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Rice and bread are high-carbohydrate foods that can help you gain weight.
You gain a pound of body fat each time you consume 3,500 calories more than you expend. To gain weight at the rate of 1 pound per week, you need to consume an extra 500 calories per day. Many high-carbohydrate foods are good choices if you want to gain weight because they are high-calorie and provide essential nutrients.
Take Advantage of Dried Fruit
Fat-free and high-carbohydrate, dried fruit is more calorie-dense than fresh fruit. For example, a cup of dried apricots has 313 calories, while a cup of fresh apricots has only 74 calories, and a cup of raisins contains 493 calories, while a cup of grapes has 104 calories. Dried fruit is a source of potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure, and dietary fiber, which helps prevent constipation and reduce cardiovascular disease risk. Add dried fruit to oatmeal, cold cereal or yogurt, and store some at work and at home for a quick snack.
Rely on Pasta for Carbohydrates
Pasta is a high-carbohydrate and nearly fat-free food. Each cup of whole-wheat pasta has 174 calories and 37 grams of carbohydrates. Make lasagna, spaghetti and meat sauce with extra-lean ground beef or angel hair pasta with pesto sauce. For extra carbohydrates and calories, serve your pasta with a breadstick and some corn or peas. For lunch, toss some spaghetti salad with olive oil, avocado, onions and bell peppers, or add cooked macaroni to soup. Choose whole-grain pasta instead of refined, white pasta to get more natural nutrients, such as dietary fiber, iron, magnesium and B vitamins, and to lower your risk for cardiovascular disease.
Eat Bread With Any Meal
Bread packs a load of carbohydrates, and adding it to your diet is easy because of its portability and versatility. Have a large bagel with peanut butter and banana slices for breakfast, dip whole-wheat a pita into hummus for a snack and make submarine or traditional sandwiches for lunch. You can also tear up pieces of bread and add them to tomato or onion soup, have bread with salads and serve dinner rolls with almost any main course.
Add Starchy Vegetables to Meals
Corn, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, such as acorn and butternut squash, and peas make up the starchy vegetables. They are higher in carbohydrates and in calories than nonstarchy vegetables, such as lettuce and zucchini. A medium white potato contains 147 calories and 33 grams of carbohydrates. Add corn and peas to soups and casseroles, serve chicken or beef with mashed potatoes and onions or make sweet potato casserole with pecans.
Some high-carbohydrate foods are high-calorie, so they can help you gain weight, but they are low in essential nutrients. Sugar-sweetened soft drinks and other beverages -- such as fruit drinks and flavored coffee drinks, baked desserts such as pies and cakes, and candy -- are high in sugar and carbohydrates, but they do not provide health benefits. Choose nutrient-dense high-carbohydrate foods to gain weight. Also, balance your diet with sources of healthy fats, such as vegetable oil, avocados, peanuts and nuts, and include some lean proteins, such as chicken breast and fish.