Curse you, diabetes. Stop cockblocking food!
October 4, 2011 12:58 AM   Subscribe

Suggestions for healthy weight-gain-friendly foods/recipes?

I have a friend who is verging on underweight and needs to gain some kilos, so what are your favourite tasty healthy calorically-dense foods/recipes?

Except: my friend is type-II diabetic and is controlling blood sugar levels only with diet - for a whole bunch of reasons, physicians aren't recommending medication right now - so anything heavy with empty carbohydrates wouldn't work.

My friend loves food and is willing to try anything as long as it won't spike blood sugar, so even the most random recipes would be appreciated!

(Also: I suggested protein shakes, but after looking at the local bodybuilding shop the tubs are too expensive to buy and try out once - do any of you know of diabetic-friendly protein powders/brands?)
posted by zennish to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
An old roommate of mine used to try to gain weight by drinking those meal replacement diet shakes with his meals. Eating two meals at a time seems like it should do the trick.
posted by foodgeek at 1:10 AM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you're trying to gain without adding carbs, then you're talking fats. Add oil to whatever meat you're cooking (or vegetables). Greens cooked in bacon fat aren't just good for adding weight, they're also incredibly tasty!
posted by xingcat at 4:14 AM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

Can they just add two snacks a day? It seems like nuts, toast with avocado, maybe full fat yogurt with a bit of fruit would be healthy choices. The protein bars would be OK snacks too.
posted by ejaned8 at 5:13 AM on October 4, 2011

My kid got too skinny last year and I upped the fats. Some things to try:

• Switch to full fat dairy for everything. 10% fat yogourt, whole milk, full cream in coffee, sour cream on you potatoes, etc.

• Add an avocado to everything. Or just snack on an avocado, with little lime and a few grains of salt.

• Nuts, nuts, nuts! And nut butters.
posted by looli at 7:02 AM on October 4, 2011

Avocados in smoothies and sandwiches. Nut butters (almond is "good fat"). Eating before bed.
posted by availablelight at 7:15 AM on October 4, 2011

Google search for "paleo diet" and "paleo recipes" - they're all very diabetic friendly (and avoiding insulin response is one of the goals of the paleo diet). Lots of good recipes, dig into them.

For weight gain, you need to do two things:

* eat a LOT
* trigger your growth hormone response (greatly simplified statement)

Eating paleo will avoid insulin spikes and let you eat a lot. Then you need to hit the gym and do heavy, compound lifts, like the deadlift and squat. You will gain mass with this combination, but it'll take some education and coaching to get there. Just as there's no shortcut to losing weight, there's no shortcut to gaining weight (and preserving your health).
posted by jpeacock at 10:47 AM on October 4, 2011

I'd say drink the 'ensure'-type meal replacement shakes at every meal: that's how nursing homes keep up the weight of their elderly patients, and they're reasonably well balanced. I don't know if there are any non-sugar versions.

High-fat food or no, I'd think that following the Atkins or the Paleo diet probably won't lead to weight gain -- at least not according to those who have followed them. Carbs really are what put weight on.
posted by jrochest at 1:33 PM on October 4, 2011

Response by poster: This is awesome - thanks. A good shopping list to build on - I never even though about bacon fat!
posted by zennish at 6:39 PM on October 5, 2011

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