Nutrition: Healthy Weight Gain



The majority of people with SCI (60%) are overweight and often struggling with ways to rid themselves of their added pounds. However, we recently had an email from a consumer asking us for healthy ways to gain weight. He, like many other underweight individuals with SCI, struggles with trying to pack the pounds on.

While this might not seem like such a dreadful problem to have, being too thin with a SCI has some serious health risks; namely pressure sores. People with SCI who are underweight have twice the risk of developing pressure sores than those who are of ideal weight. 

Foods that increase calories and maintain your health


While it's really easy to stuff yourself with high calorie foods like cakes, cookies, chips and pasta to try and gain weight, you'll also significantly increase your risk of heart disease, weaken your immune system and cause inflammation. So, what kind of foods will increase your calories and maintain your health?


Here's a yummy list:

  • Avocados: These green gems are also loaded with fibre, good fats and B vitamins. Slice them and add to a salad or sandwich; blend them in a smoothie or make guacamole.
  • Whole Grain Pasta and Bread : (Note -- whole wheat!) Add an extra serving or two of these a day to your diet.  You will get the added fibre benefits of better bowel routines.
  • Nuts & Seeds: Walnuts, almonds, sesame seeds to Brazil nuts contain protein to help maintain your skin, liver and immune health. Snack on these throughout the day.
  • Nut Butters: Almond and Cashew Butter contain healthy fats for multiple bodily functions and are delicious spread on toast or added to smoothies.
  • Dried Fruit: High in vitamin C to boost your immune system. Snack on varied dried fruits throughout the day.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Contains healthy fats. Make your own salad dressings or use to dip your whole grain bread.


Energy Bursts

Here is a healthy weight boosting recipe that you can pop in your mouth all day!


  • 1/2 cup     Almond Butter
  • 1/4 cup     Hemp Seeds
  • 1/4 cup     Oats
  • 1/4 cup     Almond flour
  • 1/4 cup     Apple Butter
  • 1 tbsp       Maple Syrup
  • 1-2 tbsp    Cocoa Powder


  1. Combine ingredients except the cocoa powder in a bowl.
  2. Roll into small balls
  3. Sprinkle the cocoa powder on the counter or on a plate.
  4. Roll each ball through the cocoa.
  5. Store in the fridge or freezer.


This nutrition blog was provided by Joanne Smith & Kylie James, co-authors of the book Eat Well Live Well with SCI and Other Neurological Conditions.


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