Foods High In Carbs For Weight Gain Foods that are high in carbohydrates can provide your body with the much-needed energy you will need to lift heavy weight plates. Aided by additional proteins, carbohydrates also play a significant role in building muscles through supporting recovery as well.
What are carbs?
Carbohydrates (also known as also called carbs, glycide or sugar) are molecules made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Their main function is to provide fast energy because they are easily digested and boost mood soon after consumption. When this energy is not burnt, however, it ends up being stored in the body as fat.
All vegetables have carbohydrates and the only animal-derived food that has carbohydrates is honey. The total daily consumption should not be more than 60% of your food intake.
There are 2 different types of carbohydrates:
- Simple carbohydrates
Food that is rich in simple carbohydrates is usually sweet. Examples include refined sugar, French bread, honey, fruit jams, watermelon, raisins, cereals, white rice, cooked pasta, popcorn and sodas.
This type of carbohydrate is digested and absorbed very quickly by the body, which is why you feel hungry again soon after eating them. This food will typically have a moderate to high glycemic index, because their sugar quickly gets into the blood and should therefore be avoided by diabetics or anyone trying to lose weight.
- Complex carbohydrates
Food that is rich in complex carbohydrates is usually less sweet. Some examples include whole-grain pasta and rice, as well as whole grain cereal, lentils, chickpeas, carrots, or peanuts.
Complex carbohydrates have a slower digestion rate which means they reach the blood more slowly. This can keep you feeling fuller for longer. These foods will usually have a low to moderate glycemic index, making them ideal for diabetics or anyone trying to lose weight
In addition, complex carbs are generally richer in B vitamins, iron, fiber and minerals.
List of high carb foods
Foods Amount of carbohydrates in 100 g Energy in 100 g
- Corn flakes 81.1 g 374 calories
- Maize flour Biscuit 72.0 g 436 calories
- Whole-grain toast
62.6 g 364 calories
- Cracker 61.6 g 451 calories
- French bread roll 57.3 g 289 calories
- Rye bread 56.4 g 263 calories
- Rice 28.0 g 127 calories
- Spaghetti 19.9 g 101 calories
- Boiled Potato 18.5 g 85 calories
- Peas 18.1 g 63 calories
- Chickpeas 16.7 g 121 calories
- Lentils 16.7 g 108 calories
- Beans 14.0 g 91 calories
- Soy beans 7.5 g 40 calories
The foods listed in this table are just some of the ones that have higher levels of carbohydrates, but other foods like milk, yogurt, cheese, pumpkin, beetroot, carrot, apple or pear, for example, also have carbohydrates in smaller amount
Why are Carbohydrates Important?
Ask me why they aren’t important and I would probably be unable to answer it. So instead, I will stick to something that I can answer. Why exactly are carbs important?
- Your “body” needs it.
Carbohydrates are your body’s primary source of energy and are very essential for your body’s normal functioning in more than one aspect. The consumption of carbohydrates is very important for those looking to remain healthy and obtain optimal weight gain.
Every organ system in your body, be it the cardiovascular system (heart and blood vessels), the central nervous system (brain and nerves), your musculoskeletal system (you know this one), or your kidneys- they all utilize the energy obtained from broken-down carbohydrates to function without defect.
- Your body can store it.
Excessive glucose left over after your body is done using it for energy is stored by your body for later use. This stored energy is used up whenever your body senses that you might be headed to starvation.
The leftover glucose is stored in both the liver as well as muscle tissues as a substance called Glycogen. Glycogen stored in the liver is periodically released into the blood. This helps in providing additional energy required for daily activities.
Also, this helps regulate the blood levels of sugar in between meals. The glycogen stored in muscles is used by muscle tissue exclusively and is often released during HIIT workouts.
Excess carbohydrates remaining after the glycogen stores are full get converted into fat molecules for additional storage.
- No Carbs equals HANGRY
Let me break it down for you – when you cut out on carbs, you miss out on a major fuel for your body. Carbs are the primary source of energy and when the body runs out of energy, carbohydrates are the first thing that the body taps into and feeds off. Having cut out on them means being pestered, irritated, and ready-to-blow-off all day.
That gives us
angry'. Secondly, missing on carbs can not only make you more prone to eating fast food but also increase your appetite manifolds. This gives ushungry’. Now combine the two (angry and hungry) and there you have it – HANGRY! Solved!
A meal with a balanced amount of carbs works to maintain the mood and keep us energetic throughout the day while also keeping us satiated with the meal.
- Your digestive system needs carbohydrates.
There are two types of dietary fibers – soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fibre is a component you shall find in fruits, vegetables (towards their cores), oats, etc. During their long journey through your digestive system, they bind with water molecules and result in the formation of some kind of gel that helps add bulk to the resultant stools. They also ease the bowel movements by softening the stools. So, bye-bye constipation!
But wait a minute. Insoluble fibres do the exact opposite. Found towards the outer parts of fruits and vegetables, insoluble fibres aid in the hastening of bowel movements and promote the hardening of stools. They’re also known to protect your digestive tract against diseases such as diverticular disease.
- Your heart needs it!
Of course, I am not here to tell you to load up on coke and candy in the hopes that they will do wonders for your heart. The truth could not be further from that (sadly).
healthy carbs and fats for weight gain
But again, the good carbohydrates- the ones rich in fiber and the ones you should be consuming if you are considering a carb diet for weight gain- can do wonders for your heart as well as your metabolism.
From the time fiber enters your body, it is on a rather long journey to benefit you in as many ways as possible. During this journey, as it heads into your small intestine, it picks up and binds to bile acids that are present there. These are then taken away outside the body.
Bile salts are given the duty of assistance in the digestion of fats and oils that we consume. Now that the bile acids in the small intestine have dropped in levels, the liver gets to work to replenish them.
During this process, the additional bile acids are produced using what was stored as cholesterol by the liver which would’ve otherwise ended up in your blood as “bad cholesterol” or LDL Cholesterol.
And we all know what that does to the heart! It forms plaques in the vessels of your heart and leads to diseases such as Coronary Artery Disease which eventually causes blockage of the artery thus resulting in the rather fatal Myocardial Infarction, quite commonly known as the heart attack.
Studies have shown that additional fiber consumption by just 07g has aided in lowering the risk of heart disease by up to 9%.
- You will be able to prevent Diabetes.
A huge risk often associated with following a high carb-high protein diet for weight gain is the procurement of diabetes mellitus (type two diabetes).
While it is very true that the wrong kinds of carbohydrates shall increase blood sugar in a bad way, the healthy carbohydrates that we keep talking about can help prevent diabetes entirely.
Again, it’s the dietary fiber that does the magic.
The absorption of other carbohydrates is slowed down effectively by the fiber present in the digestive system such that the blood sugar levels never surge instantaneously like they would if you were to consume some cotton candy. Dietary fiber doubly helps by not increasing blood sugar levels on its own as well as preventing the rise caused by other forms of carbohydrates.
Best Healthy Foods For Gaining Weight Fast
Beef jerky is a good source of protein and calories, making it an excellent food choice for weight gain. It is also a good source of iron, which is important for energy and muscle health (18).
Some good options include beef jerky made with black pepper, teriyaki beef jerky, and chili-lime beef jerky.
Avoid beef jerky that is high in added sugar and sodium.
Try incorporating beef jerky into your diet in the following ways:
As a side dish
Breakfast cereals have gained a bad rap in recent years because of the high amount of sugar many of them contain. However, some breakfast cereals are actually a good source of protein and calories, making them a good food choice for weight gain.
Ideally, choose breakfast cereals that are high in protein and fiber while low in added sugar. Fortified breakfast cereals are also a good source of vitamins and minerals
When choosing a breakfast cereal for weight gain, be sure to check the label carefully. Look for words such as “high protein” and “high fiber.”
One way to add extra calories and protein to your diet is to eat pudding. Pudding is a good source of both calories and protein, making it an excellent food choice for weight gain.
How calorie-dense the pudding is depends on the ingredients. Some ideal ingredients for a weight gain pudding are:
When choosing a pudding to help you gain weight, be sure to check the label to make sure that it is high in calories and contains healthy ingredients.
Avoid puddings that are high in added sugar and low in protein.
You can make pudding at home by combining all of the ingredients in a bowl, or if you are short on time, buy pre-made pudding from the store.
Nut butters are a good source of protein, calories, and healthy fats (16). They can also be a low-sugar food, making them a good choice for weight gain.
How calorie-dense nut butters depends on the ingredients. Some ideal ingredients for a weight gain nut butter are:
Nuts – almonds, walnuts, pecans
Seeds – pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
Oil – olive oil, coconut oil
When choosing a nut butter to help you gain weight, be sure to check the label to make sure that it is high in calories and contains healthy ingredients.
Avoid nut butters that are high in added sugar and sodium.
You can make nut butter at home by combining all of the ingredients in a food processor, or there are some great nut butter choices at most stores you can pick up.
Like most whole grains, brown rice is a good source of protein and fiber. It is also a whole grain carbohydrate food, making it a healthy choice for weight gain.
Brown rice is unrefined, meaning that it is high in nutrients. It is a good source of thiamin, niacin, and vitamin B6. Brown rice is a good source of fat, protein, and fiber
How calorie-dense brown rice is depends on the cooking method. Some methods of cooking brown rice result in a higher calorie content than others.
When cooked in water, brown rice is not as calorie-dense as some other whole grains, such as quinoa or wild rice. However, when cooked in milk or with some added oil, brown rice is a good source of calories.
You can cook brown rice at home by combining all of the ingredients in a pot. It pairs well with other healthy weight-gain foods, such as beef stew, fatty fish, or chicken curry.
It is a better alternative to white rice, which is a high-carb food with little nutritional value.
Coconut milk is a high-fat, high-calorie food. It is a good source of nutrients and essential fatty acids . Coconut milk is also low in sugar, making it a good choice for weight gain.
For people who are lactose intolerant, coconut milk is a good alternative to cow’s milk. It can be used in place of cow’s milk in most recipes.
It’s fragrant flavor pairs well with sweet and savory dishes.
You can buy coconut milk from most stores or make it at home if you can find a store selling meat coconuts.
As far as fruits go, bananas are one of the best choices for weight gain. They are high in calories, carbohydrates, and fiber. Bananas are also a good source of vitamin C and potassium (9).
How calorie-dense bananas depend on the ripeness of the fruit. Ripe bananas are higher in sugar and calories than green bananas.
Ripe bananas are a useful ingredient for making calorie-dense weight gain smoothies. Pair them with coconut milk, dried fruit, and nuts or nut butter for a filling and nutritious smoothie.