Finding high-calorie foods yet low in cholesterol and fat can be difficult, because the fat in foods contributes to overall calories. Some people need to find high calorie foods in order to gain weight and increase lean muscle, while others need calories for weight gain but must watch their cholesterol intake. When considering a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet that will not compromise calories, choose foods with extra fiber or sugar such as dates or dried apricots and avoid food such as butter or ice cream that contain extra calories but also plenty of fat and cholesterol.
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Many grains and starches provide more calories and less cholesterol and fat. Choose whole grains or those that have been enriched to add important nutrients and vitamins to your diet. One cup of white, cooked rice contains 242 calories, and one cup of cooked macaroni contains 189 calories; but neither food contains cholesterol or fat. Tapioca has no cholesterol or fat, yet has 544 calories in one cup. When combined with skim milk, egg whites and vanilla to make pudding, this remains a high calorie, low cholesterol and low fat food.
Fruit contains natural sugar called fructose that adds calories but not cholesterol or fat. Fruits are a good source of many vitamins that contribute to good health, but will not affect cholesterol or fat intake. Avocados and olives, two high-calorie fruits, contain monounsaturated fats that help reduce cholesterol, as opposed to saturated fat that is detrimental to overall health. Dried fruits, such as cranberries and figs provide the highest amounts of calories. One cup of raisins contains 435 calories and one cup of prunes has 406 calories. Both foods have no cholesterol and less than 1g of fat per cup.
Manufacturers create various sweets to be low-fat and low in cholesterol; or they contain plenty of sugar, which is low in cholesterol and fat but high in calories. Some examples are low-fat frozen yogurt, low-fat brownie or cake mixes and gelatin. Fit Day, on online diet and weight-loss journal, states that 1 cup gumdrops and 1 cup hard candy contain over 700 calories each, yet contain no cholesterol and have less than 1 g fat per serving.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Self Nutrition Data: Foods Highest in Calories and Lowest in Cholesterol and Total Fat
- Strat-Tech, Inc.: Nutrition Data—Fruit, Fruit Juice
- eMedTV: Low Cholesterol Food
- Fit Day: How Many Calories are in Snacks and Sweets?
- Harvard School of Public Health: Fats and Cholesterol: Out with the Bad and in with the Good