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High-Calorie, High-Protein Diet

Why Should I Eat This Way?

Eating this way may be helpful if you have lost weight, do not feel hungry, or have an higher need for protein, such as with a burn or infection. Eating this way can help you:

A List of Foods You Should Eat

Here are foods that are high in calories and protein. Try to make foods from these lists as part of 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
  • Gravy
  • Salad dressing, mayo
  • Avocado
  • Jam, jelly, syrup
  • Honey, sugar
  • Dried fruit
  • Cheese, cottage cheese
  • Milk, soy milk, milk powder
  • Eggs
  • Yogurt
  • Nuts, seeds
  • Peanut butter
  • Tofu and other soy products
  • Beans, peas, lentils
  • Beef, poultry, pork, and other meats
  • Fish and other seafood

Snack Tips

Snack Ideas Calories

Fruit smoothie

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


Trail mix

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


Tips to Get More Calories and Protein


Eat Right—Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Nutrition.gov—US Department of Agriculture


Dietitians of Canada

Health Canada


High calorie, high protein diet. The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Available at: https://patienteducation.osumc.edu/Documents/hig-cal.pdf. Updated October 3, 2017. Accessed October 4, 2018.

ILD nutrition manual: Sample menu: High-calorie, high-protein meals. UCSF Medical Center website. Available at: http://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/ild_nutrition_manual/sample_menu_high-calorie_and_high-protein_meals. Accessed October 4, 2018.

Last reviewed September 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Dianne Scheinberg Rishikof MS, RD, LDN  Last Updated: 10/4/2018