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Given fat is the macronutrient that has the most calories, it stands at the core of many high-calorie foods, so you may have a hard time finding the foods that are both nutritious and low in fat, whether you want to gain weight or reduce the saturated fat in your diet.
To ease your search, we identified no less than 45 low-fat high-calorie foods and arranged them in a list, so you can find exactly the type of food you need to prepare lean daily meals, from snacks to fruits and vegetables.
If you’re asking yourself what low-fat foods have the most calories, here are the best 7 healthy high-calorie foods with few to zero grams of fat that will help you gain weight:
You can find high-calorie foods that are low in fat in many food groups, and our list below covers them all, whether you’re looking for slurpable snacks like smoothies or shakes, whole grain products, carb-filled snacks, fruits, or vegetables.
High-calorie low-fat snacks are generally very energizing and can be of tremendous help if you’re trying to gain healthy weight, respectively build muscle.
Below are the 4 categories of high-calorie snacks that are low in fat.
Low-fat smoothies are the high-calorie snacks with the most calories because they are rich in carbs and proteins.
Here are some of the healthy benefits of consuming smoothies:
Let’s not forget that smoothies are full of vitamins since they have fruits and vegetables at their core.
Here are the top 8 high-calorie smoothies that are also low in fat:
If you want to learn how to make the above smoothies, their nutrition facts, and how to pick low-fat ingredients to create other non-fatty smoothies, head over to our comprehensive article about high-calorie smoothies.
You’ll also find high-fat smoothies in the article, so, if you're on a low-fat diet, just skip them.
Although most high-calorie shakes are rich in fats because they are usually made with fatty dairy, there are still some weight gain shakes that are low in fat, like the Strawberry Oat Shake.
The Strawberry Oat Shake is a high-calorie shake that is rich in carbs but low in fats. The 22 g of fat in the shake come mainly from the saturated fats in whole milk and the healthy unsaturated fatty acids found in oats.
This shake is especially useful when you want to get energized before a workout or recover your muscles after a workout.
Find the recipe for this low-fat weight gain shake and learn how to pick lean shake ingredients in our thorough article about high-calorie shakes.
Some of the high-calorie whole grain snacks are low in fat, which means that you can enjoy their energizing properties without leveraging your fat intake too much.
Another benefit of adding low-fat whole grain snacks to your diet is that they contain mainly unsaturated fats, which are healthier than saturated fats.
Here are is a list of 4 high-calorie whole grain snacks that are low in fat:
Note: not all whole-grain snacks above meet the high-calorie criteria of having over 400 calories. Despite this, popcorn, whole grain cereals, and whole wheat bread, made the list because of their popularity and versatility, which make them convenient for people looking to gain weight without consuming too much fat.
Did you know that crackers are one of the most affordable high-calorie foods on the market? Head over to our list of cheap high-calorie foods to find more budget-friendly ideas for weight-gain diets.
If you want to gain weight following a low-fat diet, carbs are one of your best allies, and sugary snacks have plenty of them.
However, you don’t want to eat too many of these sugary snacks because, yes, you guessed it, they contain a lot of sugar.
Low-fat high-calorie sugary snacks for weight gain:
Note: neither honey nor jam meet the high-calorie criteria of having over 400 calories. However, both are popular foods closing in on the 400-calorie mark, so they still come in handy for persons struggling to gain weight.
You can find more nutritious snacks in our comprehensive article about high-calorie snacks.
Because many dried and fresh high-calorie fruits are low in fat, they make for energizing sources of carbs and vitamins that can help you boost your daily calorie intake without leveraging the fat intake.
A downside of fruits is the fact they lack proteins.
Dried fruits are high-calorie fruits with elevated carb levels owing to their dehydrated nature, which is why they will help you fulfill your calorie objectives way easier.
Most dried fruits have low-fat levels, but some of them, like desiccated coconut, contain a treasure of fats. So, you still need to pay attention to what fruits you eat, especially if you're on a low-fat diet.
Here are the top 3 low-fat dried fruits with the most calories:
Note: the dried fruits above don’t meet the high-calorie criteria of having over 400 calories. However, since all of them count among the fruits with the most calories, they can be of tremendous help to people looking to gain weight.
Find more low-fat dried fruits in our comprehensive article about high-calorie fruits.
High-calorie fresh fruits that are also low in fat are helpful for anyone looking to boost their calories without leveraging their protein or fat intake. After all, fruits mainly contain carbs.
Here are the top 3 low-fat fresh fruits with the most calories:
Note: none of the fresh fruits above meet the high-calorie criteria of having over 400 calories. However, since they all count among the fruits with the most calories, they can be of great help to people trying to gain weight.
Find more low-fat fresh fruits that can help you boost your daily calories in our thorough article about high-calorie fruits.
If you’re on a low-fat diet, you can add versatility to your daily menus with high-calorie vegetables because most of these foods have just a few grams of fat.
Here are the top 5 low-fat vegetables with the most calories:
Note: none of the vegetables above meet the high-calorie criteria of having over 400 calories. However, since they all count among the vegetables with the most calories, they are very handy for anyone trying to gain weight without consuming too much fat.
Head over to our complete list of high-calorie vegetables to find more nutritious low-fat veggies.
Here is the definition of low-fat high-calorie foods:
High-calorie foods that are low in fat have at least 400 calories and less than 30% of those calories come from fat.
Remember that 1 g of fat has 9 calories while 1 g of carbs or protein has just 4 calories.
In the next paragraphs, we’ll explore the benefits of following a diet focused on high-calorie low-fat foods.
Eating high-calorie foods that are low in fats will help you gain healthy weight in a leaner way by significantly boosting your calories while increasing your protein and carb intake.
Proteins and carbs are macronutrients that are essential for the building and recovery of your muscles.
Since women are more prone to storing fat than men, foods rich in protein and carbs, which are good for building muscle, are especially beneficial in the weight gain meal plans of females looking to increase muscle size.
To gain weight on a low-fat diet, you need to eat high-calorie foods that contain scarce amounts of fat.
If you want to stay away from fat, you can easily increase your daily calories and reach a caloric surplus, which will enable you to gain weight, by consuming low-fat high-calorie foods.
Here are some tips you can use to increase your calories without resorting to fatty products:
If you are on a daily caloric deficit, you can use high-calorie foods that are low in fat to accomplish weight loss goals because these foods can keep the fat intake down while filling you up.
However, people who want to lose weight must be wary of the number of portions of these highly caloric but low-fat foods they eat per day.
After all, these foods are still rich in calories and can easily cause one to eat too many calories.
The American Gastroenterological Association recommended low-fat foods among the dietary alternatives to liquid foods in the case of acute pancreatitis patients.
Therefore, high-calorie foods that contain few to no grams of fat can benefit people suffering from pancreatitis.
After all, registered dietitian nutritionist Kelly McCullough categorized low-fat foods among the easiest to digest foods.
If you adopt a high-calorie low-fat diet, you will keep your intake of saturated fats down, which will decrease your chances of developing heart disease.
The American Heart Association recommends limiting your saturated fat intake because science has proved it can raise “bad” cholesterol, and so, increase the risk of heart disease.
Since people have different diets, besides knowing what high-calorie foods are low in fat, you may want to know which of these lean edibles are also rich in proteins and low or high in carbs.
Here are the high-calorie low-fat foods that are also high in proteins:
We couldn’t find any high-calorie low-fat foods that are also low in carbs.
Here are the high-calorie low-fat foods that are also high in carbs:
The high-calorie foods that are low in saturated fats have 1 g or less of saturated fat per 100 g and not more than 10% of their calories come from saturated fatty acids, according to the FDA.
Here are the high-calorie foods that are low in saturated fats:
The best way to start and also keep a high-calorie low-fat diet is to prepare meal plans focusing on lean but calorie-dense foods and drinks.
Luckily, you have plenty of such foods to choose from in this article.
And to help you even more, here is a sample daily meal plan built mostly with high-calorie low-fat foods that you can follow or modify as you please.
Pre-workout breakfast snack: 471 calories
Post-workout snack: 431 calories
Daytime snack: 431 calories
Lunch: 652 calories
Dinner: 548 calories
Pre-bed snack – 248 calories
Daily meal plan: total calories and nutrients
Now, as you learned the low-fat foods with the highest calories and what calorie-dense snacks, fruits, and vegetables can help you keep a lean diet, you can use them to craft meal plans that will ensure you enjoy the benefits of a high-calorie low-fat diet, all while getting closer to your goals, whether you want to gain weight or reduce saturated fat from your diet.
Unfold Today has rigorous sourcing principles adhering to the top journalistic standards, so our writers always look for official, experienced, and first-hand sources. Read more about how we keep our content trustworthy and updated by reading our editorial process.
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