The bottom line when it comes to weight gain is taking in more calories than you burn. While this is harder when you stick to a healthy meal plan, some nutritious foods are high in calories. You shouldn’t stop eating them, though, because they are also high in nutrients that are important to your overall health. The trick is to eat them in smaller doses. Healthy foods that make you fat won’t necessarily cause weight gain as long as you balance them with those that are lower in calories for a well-balanced diet.
Avocados are rich in heart-healthy fats that help stave off heart disease. However, that translates to a higher calorie count. Eat too much avocado and you might end up overweight, which increases the risk of heart disease. Achieve the right balance by sticking to appropriate portion sizes, which is about one-fifth of a medium sized avocado. This serving gives you a moderate 50 calories. Eat the whole avocado and you’ve just taken in close to 300 calories. Measure out one portion of avocado and slice it thinly or dice it finely, which gives you the illusion of having more. Layer slices on burgers or sandwiches and add avocado chunks to salad, tacos, burritos, or soup.
Nuts are a healthy snack filled with protein and healthy fats, but a little goes a long way. An ounce of dry roasted mixed nuts contains nearly 200 calories while an ounce of oil roasted mixed nuts has slightly more. An ounce equates to about a handful, so put the bag down. Measure nuts into single serving bags if you find it hard to stop eating. Or, combine them with other foods to make a bulkier snack. Add an ounce of nuts to dry Cheerios, raisins and pretzels to make trail mix. Or sprinkle them onto oatmeal in the morning. That way you can enjoy them without overdoing it.
Yogurt is a good source of protein and calcium, but even the diet versions may put them on the list of healthy foods that make you fat. Some types of yogurt are very high in sugar. Sugar contains calories. Too much yogurt and you might end up piling on the pounds. If you can’t give up yogurt, choose plain ones and sweeten them yourself with chopped fruit and a drizzle of honey.
Many people feel virtuous having a smoothie. Yes, they have fruit in them, which helps you get vital nutrients, but they often contain a huge amount of calories and sugar, especially those sold at juice bars. Many are loaded with frozen yogurt or juice. This ups the possibility that they could be one of the healthy foods that make you fat. Rather than hitting the local smoothie joint, make your own and you’ll have a better version that you can feel good about drinking. Blend frozen fruit with a Greek yogurt and 100 percent juice diluted with water to cut calories. Add a small spoonful of agave nectar or honey to sweeten your smoothie. And don’t drink a whole blender full. Stick to one small glass.