healthy foods

5 High Calorie Foods that Aren't Bad for You


Our bodies need calories, preferably nutrient dense calories. It’s a common misconception that if something is high in calories it must be bad for you.  If something is high in calories and doesn’t fill you up or do much else for you nutritionally, it may be something to choose less often or choose as a treat. I eat a lot of high calorie foods, but I choose those that are nutrient dense and fill me up without overeating.

Here are 5 Nutrient-Dense High Calorie Foods to know and love today...

1. Dried Figs
Dried figs are one of my all time favorites. They’re a perfect snack to satisfy your sweet tooth, not to mention a good source of calcium, vitamin C, and magnesium. When purchasing dried fruit look for the varieties without added sugar. Fruit is naturally sweet and the added sugar will just add unnecessary empty calories.

2. Avocado
On toast, crackers, tacos, you name it - avocadoes taste amazing. They’re a great source of fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. Because they are a good source of healthy fats they are also higher in calories, but make a great, filling addition to any meal.

3. Olive Oil
In Mediterranean diet style, olive oil is a great way to get in your heart healthy unsaturated fats and vitamin E. Olive oil is great for cooking, dipping bread, or using in salad dressing. With about 100 calories per tablespoon, these nutrient-dense calories can add up quickly, so do be mindful.

4. Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds are a nutrition powerhouse and currently one of my go-to faves. They are an excellent source of magnesium, manganese, zinc, phosphorus, iron, b-vitamins, and polyunsaturated fats.

5. Smoothies
Smoothies can be nutritious calorie bombs. Often loaded with fruits, veggies, and healthy proteins they can be very nutrient dense. However, we often throw in more ingredients than we planned and calories can add up quickly. The issue with mindlessly slurping one down is how quickly we consume it and drinking our calories/nutrition is not always as satisfying or filling as the act of chewing our food. I suggest serving your smoothies in bowls and top them with other satisfying ingredients that need to be chewed like granola, nuts, fruit, or seeds. This helps to you slow down, to perform the act of eating rather than slurpring, to be more mindful, and to pay attention to your hunger cues.

5 Foods I'm LOVING Right Now

1. Kombucha

To be completely honest I never really liked kombucha. I would try it on occasion because it was trendy and cool and probiotics and such, but it was always too sweet for me. Recently, a fellow RD suggested we meet and chat over a glass of kombucha at our local kombucha bar, Dean's Zesty Booch. If you live in Bozeman and have not been to Dean's bar- what are you waiting for?! Seriously. It's so good. In a town that's so saturated with breweries, what an amazing idea to have a bar that serves healthier beverages. I love it.

Like I said, I'd never really been a fan, but now I'm hooked. I'm also loving Healthade, its not too sweet, not too sour, and good for your gut! Their motto is Follow Your Gut, which I love! Healthade is available at most grocery stores, but you can double check here (keep an eye out at your local stores- my store isn't listed in their directory). 

2. Hemp Seeds

Seriously loving these too. Mostly on the usual smoothies, oatmeal, & yogurt, but also on salads, mixed dinner bowls, veggie sides, pizzas- can't go wrong.

Hemp seeds are another trendy seed, but I didn't actually try them until I went to FNCE (Food & Nutrition Conference & Exp0) last fall. These little guys are a great source of energy and are PACKED with nutrients - they're HIGH in protein, magnesium, manganese, iron, zinc, phosphorus, and B vitamins. 

3. Buckwheat

Buckwheat has a wonderfully earthy, nutty flavor. I made some homemade granola back in December to give as Christmas gifts, luckily I made enough for myself to last awhile too. It adds an amazing nutty crunch to homemade granola. You could also toast it in the oven and add it to your favorite store bought granola.

I've also had it as a breakfast porridge - its a little mushier and creamier than oatmeal but goes great with all the same toppings, plus it has that yummy nutty taste.

4. siggi's protein bites

I made these a few weeks back and have been keeping them in my freezer ever since. I've been loving them for a quick snack to grab on the go. I'm the kind of person that gets hungry every few hours so it's important to keep healthy snacks on hand (this usually prevents me from eating peanut butter by the spoonful - although nothing wrong with that). Loaded with protein (nuts, seeds, & skyr), these bites are super filling and have just the right amount of sweetness. You can find the recipe here.

5. Tempeh

Similar to tofu but more of a nutty and rough texture. I highly recommend it baked or sauteed for your plant based meals. I don't eat much meat with for the purpose of incorporating more veggies into my diet as well as the 1,000s of health benefits associated with a plant-based diet. I'm a flexitarian mainly because I don't believe in restrictions, I occasionally crave a quality burger, and most people in my life eat a very meat-centric diet. Anyways, tempeh is awesome and a great source of protein, calcium, iron, and more for those of us that primarily eat plants. I just made this recipe from Nutrition Stripped. Give it a try!


What foods are you loving right now?



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