The secret to snacking: Best high-calorie foods for you

We all know the feeling of a rumbling belly aching for a salty or sweet snack between meal times. When it comes to senior wellness, nutrition is the downfall of many. While some reach for the potato chips when they feel hungry, most of us know this is not the best choice for a healthy and long life.

You might have been told that to lose or maintain weight, you need to eat a reduced-calorie diet and avoid high-fat and high-calorie foods. However, there is more to healthier eating than just reducing calories. In fact, there are many high-calorie foods that are nutrient dense and good for you. Eating high-calorie foods becomes a problem when they are full of empty calories that offer no nutritional value to speak of, such as soda, candy, cookies and alcohol. When you're feeling hungry, reach for some of these high-calorie snacks that are actually good for you and will keep you full:

Nuts
While many steer away from all kinds of nuts believing they are too high in fat, they are rich in fiber and protein. Not all nuts are created equal, but feel free to eat a handful of almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cashews or macadamias. You shouldn't go too nuts for nuts, and remember that a small portion should help tame your hunger and give you a mental boost. Studies have shown that nuts can help with memory care and may even reduce the risk of developing cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. Since the costs of long term care related to Alzheimer's disease are continuing to rise, seniors should do all they can to lower their risk.

Avocado
Whether you like guacamole or avocado in your salad or on toast, you don't need to feel guilty about consuming this food. While avocados are very dense in fat, they also pack a punch with other beneficial nutrients. As with any food, it is important to eat avocados in moderation and not overdo it, but with less than 300 calories in a medium sized fruit, they are a good choice. The good fats in avocados can help lower bad cholesterol levels, raise the good ones and keep you fuller longer.

Peanut butter
While a tablespoon of peanut butter can pack up to 100 calories, in moderation it should be a staple in your diet. As a great source of protein, the good lipids in it can help balance your cholesterol levels. Not to mention, it tastes great and has been linked to improving fat burning.

Quinoa
Maybe you've never heard of this tiny grain, which is pronounced "keen-wah," but you should give it a try. With about 222 calories per cup, consider eating this in the same portion size as you would with pasta or rice. Many refer to quinoa as "the perfect protein" because it is the only grain with all nine essential amino acids. It is also high in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, which is good for your digestive system.

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2014-07-12T01:15:17+00:00 June 12th, 2014|Senior Health & Wellness|Comments Off on The secret to snacking: Best high-calorie foods for you