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Although nuts and nut butters are in 4th place on the highest-calorie foods list, each type of nut has a different number of calories, so, to maximize your weight gain efforts, it's important to choose the high-calorie ones.
Fortunately, you have plenty of choices because you’ll find no less than 23 high-calorie nuts and nut butters in this article.
After all, nuts are among the snacks with the highest number of calories.
The above being said…
The nuts with the highest number of calories are pili nuts, featuring 719 calories per 100 g. Yet, there are many other nuts, like peanuts, almonds, and more, that pack hundreds of calories.
Below is a list of the best nuts for weight gain ordered by their number of calories.
Nutrition facts source: FoodData Central - Dried pili nuts.
Nutrition facts source: FoodData Central - Macadamia nuts.
Nutrition facts source: FoodData Central - Pecans.
Nutrition facts source: FoodData Central - Dried pine nuts.
Nutrition facts source: FoodData Central - Dried coconut.
Nutrition facts source: FoodData Central - Brazil nuts.
Nutrition facts source: FoodData Central - Walnuts.
Nutrition facts source: FoodData Central - Hazelnuts.
Nutrition facts source: FoodData Central - Almonds.
Nutrition facts source: FoodData Central - Peanuts.
Nutrition facts source: FoodData Central - Pistachios.
Nutrition facts source: FoodData Central - Cashews.
Nutrition facts source: FoodData Central - Dried acorns.
Looking for a summary of the high-calorie nuts in this article?
Here is an infographic ranking high-calorie nuts from most nutritious to less nutritious.
Nut butters are especially good in weight gain diets because they contain a mixture of calorie-dense ingredients, namely oils, ground nuts, and usually sugar.
Energy-wise, nut butters have similar numbers of calories to nuts, but can have more or less, depending on the quantity of sugar and oils added.
For example, peanuts have 567 calories/100 g while peanut butter has 590 calories/100 g.
It’s always a good idea to check the nutrition label of the nut butter you buy for the exact number of calories it has.
Beneath is a list of the best nut butters for weight gain ordered by their total number of calories
Nutrition facts source: Nutritionix - Calories in Macadamia Butter.
Nutrition facts source: MyFitnessPal - Pine Nut Butter.
Nutrition facts source: FoodData Central - Hazelnut butter.
Nutrition facts source: Nutritionix - Calories in Brazil Nut Butter.
Nutrition facts source: FoodData Central - Coconut butter.
Nutrition facts source: FoodData Central - Walnut butter.
Nutrition facts source: FoodData Central - Almond butter.
Nutrition facts source: FoodData Central - Cashew butter.
Nutrition facts source: FoodData Central - Peanut butter.
Shopping tip: try to buy as pure peanut butter as possible instead of varieties that are made with controversial oils, like palm oil.
Nutrition facts source: FoodData Central - Pistachio butter.
High-calorie nuts and nut butters are very convenient weight gain snacks. Therefore, you can eat them in various ways at almost any time of the day, whether you prefer nibbling in front of a movie or while you’re working.
Generally, since nuts contain many fats, you want to combine them with low-fat high-calorie foods to make a more complete snack.
Yet, if you're on a diet that restricts carbohydrates, go on and combine nuts and nut butters with other high-calorie low-carb foods.
Furthermore, if you're on a ketogenic diet that needs you to keep your fat intake high and your carbohydrates really low, you can either savor nuts and nut butters by themselves (they are keto-friendly foods) or combine them with other high-calorie keto foods.
Below, however, are some delicious options you can pair your favorite nuts with.
What foods go well with nuts:
What foods go well with nut butters:
And if you don't know whether smoothies or shakes suit you better, get help from our smoothie vs shake comparison.
Also, you will find that many weight gain bars have high-calorie nuts, such as almonds and cashews, in their composition.
Many people drop their jaws when they hear how many calories can a few nuts have.
For example, 53 g (1.87 oz) of nuts have the same amount of calories as an 80 g (2.82 oz) sesame bagel.
That is why it’s important to eat the right kind of serving size. Too few nuts won’t have much of an effect on your daily calorie intake while too many will overload you with fats.
The right serving size depends on every person’s dietary goals.
However, if your goal is to gain weight, you should eat at least a handful of nuts at a sitting.
Eating 10 g (0.35 oz) portions of any kind of nut won’t even get you 100 calories. On the other hand, a 30 g (1 oz) serving will get you a few hundred calories.
High-calorie nuts can bring you many benefits, such as:
Below, we've explained each benefit.
Being on caloric surplus is a must if you want to gain weight.
After all, it's common sense since just a handful of walnuts fill you with around 200 calories.
Since nuts and nut butters contain both proteins and carbs, they can help you build muscle easier.
In fact, you can use nuts and nut butters to prepare a few of the best pre-workout meals for muscle gain.
Nuts increase your protection against inflammation because they contain:
Scientific evidence backing up the ability of nuts to protect against inflammation:
A 2008 article about the effects of nuts on inflammation reviewed 37 related scientific works. Nuts may control inflammation because they are rich in nutrients, the researchers concluded.
And if that wasn't enough...
Nuts may protect against inflammation, according to a 2010 article about nuts and inflammation. Researchers reached the result after reviewing 64 other scientific articles.
Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition
See the study about nuts, inflammation, and insulin resistance via Informit.
Consuming nuts leads to lower inflammation, says a 2018 study about the impact of nuts consumption on inflammation
To get to this result, researchers studied data from a 5-year survey on health and nutrition.
Oncotarget via PubMed Central
See the study about the impact of nuts consumption on inflammation via PubMed Central.
Another benefit of eating nuts is the fact they help you lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease and sudden death.
This is because nuts contain:
Scientific evidence backing up nuts’ ability to improve cardiovascular health:
Nuts lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease, says a 2001 article about the effects of nuts on coronary heart disease risk.
Researchers found this result after inspecting 35 scientific research papers.
Nutrition Reviews (Oxford University Press)
See the study about the effects of nuts on coronary heart disease risk via Oxford Academic.
Nuts prevent coronary heart disease, diabetes, and sudden death while lowering cholesterol. This was the conclusion of a 2006 research article about the implications of nuts for cardiovascular health.
Note that researchers reviewed a large collection of past studies before getting to this result.
British Journal of Nutrition (via Cambridge)
See the study about the implications of nuts for cardiovascular health via Cambridge.
Another 2006 article explored the macronutrients and energy found in nuts. The article concluded that nuts are useful in preventing cardiovascular heart diseases.
British Journal of Nutrition (via Cambridge)
See the study about the macronutrients and energy found in nuts via Cambridge.
As nuts are rich in fiber, they get you all the health benefits dietary fibers come with. Fibers lower the risk of:
Scientific evidence that supports the health benefits of eating fibers:
A 2009 article about the health benefits of dietary fiber inspected 147 studies before listing fiber's benefits.
Among the benefits of consuming dietary fiber are a lower risk of:
Nutrition Reviews (Oxford University Press)
See the study about the health benefits of dietary fiber via Oxford Academic.
If you eat dietary fiber, you have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and better gut health. This is what claims a study from 2013 about fiber's prebiotic effects and health benefits.
Also, the study points out that eating more fiber will generally decrease your body weight.
Fibers help people feel satiated and reduce appetite. As a result, people usually end up not wanting too much food. And if you eat fewer calories daily, you'll most probably decrease your body weight.
Yet, if you keep yourself in a daily caloric surplus, you shouldn't have any problems gaining weight.
Nutrients journal (via PubMed Central)
See the study about fiber's prebiotic effects and health benefits via PubMed Central.
Nuts are rich in B-vitamins, carotenoids, and tocopherols, which makes them a great addition to any healthy diet.
Furthermore, many nuts contain antioxidants, like vitamin A, C, and E, and the mineral selenium.
Pistachios and almonds are especially rich in B-vitamins. Also, pistachios contain the highest level of beta-carotene among nuts.
Moreover, pistachios, along with hazelnuts and almonds, are some of the most abundant in tocopherols.
However, keep in mind that:
Roasting nuts can reduce the level of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals in nuts. So, generally, the healthiest way to eat nuts is raw.
Scientific evidence proving that nuts contain vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals:
Researchers tested different nuts using a special technique and shared the results in an article published in 2017. The results showed that nuts are rich in B-vitamins, carotenoids, and tocopherols. Note that different nuts have different levels of micronutrients.
See the study about the presence of B-vitamins, carotenoids and tocopherols in nuts via PubMed.
Besides vitamins and minerals, nuts contain many phytochemicals. As proof, a 2008 article exploring the composition of nuts evidenced the presence of phytochemicals.
Furthermore, a 2009 article proved the presence of antioxidants and phytochemicals in nuts. Researchers reviewed over 65 pieces of scientific evidence to do so.
European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology
See the study about the antioxidants and phytochemical found in nuts via Wiley Library.
Although nuts count among the low-volume high-calorie foods, they fill you up because they contain many nutrients, including dietary fibers, which help you feel satiated.
Scientific evidence that backs up nuts’ high satiety properties:
A 2000 study pointed out the role of dietary fiber in prolonging feelings of satiety. The study's authors reviewed 47 scientific sources to reach the result.
The Journal of Nutrition
See the study about dietary fiber's role in satiety and regulating energy via PubMed.
A comprehensive 2014 review article analyzed the effects of nuts on appetite, food intake, metabolism, and body weight. The article looked at 128 scientific references to reach a conclusion.
The results show that although nuts are energy-dense, they don't make you gain weight because of their high satiety value.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
See the study about the effects of nuts on appetite, food intake, metabolism, and body weight via PubMed.
In case you are allergic to peanuts or tree nuts, you need to stay away from them since they can be life-threatening.
Food allergies, including peanut or tree nut allergies, are a growing health problem in the USA. Furthermore, the incidence of death is becoming more common, according to a report by FAIR Health.
See the analysis of food allergy in the United States via the National Library of Medicine.
Most common tree nut allergies, according to a 2015 review on the prevalence of nut allergies:
You can find nuts packaged in different ways online, in supermarkets, or in grocery stores. Therefore, it’s important to know the advantages and disadvantages of their varieties.
When it comes to the way nuts are prepared before hitting the shelves, you can find raw, toasted, or roasted nuts.
Generally, raw nuts carry the most nutrients, but roasting or toasting is essential in the case of nuts that contain toxins.
When it comes to seasonings, there are salted, unsalted, or flavored nuts.
Unsalted nuts are your go-to snacks if you’re looking to reduce your sodium intake.
But, if you’re looking to spoil your taste buds, go for some flavored nuts, like some jalapeno-flavored peanuts. Or, try some almonds seasoned with coconut flavor.
Nuts can be pretty expensive, depending on which part of the world you live in. However, there’s a way to get a better price: buy nuts in bulk.
Still, before making the mistake to invest in too many nuts, do the math and see how many you tend to consume on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
This way, you will buy only the right amount of your favorite nuts.
If you’re looking to gain weight on a budget, check out our list of cheap high-calorie foods.
Here are the top 3 high-calorie nuts with the most proteins:
If you want to ease your weight gain efforts, count on high-calorie nuts and calorie-dense nut butters. No matter whether you prefer walnuts, almonds, or peanut butter, these types of nutty snacks are all rich in nutrients, especially healthy fats.
And if you want even more calories, you have a delicious option:
Combine nuts and nut butters with other calorie-dense foods, like seeds, yogurt, and whole-grain bread.
What's best? Nuts are also rich in fibers, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. So, nuts not only help you gain weight but they also bring many other health benefits, like:
Finally, don’t forget to take a look at the nuts buying guide that explains everything you want to know when you shop for nuts, from cooking methods to seasonings. Besides, you'll find a tip on how to buy nuts the cheap way.
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.
High-Calorie Foods and Drinks