High Calorie And Healthy? Six Foods to Try

By Ali Luke

When you’re watching what you eat, don’t fall into the trap of cutting out every food which has a high calorie density. There are some calorie-rich foods which are packed with nutrients and, in smallish quantities, these can form part of any healthy diet.

If you’re keeping an eye on your calorie intake, try the “swap” suggestions given for each item, to replace a not-so-good option with the healthier food.

Avocados – 190 calories per 100g

(One serving = 80g)

Eating avocados can help to lower cholesterol levels. They’re packed with nutrients including potassium, the B-vitamins and folic acid, and also help the body to absorb nutrients such as carotenoids found in other fruits and vegetables. You can also use avocado oil instead of olive oil (it’s similarly monounsaturated).

Replace the feta cheese in your mixed salad with avocado instead.

Dark Chocolate – 540 calories per 100g

(One serving = 25g)

Great news for all chocoholics out there – dark chocolate is commonly agreed to be good for you! The cocoa polyphenols found in dark chocolate can help to lower blood pressure. Eating dark chocolate regularly can also improve blood flow and protect the arteries. It’s also a rich source of copper, magnesium and potassium.

Swap a bar of milk chocolate for a small bar of dark chocolate.

Nuts – 600-700 calories per 100g

(One serving = 25g)

Several studies have shown that eating nuts is associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Nuts are a great protein source for vegetarians, and are high in fiber, phytonutrients (plant-derived nutrients that are believed to be essential for health), and the antioxidants vitamin E and selenium.

When baking cookies, swap chocolate chips for peanuts. Or, add nuts to salads, instead of croutons.

Olives – 105 calories per 100g

(One serving = 80g)

Olives not only count as one of your five-a-day, they’re packed with healthy (monounsaturated) fat, and they’re a good source of vitamin E – which can help to protect you from cancer or heart disease.

Instead of bowls of chips or cheesy nibbles, serve olives with pre-dinner drinks.

Red Wine – 85 calories per 100ml

(One serving = 125ml)

Red wine is thought to have a number of health benefits, and many doctors recommend drinking a glass a day. It can help to reduce the risk of heart disease, especially in smokers.

Try switching from beer, white wine or spirits to a glass of red wine instead.

Seeds – 600 calories per 100g

(One serving = 25g)

Seeds are a great concentrated source of essential fatty acids. Try sprinkling them on your cereal or in your oatmeal, add them to a handful of nuts and dried fruit, or buy bread which contains seeds.

Why not swap your white loaf for a seeded granary loaf?

What are your favorite healthy, high-calorie foods?


  1. TQ

    Caloric restriction is a well-documented scientific theory. The idea is that eating nutrient dense foods and limiting caloric intake leads to a longer life-span

  2. Odessa

    Tenx for the info’s..i really need to kn0w those info..because my very sick mother needs it..eventhough,she can’t eat thru her mouth,i am feeding her in a NGTube on her nose..she needs foods which are rich in calories..again..thank you so much for your idea on giving other people some ideas/info about it..

  3. Sue

    I like to make a veggie salsa, diced avacado, bell peppers, onions, black beans, corn, tsp olive oil and I use that on my salads instead of salad dressing.

  4. Naomi

    Fiber may be “a menace,” but it is the only thing that keeps me out of the hospital! After 13 bowel obstructions in on 15-month period, due to adhesions (which means surgery is not the answer as more surgery merely results in more adhesions), I’ll risk the menace, choosing my fiber wisely thanks, as it is not all created equal.

  5. Razwell

    Fiber is a MENACE. Do the research.

  6. Josh

    great site and I really enjoyed this article. Anything on diets, health and fitness I enjoy reading. Keep up the great work.

  7. Katie

    Depends on the size of the avocado. A food scale is very helpful, but my guess would be that if you have a small avocado, it’s half and a much larger one would be closer to a third or quarter.

  8. Katie

    But then you can’t taste the potato, so it’s a little pointless. Why not just mash up the sour cream, butter, and bacon in a bowl and eat it with a spoon?

  9. Katie

    It’s a little late for that. All of his comments on this site–and on others I’ve seen–are just as rude.

  10. darya

    great advice!!! i think you can even generalize a bit and say that plant sources of healthy fats (like olive oil and avocados) are going to be very good for you, even if they can add quite a few calories. just don’t go completely nuts and you win.

    i’d even take it a step further and say these are not only good for you they can help with weight loss too, because they help you feel full and satisfied with smaller portions. why diet and feel deprived when you can be healthy and happy?

  11. PRHL

    Yes, it does matter what kind of bread you eat.
    Personally, I recommend only three types:
    1. coarse wholemeal bread
    2. crispbread
    3. “bread made from more than one kind of flour” (German: “Mischbrot”)

    I could go into more details but you get the picture.

    Admittedly, I am not one of the Atkins believers. Furthermore, I DO recommend counting calories, although I think of it as of only one parameter in healthy nutrition. In my opinion, you have to give your body enough calories, enough vitamins, enough minerals, enough water, and you have to make some sport.

    Yes, sounds old-fashioned, I know…

  12. Cari

    Why is it that we think calories are bad? We need them to stay alive. We don’t need to worry about eating fabulously healthy calories, it’s the highly refined ones not found naturally occurring in nature that are killing us. We need to eat more nutritious calories and less of the processed ones that may be low in calories, but they’re also high in all sorts of other additives.

    We seem to have bought into this myth that low in calories also means ‘healthy’….they don’t automatically go together.

  13. Kate

    Is there anyway you guys can do things in sizes, portions etc instead of grams? I have no idea what a gram of avocado is. Or, if you do grams, give us an estimate of how much that is. Is it half? a quarter?

  14. Faery

    depends on what kind of bread your talking about & ever heard of “food combining”. Look it up. Certain enzymes in our body digest carbs & proteins. If you eat a meal consisting of these 2 groups at the same time the 2 different enzymes that work to digest these different foods have a much harder time which often leads to undigested food passing through the digestive tract & putrification. Sounds gross right? Its medically proven that sometimes these enzymes actually cancel eachother out. But Food Combining takes some serious serious discipline that I dont even have half the time.

  15. julie

    Please cut the attitude. You’re no genius, ok?

  16. Spectra

    Since I eat a lot of fruits, veggies, and lean proteins, I’m always trying to find good high-calorie, highly nutrient dense foods. Sure, I could get extra calories from Krispy Kremes, but they’re totally devoid of nutrients.

    I LOVE nuts…I probably eat a couple ouces a day of them. My favorites are cashews, hazelnuts, almonds, and Brazil nuts. I’m not a huge fan of avocado, but I do like it if it’s mixed up to make guacamole. I love olive oil as well. I figure, if I’m going to use oil, I may as well use oil that tastes good and has health benefits. I suppose I would count eggs, but they aren’t super calorie dense…they ARE very nutrient-dense though.

  17. Barry

    Additionally I could comment that a double quarter pounder with cheese, made from grass fed beef and cheese, served with a baked potato covered in butter, sour cream and bacon was a perfectly healthy food to eat but the food nazis who have the market cornered in what not to eat would scream in horror, as if someone who eats a cheeseburger doesn’t eat vegetables or fruits and doesn’t exercise.

  18. Barry

    Do you actually believe that by lowering your cholesterol you somehow conferred a health benefit upon yourself? Why?

  19. Barry

    What kind of retarded moron believes that low calorie equals healthy, and high calorie equals not healthy?

    Besides, people’s ideas about what is healthy are still WAY out-dated. Too many people are still stuck with stupid ideas from the 80’s and 90’s such as “high fat foods are bad for you” or the most prevalent one: “High cholesterol levels cause heart disease.”

    Give me a break.

  20. Pater Rolf Hermann Lingen

    “Dark chocolate is commonly agreed to be good for you!”
    Well – not *that* commonly agreed. I have read several articles on this issue. A recent study claimed that you have to take in exactly 6.7g/day of dark chocolate to gain any positive effect. More or less chocolate, and the good effect is gone – of course while the other (bad) effects remain!
    Besides: Indeed, many people like chocolate, but not the dark type. Therefor it is less than senseless for them to eat dark choco: They cannot enjoy it, and they probably won’t receive any benefits from it, either.
    Anyway, even if you want to loose weight or maintain thin, you can still eat choco. Simply eat only small portions, say, 100g / week.
    My personal recommendation: Instead of 100g choco, eat three slices of bread with sweet cream. It tastes – obiously – sweet, has roughly the same amount of calories, but it is much better for your health in several aspects.

  21. b

    In college (in the late 90s) I so bought into the low-fat hype. I was SO obsessed with fat content! It wasn’t til the past few years that I really caught on to the whole “good fats” thing, and recently I lowered my cholesterol 50 points through eating more avocado, oatmeal, olives, almonds, and flax (and less cheese and ice cream). Eating a small amount of those is every bit as satisfying – and way healthier – than eating a ton of fat free chips or low-fat cookies!

  22. blah

    Seeds and nuts are a staple of my diet. I eat them every day. I am also a big fan of nut butter sandwiches – peanut butter, soybean butter, sunflower seed butter – as long as they are the “natural” kind (no added sugar).

  23. Blake

    oh man I love avocado. I don’t have it very often but this post reminded me of how much i love it. I’m also a fan of the olives. thanks for the info!

  24. mass

    Make sure that in you are eating higher fat foods (good fats) to divide them within your total meals a day. Don’t just eat a lot of the fat in one meals, it’s about balance.

  25. Alex Baran

    The theory that the dark chocolate has good effects on the body comes from the fact that this type of chocolate is rich in cocoa, which has large amounts of flavonoids with antioxidant actions. I read at http://www.projectweightloss.com/index.php why it may decrease the levels of cholesterol. Dark chocolate may have a positive effect on our health.

  26. bijou

    damn. i didn’t know olives were so calorie-dense.

  27. Pills Bury - Free Weight Loss Guide

    Don’t forget peanut butter!

  28. John Sifferman - Burn The Fat

    I’ll add in chick peas (aka garbanzo beans). 364 calories per 100g when eaten raw. Plus, they’re high in fiber!

    To your health and success,

    John Sifferman NSCA-CPT

  29. cereal

    You’ve listed some great ones already ,but I’ll add coconut as a suggestion. I know it’s one of my favorite calorie dense foods.