What are the highest calorie foods?
Many people these days are somewhat calorie-conscious and aware that certain foods are a lot higher in calories than others. Those who watch their weight or follow a calorie-controlled diet may wish to read on to see which foods to avoid or eat in moderation…
What is a calorie?
A calorie is a unit of energy (found in all foods). Calories maintain the body’s basal metabolic rate and body’s vital functions.
Each person has specific calorie needs depending on a number of factors such as gender, age, activity level and muscle mass. Eating too many calories above these needs leads to weight gain; eating too few leads to weight loss.
Protein, carbohydrates and fats are the three macro nutrients that make up our food, each has a calorie value: 4 calories per gram for protein and carbohydrates; and 9 calories per gram for fat. Foods high in fat thus tend to have a higher calorie count.
What are the highest calories foods?
- Seeds and nuts – Seeds and nuts are typically high in oils, therefore high in calories. The same applies to nut and seed butters.
- Chocolate – Chocolate is high in calories due to the high carbohydrate (sugar) and fat content
- Dried Fruit & Fruit Juices – these are essentially concentrates of fruit. Dried fruit has the natural water content of fruit removal, fruit juice removes the natural fibre. This means the final product is high in fruit sugar, and therefore high in calories.
- Avocados – avocados are high in fat (although it’s largely the healthy kind, it still carries a lot of calories)
- Grains and pasta – these are dense with carbohydrate
- Cheese and other dairy products – full fat dairy products are high in calories
- Meat – the more fat the type or cut of meat has, the higher the calorie count. White meats tend to be leaner than red meats, therefore lower in calories
- Oily fish – fish such as mackerel, herring, salmon and halibut are relatively high in calories
Although these everyday food are high in calories, it doesn’t mean that they should be avoided as many of them are healthy and necessary in moderation. When in doubt about your own healthy eating, get in touch with a nutritionist or dietician who will be able to create a programme or lifestyle specific to your calorie needs.