds, walnuts, peanuts, cashew nuts or macadamia nuts are calorie and nutrient dense. They also contain high levels of magnesium, calcium, and vitamin E which positively effects cholesterol levels. Almonds are a great choice, while macadamia nuts are very high in fat. Mixed nuts are a great option because you can get the nutritional benefit of many varieties in one snack.
Beans are a super food packed with almost every nutrient that you need. Most types of beans have similar nutrient levels. On average, in one cup they contain 225 calories, 15 grams of protein, 40 grams of carbohydrates, and many also are high in fiber.
Beans come in a different variety. There are black beans, red beans, lima beans, soy beans, lentils, kidney beans, etc. Most beans can be found in a can at the grocery store. Literally all you have to do is warm them up on the stove or in the microwave. It may be one of the easiest foods to prepare on this list, besides peanut butter.
The single most important nutrient for gaining healthy weight is protein. Protein forms the building blocks of your muscles. Eating sufficient protein is required to gain muscle weight instead of just fat. Muscle is made of protein, and without it most of those extra calories may end up as body fat. High-protein foods include meats, fish, eggs, many dairy products, legumes and others.
Among protein, eggs are a great and healthy food for gaining mass because they’re inexpensive, readily available. Eggs are super nutritional and they provide your body with essential energy and nutrients to get through the day.
Many people try restricting either carbs or fat when they are trying to lose weight. This is a bad idea if your goal is to gain weight, because it will make it harder to get in enough calories. Eat plenty of high-carb and high-fat foods if weight gain is a priority for you. It is best to eat plenty of protein, fat and carbs at each meal.
Rice is one of the most popular grains in the world, and it’s packed with a ridiculously high amount of energy. 100 grams of rice contains about 130 calories, and Rice contains many essential vitamins, such as thiamin and niacin. Potatoes are also great choice because they’re high in protein (really!), full of fiber, and contain a ton of vitamin C. Eat potatoes with the skin on for optimum nutrition.
7. Healthy Oils
Olive, canola, almond, flax seed, and coconut oils are all very healthy. In a table spoon there may be around 120 calories and 15 grams of fat in these oils. The nutritional value is very similar in each of them. The fat in these oils is mostly unsaturated fat, so it can help gain weight while reducing cholesterol levels at the same time. Nothing beats the taste of oil for cooking or in salad dressings. Extra virgin olive oil, safflower oil, coconut oil, and peanut oil are full of flavor and heart-healthy calories when enjoyed in moderation.
Cheese is calorie rich and full of good stuff like calcium. It’s a viable protein source for you vegetarians out there. It has all the nutritional benefits of milk products, but most cheeses are high in fat, making it a good product to have if you are trying to gain weight. Cheddar cheese, for example, has 400 calories in a 100 gram serving, and that includes 100% of your daily recommended intake of saturated fat; fantastic energy density per serving, but not the best thing to binge on!
9. Dark Chocolates
Dark chocolate is a great choice as a treat food for gaining mass but should be eaten in moderation. A 100-gram bar of chocolate has over 500 calories, and it’s loaded with antioxidants and enzymes that improve your mood.
There’s also sugar and loads of saturated fat so this isn’t an ‘every day’ kind of food supplement to gain weight. However, a few pieces every day certainly won’t hurt you, and every extra little bit of caloric intake helps increase your mass. Also it’s a lot better than many types of candy and junk food out there.
10. Tropical Fruit
The amount of calories in fruit may surprise some people. Although, the amount of calories may vary tremendously. A small apple contains around 50 calories and a cup of pitted dates has about 490 calories. One half of an avocado contains 140 calories, but also contain high levels of potassium, folic acid, and vitamin E. Avocado also are filled with B vitamins. Fruits like mango, papaya, bananas, and pineapple are amazing choices according to food experts. They are full of natural sugars and can give you great energy. Because of some of the high calorie fruits this can be a perfect snack, or an addition to any weight gaining meal. All fruits are also filled with plenty vitamins and minerals.