Why Follow a High-Calorie, High-Protein Diet?
A high-calorie, high-protein diet may be recommended if you have recently lost weight, have a poor appetite, or have an increased need for protein, such as
or infection. Eating a high-calorie, high-protein diet can help you:
- Have more energy
- Gain weight or stop losing weight
- Resist infection
- Recover faster from surgery or illness
High-Calorie, High-Protein Diet Food Guide
Below is a list of foods that are high in calories and protein. Whenever possible, include foods from these lists in your snacks and meals:
|High-Calorie Foods||High-Protein Foods|
- Cheese, cream cheese
- Whole milk, heavy cream, whipped cream
- Sour cream
- Butter, margarine, oil
- Ice cream
- Cake, cookies, chocolate
- Salad dressing, mayonnaise
- Jam, jelly, syrup
- Honey, sugar
- Dried Fruit
- Cheese, cottage cheese
- Milk, soy milk, milk powder
- Nuts, seeds
- Peanut butter
- Tofu and other soy products
- Beans, peas, lentils
- Beef, poultry, pork, and other meats
- Fish and other seafood
Blend 8 ounces whole milk vanilla yogurt + ½ cup orange juice + 1 cup frozen berries
Egg and cheese English muffin
1 whole wheat English muffin + 2 teaspoons margarine spread or butter + 1 ounce cheese + 1 egg
Peanut butter and banana sandwich
2 slices of bread + 2 tablespoons peanut butter + 1 sliced banana
½ cup nuts, seeds, and dried fruit
Cereal, milk, and banana
1 cup presweetened wheat cereal + 8 ounces whole milk + 1 banana
Yogurt and granola
1 cup whole milk flavored yogurt + ½ cup low-fat granola
Ten Tips for Increasing Calorie and Protein Intake
- Eat small, frequent meals and snacks throughout the day.
- Keep prepared, ready-to-eat snacks on hand while at home, at the office, and on the road.
- Drink your calories. Choose high-calorie fluids, such as milk, blended coffee drinks, milk shakes, or juice.
- Add protein powder or powdered milk to your beverages, smoothies, and foods, such as cream soups, scrambled eggs, gravy, and mashed potatoes.
- Melt cheese onto sandwiches, bread, tortillas, eggs, meat, and vegetables.
- Use milk in place of water when cooking and when preparing foods, such as hot cereal, cocoa, or pudding.
- Load salads with hardboiled eggs, avocado, nuts, cheese, and dressing.
- Use peanut butter or creamy salad dressings as a dip for raw veggies.
- Try commercial supplements (eg, Boost, Ensure, Resource, Carnation Instant Breakfast).
- Talk to a registered dietitian. They can help you develop an individualized eating plan.
American Dietetic Association
Canada's Food Guide
Dietitians of Canada
High-calorie, high-protein diet. Dietitians of Canada website. Available at:
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High-calorie/high-protein diet. Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford website. Available at:
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My Food-A-Pedia. MyPyramid.gov website. Available at:
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Nutrition care manual. American Dietetic Association website. Available at:
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Shield J, Mullen MC.
Patient education materials.
Supplement to the Manual of Clinical Dietetics.
3rd ed. Chicago, IL: American Dietetic Association; 2001.
Tips for increasing protein in your diet. UPMC Health System website. Available at:
. Accessed February 15. 2006.