As anyone working on their weight can attest, hidden calories can be one of the most difficult, and even worrying, part of staying healthy.
Be it in the form of added ingredients, sugars, or fats, there can be any number of extra calorific factors that need to be considered, specifically if you are on a strict regimen, or if you are setting specific weight goals for yourself.
Many of us know the danger foods to watch out for, be them sugary or laden with saturated fats, but what exactly is the food that has the most calories?
Despite our modern relationship with health and fitness, many of us still associate the word ‘calorie’ as being something bad, unhealthy, and fattening.
In actuality, a calorie is simply a unit of measurement used for calculating the amount of energy within the food we consume.
Good calories are goods that are rich in healthy fats, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates, all of which provide your body with good nutrition.
The difference between that and a bad calorie, is that high calorie ‘bad’ foods do not provide your body with useful nutrients and (essentially) tools that it can use to function properly during the day.
Bad calories are considered ‘empty’ calories. One prime example is fast food, which despite being high in calories and fat, doesn’t keep you full and satisfied for anywhere near as long as healthier dishes.
Bad Calorific Foods
When it comes to the food groups we eat, even as part of a balanced diet, there are some that are more calorific than others.
While picking one specific item of calorific food might be difficult, there are several types of food that remain constant contenders for the highest calorific content.
This might seem like a generic term (and it is), but fast food as a whole is some of the worst foods you can consume when trying to lose weight or stay healthy.
The McDonald’s breakfast with syrup and margarine has 1197 calories alone, which equates to almost 59.85% of a woman’s recommended daily calorie intake, and 47.88% of a man’s.
Similarly, the popular Whopper meal from Burger King contains around 1061 calories, representing 42.44% of a man’s daily recommended intake, and 53.05% of a woman’s.
Another high calorie food group that could be detrimental to your weight loss efforts is processed meat.
This is considered as any kind of meat that has been modified for flavor or longevity, such as various smoked, dried, and salted meats – such as sausages, hot dogs, salami, ham, cured ham, bacon, corned beef, and beef jerky.
Many of these processed meats have also been linked to illnesses like heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Desserts such as pastries, ice cream, chocolate, candy, and even sugary soft drinks all have some of the highest calorie counts around.
To some extent, we are mostly aware of the negative effects that sugar can have on the human body – ranging from dental problems, weight gain, and even more severe illnesses like diabetes.
You might have heard the term ‘beer belly’, but this isn’t just some impolite insult.
Alcohol is one of the most calorific things you can consume, both due to the amount of sugars contained within, but also because of the natural starch and sugars – which are then fermented, brewed (or distilled), and made into alcohol.
Good Calorific Foods
Now onto the good foods. There are countless high calorie foods that are beneficial to not only bodily health, but also for weight loss, the preservation and implementation of energy, and just general feelings of wellbeing.
Perfect as a breakfast dish, or simply as a healthy snack throughout the day.
Homemade granola might be high on calories, but the benefits to the body are astounding.
Adding plenty of whole grains, seeds and nuts will provide you with healthy fats to keep you going, and a few dried fruits will ensure you are getting that extra boost of healthy, natural sugars to put a spring in your step.
Lean Meat & Fish
Lean meat, such as chicken, is laden with healthy calories, not to mention protein, niacin, selenium, and phosphorus – all of which are essential for the body to function properly.
Fish, such as salmon, is very low in saturated fat, high in protein, and is a wealth of omega-3 fatty acids – helping to lower your chance of heart disease, cancer, dementia, and degenerative brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Of course, avoiding bad foods doesn’t mean abandoning flavor. Sweet potatoes are an increasingly popular addition to a balanced diet, thanks to their high fiber content, digestive health benefits, vision supporting qualities, and high vitamin content.
When combined with their delicious taste and versatile applications in the kitchen, they are a firm favorite amongst foodies and the health conscious alike.
Extremely popular within modern nutrition, avocados are a popular choice for breakfast, salads, and snacking, and despite their high calorific content, are laden with healthy fats, rich in iron, potassium, and copper, and have a number of wider health benefits – including protecting the vision, regulating appetite, helping to lower cholesterol, and supporting a healthy heart.
And there we have it, everything you need to know about high calorie foods, and the ways they can be both beneficial and detrimental to your health – depending on which ones you choose!
Nowadays, we have so many choices open to us. However, if you are concerned about any aspect of your diet, then consult a medical professional.
They can give you information regarding the establishment of a healthy diet, and could point you in the direction of nutritionists and groups to help you on your journey!