Whether you’re looking to lose weight or whether you’re hoping to bulk up; learning more about high calorie foods can really help you to reach your goals. If you’ve taken part in any diet, you’ll find they often focus pretty heavily on the amount of calories you’re eating each day. Men and women require a different amount of daily calories to keep them healthy. Consuming too few calories can lead to long term problems such as a weakened immune system, muscle atrophy and in severe cases, organ failure. While eating too many will cause weight gain, increase your chances of developing cancer and heart disease.
Below you’ll discover the top 20 high calorie foods to avoid, or at least enjoy in moderation.
This one might just surprise you. After all, smoothies have long been advertised as a healthy alternative. While they are packed full of nutrients, it’s not unusual for some smoothies to add up to more than 700 calories. It all depends what they are made from. If you’re buying a smoothie from a café or fast food chain, they will often be made with ice cream. There are also many other fattening ingredients that can feature in these products including peanut butter and protein shakes. So if you want to stay healthy, make the smoothie yourself and stick to fruits, vegetables and skimmed milk.
2. Ice Cream
This is a fairly obvious one. A well-known comfort food and great in summer, ice cream can contain anything from 200-400 calories per serving. By serving this doesn’t mean a whole tub! If you absolutely can’t give up ice cream completely, be sure to stick to simple vanilla or natural fruit ice creams rather than the more indulgent varieties.
3. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is pretty dangerous in terms of how many calories it contains. It’s estimated that in 100g of peanut butter, you’ll find 589 calories. However, while it does have a high calorie content, peanut butter is said to be good for you. It contains plenty of good fats that can help to keep the body healthy. So a very small portion every now and again could be good for you.
Again, not a surprising food to find on the list! Chocolate contains 535 calories per 100g on average. This will obviously differ depending upon the type of chocolate. Milk chocolate tends to be the worst, whereas pure dark chocolate over 70% can actually be good for you. If you’re looking to lose weight, you should definitely limit your chocolate consumption.
For some people, cheese is their guilty pleasure. Creamy, satisfying and filling, this tasty treat packs in around 353 calories per 100g. Again, this will differ depending upon the type of cheese you’re buying. However, no matter which type you invest in, be sure you eat it in very small portions.
Pasta is one of the bets loved dishes in the world. This Italian delicacy is filling, satisfying and extremely comforting. There are so many tasty dishes you can create, but did you know pasta in itself is packed full of calories? On average there are 158 calories in every 100g.
Bacon is one of the most popular fatty foods. Often enjoyed at breakfast, this mouth-watering food is one of the worst offenders with around 174 calories in one thick slice. So if you’re having it with other foods such as fried mushrooms, sausages, egg and bread, you’ll soon realise that your favourite breakfast could contain over 1,000 calories!
Nuts can be really good for you, but they are one of the highest calorie foods out there. They also contain a lot of fat and salt. Depending upon which nuts you buy, they contain a different amount of calories. The mixed varieties are the ones you really need to watch out for. Nuts can be a great, healthy snack if you stick to a small handful of them. Eating a full pack in one sitting is never a good idea.
Again this is a pretty healthy food, but it is packed full of calories. In 100g there’s approximately 160 calories. However, it’s easier to work out the calorie content based upon an average sized avocado. There’s around 332 calories in a whole avocado so be careful what you’re eating it with.
Red meats are an excellent source of protein, but they’re also pretty high on the list for fat and calorie content. In 100g of beef brisket for example, there’s 358 calories. Some types of beef are more calorific than others. So if you’re looking for a healthier alternative, make sure you’re choosing the lean varieties.
11. Salad dressing
Everyone knows that salads are supposed to be one of the healthiest foods you can eat. However, it might just surprise you that some salads can contain more calories than a beef burger! A big contributor to the calorie content is salad dressings. With the average dressing containing 387 calories per 100g, they can easily turn a healthy salad into an unhealthy one.
12. Breakfast cereals
This is another one that might come as a surprise. Breakfast cereals can be really bad for you if you eat more than the recommended portion size. Do you bother measuring out the portion size before you eat? The majority of people don’t. They simply fill a bowl, pour milk into it and enjoy. If you actually measure out the recommended portion size you might be shocked by how little it actually is compared to your standard bowl that you’re used to.
If you’re lover of Mexican food, guacamole is bound to be a regular addition to your diet. However, did you know that in a standard 261g serving, there’s a whopping 360 calories? This is because it contains another food that was mentioned earlier – avocados! So if you’re looking to lose weight, guacamole might not be a good option.
14. Pure fruit juice
Fruit juice is another food that’s widely advertised as being good for you. It is, in small quantities. In just one ounce of pure fruit juice, there’s typically 57 calories. However, one small glass a day should be fine and is actually quite good for you. There are plenty of vitamins and minerals packed into pure fruit juice.
Eating fruit is one of the best ways to stay healthy. However, some are much better than others. Bananas are a firm favourite for many people. They are filling, sweet and the fruit world’s equivalent of comfort food. There’s a reason for this. The average medium banana contains 120 calories. Yes it’s full of potassium which helps to raise your energy levels, but if you’re looking to lose weight you won’t want to include many of these in your diet.
Good for the heart, Salmon contains a lot of Omega 3 fatty acids. It also contains a lot of calories. In a 3 ounce serving, there’s around 152 calories. So if you like to snack on smoked salmon, be sure to only have a couple of slices otherwise you could find your weight loss goals a lot harder to reach.
17. Protein and granola bars
Protein and granola bars are often eaten as a replacement for breakfast. They are also advertised as being great snacks. The amount of calories will vary depending upon which type of bar you buy. Generally speaking there are around 150-250 calories in a protein bar and 100-200 calories in a granola bar. Another down side to these popular bars is the fact they contain a high level of sugar.
Have you been filling up on berries to stay healthy? It may surprise you to learn that strawberries, raspberries and blueberries contain quite a lot of calories. It’s estimated there’s 229 calories per serving. It will depend upon the type of berries you’re eating, but as you can see that’s quite a lot! When eaten in small quantities it won’t harm your weight loss goals. There’s also the fact they are packed full of antioxidants and other essential vitamins and minerals. They are also fat free so you don’t have to worry about having to fight that off too.
Now lobster isn’t something that most of us eat a lot of. However, if you like to have it as a treat every now and again, it’s worth being aware that there’s around 111+ calories in a serving. They do have the advantage of containing little fat and when eaten in moderation it’s actually pretty good for you.
Now this isn’t going to surprise you. Doughnuts are one of the worst foods you can eat in terms of calories. The type and size of the doughnut will determine how many calories you’re consuming. However, as a general rule most contain between 198-299 calories.
Making the right choices
As you’ll see from some of the foods listed, while they may be high in calories, sometimes they have a lot more going for them. Salmon, lobster, berries and bananas are just some examples of high calorie foods that are good for you. It can be confusing trying to eat healthy because there are so many factors to take into account. Don’t focus purely on calories; take the nutrients and fat content into account too.
Overall it’s about eating everything in moderation. A little bit of chocolate every now and again won’t hurt. Just make sure you’re exercising regularly too.