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· performing monkey
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Simple carbohydrates such as fruit have higher calorie densities than vegetables because simple carbs are more concentrated and have less fiber. Fruit juice is even more concentrated than the fruit itself. A medium sized orange contains about 60 calories. A glass of orange juice has about 160 calories. Fruit and fruit juice, therefore, make great additions to a weight-gaining program.

Complex carbohydrates (starches) such as whole grains, pasta, cereals, beans, yams, potatoes and rice also have higher calorie densities than fibrous carbs. A typical restaurant sized serving of pasta contains 1000-1200 calories. Obviously, pasta and other complex carbohydrates are great foods for gaining weight.

Fat can also have a major impact on the calorie content of foods. Fats have more than twice as many calories per gram than carbohydrates or protein (9 calories per gram vs. 4 calories per gram), so foods that are 100% fat have the most calories per volume. Olive oil, which is pure fat, contains 1920 calories per cup. Any food that has a lot of fat in it will have a high calorie density. Peanut butter, for example, has 1600 calories per cup; Cashews have 780 calories per cup.

In small amounts, unsaturated, "healthy" fats are not only good for you, but they can help you gain weight more quickly than if you didn't eat any fat at all. Just one tablespoon of flaxseed oil and two tablespoons of peanut butter would add nearly 500 calories to your daily diet and you'd hardly notice that any extra food was added.

Protein foods that contain some fat will also be higher in calories. 4 oz of Chinook salmon has 265 calories and 15g of (good) fat; 4 oz of Haddock has 135 calories and only 1g of fat. Because of the higher calories and the essential fatty acids (good fats), cold water fish like Salmon are another great addition to a weight gain program.

The best proteins for gaining/maintaining muscle are the lean ones like chicken, lean beef, egg whites, turkey and fish. Cuts of red meat like round or flank steak are excellent for this and are generally more economical to purchase also.

If you have plenty of water, some supplements (weight gain & protein powders) may also be a good choice, but not for every meal nor for prolonged periods; and they generally tend to deplete a budget quickly.
 
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