August 15

7 High Calorie Foods For Elderly Well-Being

Healthy eating habits are not always a priority for people, but as we age, our bodies become more sensitive to the types of food we consume.

These seven high-calorie foods for the elderly well-being guide will help you gain weight.

How To Manage Unexplained Weight Loss in Seniors

When you were young, your doctor may have told you to lose weight for your health.

Yet, we tend to lose weight without trying as we reach the senior years. Unintentional weight loss is a common occurrence in older adults.

As the years go by, you lose lean body mass like bone density and muscle. Experts say that our bodies can lose up to about half a pound of lean mass every year after 30. Men tend to lose weight much later in life, at around 55. On the other hand, women lose lean body mass around the age of 65.

So many high-calorie foods on the market promise to meet your daily dietary needs. Nevertheless, picking a proper meal is difficult when there is so much to choose from.

Healthy foods
Healthy foods

The struggle to maintain a healthy weight can go on for years.

You don’t need to despair. There are plenty of dietary guidelines that can help you to combat weight loss. Foods that promote healthy weight gain will help you to get the extra calories you need.

Nutrient-dense foods that are soft and easy to prepare are generally recommended for seniors who participate in a lot of physical activity. You don’t need to be concerned about losing too much weight if you switch to a diet packed with enough protein, calories, and healthy fats.

7 Foods That Promote Healthy Weight Gain

The seven foods that promote healthy weight gain contain protein and nutrient-dense foods to help seniors gain weight steadily.

You don’t need to stock your kitchen with all sorts of high-calorie foods to gain all the benefits. Keep your shopping list small by sticking to a few essential foods.

Simply adding food such as protein shakes, nuts, starches, lean meats, oily fish, dried fruit, and dairy products to your diet can make your weight-gaining efforts healthy and more effective.

Follow a Protein Shake Diet

Protein Shake
Protein Shake Diet

If you blend the right stuff, protein shakes can be remarkably high in whey protein, calories, and carbs. There is a reason why bodybuilders drink their protein shakes in the morning – it works!

Protein shakes are easy to prepare and consume. This can be a significant advantage for seniors with limited strength or mobility. These shakes can be a handy alternative when you lack the energy to cook, bake, or grill.

Whey protein supplements and powders are cost-effective ways to help aging adults gain muscle mass. You can work up an appetite for a shake that blends milk, peanut butter, dark chocolate, and protein powder. Talk to your doctor before adding ice cream or anything with high sugar to your diet.

You Can Count on Nuts!

Peanut butter and nuts
Peanut butter and nuts

Nuts are some of the most versatile high-calorie foods on the market. You can add nuts to salads, smoothies, cooking, and baked foods.

Peanut butter is a popular option, and even if you have a peanut allergy, you can swap it with another nut butter. Fortunately, there are more than 11 varieties and types of nuts out there to choose from. Almonds, cashews, and Brazil nuts are among the healthiest nuts you’ll find on the shelf.

A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of almonds provides about 6g of carbs, 6g of protein, 14g of fat, and a whopping 164 calories. You don’t always need animal protein to gain lean muscle mass; add nuts to your diet.

Add Starches To Your Meals


Soft foods and starches are often a lifesaver, especially when teeth are not as strong as they used to be. Mashed potato, rolled oats, squash, beans, and legumes are easy to chew and will add those extra calories you need.

Considering all the high-calorie foods mentioned here, starch is arguably the most affordable option for adults on a budget. You won’t be disappointed if you add some extra starch to your shopping list.

Starch provides crucial nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber to keep you full for much longer. Also, studies show that resistance to starches in potatoes can improve your gut health.

Oily Fish and Salmon

Fish and Salmon
Fish and Salmon

If red meat is not your go-to, you can add oily fish and salmon to your diet. Fish contains omega-three fatty acids, vitamin B12, vitamin D, healthy fat, and a rich source of protein.

Fish is generally softer and easier to consume for older adults. Omega 3 fatty acids can be found in various cold-water fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, tuna, and sardines.

Get creative with a salmon salad with leafy greens, olive oil, full-fat plain Greek yogurt, and sour cream.

Fatty fish is one of the best food options for older adults who must follow a healthy diet while gaining weight. You get extra protein with the added benefits of vitamins and healthy oils.

Muscle-Building Lean Meats

Lean Meats
Lean Meats

Red meats are excellent for older people who need to gain some weight. Every serving of steak stimulates the growth of muscle tissue in your body. Just 6 ounces of steak contains more than 49 grams of protein and over 450 calories.

Red meat is an excellent option if you need to add healthy fats to your diet. You can get more calories per meal if you choose lean cuts like fillet or steak.

Both women and men can reap the benefits of consuming red meat in their senior years. A popular way to prepare lean meat is to put it in a slow cooker and wait for the meat to soften around the bone.

A Serving of Dried Fruit

Dried Fruit
Dried Fruit

As we age, we are often told to avoid foods that contain a lot of added sugar and saturated fat. Dried fruits are naturally high in sugar and vitamins, making them a healthy alternative to sweets.

Remember that you must consult a doctor before eating food with high sugar if you have diabetes.

The calories and sugars that remain when the fruit is dried are more concentrated. Dried grapes and raisins are rich in antioxidants and an excellent fiber source. A serving of 5 dried apricots has as much as four times the fiber of a single fresh apricot.

You can combine dried fruit with other protein sources such as cheese, protein powder, and yogurt. Throw them all together to get a healthy blend of fats, protein, and other nutrients in your diet.

Full-Fat Dairy Products

Dairy Products
Dairy Products

Drinking full-cream dairy products are a fantastic way to add protein to your diet. Milk contains casein and whey proteins. 

Research from the MDPI has proven many benefits to eating full-fat dairy products. When people combine milk and casein, it helps muscle growth more than most other sources of protein. 

Full-fat dairy products may contain high saturated fat content, but cheese and milk could reduce the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

If you are still relatively active in your senior years, there is nothing like a milk smoothie to give you an extra protein boost in the morning. Extra tip: avoid using long-life milk as it contains less protein than fresh whole milk.

Final Thoughts

Happy elderly
Happy elderly

Older adults face the difficult task of managing their weight as they age. The reduction in muscle mass and strength are typical for people at an advanced age. In some cases, eating difficulties can even result in a loss of appetite. Thus, aging adults must eat food that is easy to prepare and consume.

Simply adding high-calorie food to your diet will go a long way to helping you manage your weight better. Even though we may feel less concerned about gaining weight as we age, the body needs to maintain a healthy muscle mass.

Dairy products, nuts, fish, lean meats, starches, protein powder, and dried fruit are generally easy to find at your nearest grocery store. You can get most of your recommended dietary intake by consuming these nutritious and protein-rich foods.

There are many ways to gain weight. Fast foods and processed foods are not the answer. Many high-calorie foods on the market will get the job done. Supplement your diet with healthy food options to see the results.


All the information in this article is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions about your diet or health, you should always consult with a healthcare professional.
Many factors such as food brands or food types purchased can change the nutritional information provided in this article. The dietary information does not replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatments.

About the author 


I am an experienced elder care provider with a BSc in Electronic Engineering from Tel Aviv University and a diploma in Art from WITS University in Johannesburg. I have traveled widely and understand the challenges of caring for an elderly loved one on a personal level. I currently care for my mother, who is 88 years old and suffers from dementia and physical issues. I have severe back problems and balance issues, giving me first-hand knowledge of how to best care for seniors dealing with similar ailments. My extensive education, experience, and compassion make me an ideal choice for those looking for reliable elderly care.

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