As we age, we’re continually told by healthcare providers to watch the amount of fat and calories in our diets. High consumption of fats and calories and being overweight are the main culprits contributing to hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and many other chronic illnesses affecting older adults. But research has shown there are good fats and some high-calorie foods that have definite health benefits. Dieticians remind us the key is moderation and being aware of portions. An article on AARP.org recently listed a number of good-for-you high-calorie foods and their calorie counts.
- Quinoa – Think of it as the “new fiber.” According to the article’s dietician author, this whole grain has nine essential amino acids, which means it’s a complete protein. The high-fiber and omega-3 fatty acid content is good for your heart. A cup has 222 calories.
- Avocados – One of the fat good-guys, avocados have unsaturated fats which reduce the bad (LDL) cholesterol. A medium avocado has 276 calories.
- Nuts – We’ve heard for years that nuts are healthy. Almonds, walnuts, pecans, and peanuts all assist in controlling blood glucose levels. Raw of toasted is best as the oil used in roasting nuts undermines the good result. One ounce is around 160 to 190 calories.
- Olive oil – The anti-inflammatory benefits can lower your risk of heart disease. Go easy – one tablespoon of extra virgin is 120 calories.
- Mangoes – High fiber, vitamin-packed mangoes are rich in copper, potassium and magnesium, which keep your heart healthy. A medium mango has 130 calories.
- Corn – With sweet corn season hitting soon in many parts of the country, corn is a good grain choice. Many people shy away due to high starch content. But it has fiber, vitamins B6, C and iron and 124 calories per cup. (Hold the butter!)
- Granola – Some granolas are practically candy bars in cereal form, but look for whole wheat, nuts, and sweetening from honey or molasses. A good source of fiber and essential oils. The author suggests mixing a tablespoon with yogurt as a cup of granola often averages 597 calories.