Top 15 Vegetables Highest in Calories! From a Dietitian!

Vegetables are essential for a balanced diet, but when it comes to calorie content, they’re not all the same. The top 30 vegetables highest in calorie offer a fascinating glimpse into how we can adjust our diets for energy needs, weight management, or nutritional balance.

Focusing on these calorically dense options provides a unique perspective on how to incorporate vegetables into our meals in a way that aligns with our health goals. This insight is particularly valuable for anyone looking to understand the energy contribution of different vegetables to their diet.

top 15 vegetables highest in calories chart.

Benefits of High Calorie Vegetables

High calorie vegetables are more than just a source of extra energy; they are packed with a variety of nutrients that play a significant role in promoting health, especially as we age. These vegetables, rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, support the body in several key ways:

Weight Management

For individuals looking to maintain or gain weight in a healthy manner, high calorie vegetables offer a nutrient dense option. They provide the body with essential energy without the added risk of consuming unhealthy fats and sugars.

Nutrient Rich

Depending which vegetables you select they can be loaded with vitamins such as A, C, and K, as well as minerals like potassium and magnesium. These nutrients are essential for maintaining eye health, immune function, bone density, and heart health, all of which are critical considerations for aging adults.

Fiber Content

High calorie vegetables also boast a high fiber content, which is essential for digestive health. Fiber helps to regulate digestion, prevent constipation, and maintain a healthy gut microbiome, contributing to overall health and well-being.

Antioxidant Properties

Many high calorie vegetables are rich in antioxidants, which help combat oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Antioxidants also play a role in reducing inflammation, which is linked to many age-related health issues.

Incorporating high calorie vegetables into your diet not only boosts your calorie intake in a healthy way but also ensures that you’re receiving a wide spectrum of beneficial nutrients. 

Top 15 Vegetables Highest in Calories

Here’s a list of the top 30 high calorie vegetables that I recommend incorporating as well the vitamins and nutrients they’re highest in!

  • Avocado (1 medium): 240 calories. High in healthy fats, fiber, vitamins C, E, K, and B-6.
  • Sweet Potato (1 cup, cooked): 180 calories. Rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, and fiber.
  • Corn (1 cup, cooked): 177 calories. High in B vitamins, magnesium, and phosphorus.
  • Peas (1 cup, cooked): 134 calories. Rich in protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, K, and B vitamins.
  • Potato (1 medium): 163 calories. High in vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, and fiber.
  • Butternut Squash (1 cup, cooked): 82 calories. Rich in vitamins A and C, fiber, and magnesium.
  • Yam (1 cup, cooked): 158 calories. High in fiber, potassium, manganese, and vitamins C and B6.
  • Parsnips (1 cup, sliced, cooked): 111 calories. Rich in fiber, vitamin C, folate, and manganese.
  • Beets (1 cup, cooked): 75 calories. High in fiber, folate, and vitamin C.
  • Carrots (1 cup, cooked): 55 calories. Rich in beta-carotene, vitamins A, K, and B6.
  • Pumpkin (1 cup, cooked): 49 calories. High in vitamins A, C, E, and potassium.
  • Plantains (1 cup, cooked): 232 calories. Rich in vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber.
  • Kale (1 cup, cooked): 36 calories. High in vitamins A, K, C, and manganese.
  • Brussels Sprouts (1 cup, cooked): 56 calories. Rich in vitamins C, K, folate, and fiber.
  • Broccoli (1 cup, cooked): 55 calories. High in vitamins C, K, and fiber.
  • Cauliflower (1 cup, cooked): 29 calories. Rich in vitamins C, K, and folate.
  • Artichokes (1 medium): 60 calories. High in fiber, vitamin C, folate, and magnesium.
  • Edamame (1 cup, cooked): 188 calories. Rich in protein, fiber, and vitamins K and C.
  • Lentils (1 cup, cooked): 230 calories. High in protein, fiber, and folate.
  • Chickpeas (1 cup, cooked): 269 calories. Rich in protein, fiber, and iron.
  • Black Beans (1 cup, cooked): 227 calories. High in protein, fiber, and folate.
  • Quinoa (1 cup, cooked): 222 calories. Rich in protein, fiber, and magnesium.
  • Buckwheat (1 cup, cooked): 155 calories. High in protein, fiber, and magnesium.
  • Spaghetti Squash (1 cup, cooked): 42 calories. Rich in vitamins A and C, and fiber.
  • Acorn Squash (1 cup, cooked): 115 calories. High in fiber, vitamins A, C, and B vitamins.
  • Leeks (1 cup, cooked): 54 calories. Rich in vitamins A, C, and K.
  • Okra (1 cup, cooked): 36 calories. High in vitamins A, C, K, and magnesium.
  • Collard Greens (1 cup, cooked): 63 calories. Rich in vitamins A, C, K, and calcium.
  • Swiss Chard (1 cup, cooked): 35 calories. High in vitamins A, C, K, and magnesium.
  • Rutabaga (1 cup, cooked): 66 calories. Rich in fiber, vitamin C, and potassium.

Including these high calorie vegetables in your diet can significantly contribute to meeting your caloric and nutritional needs. By integrating a variety of these vegetables into your meals, you can enjoy a rich palette of flavors while benefiting from their health-promoting properties. 

If you’re looking for more high calorie options, check out 10 Highest Calorie Breakfast Ideas here!

This approach ensures a balanced and nutrient-dense diet, ideal for those looking to gain weight healthily or maintain their current weight with a focus on nutrition.

Incorporating High Calorie Vegetables into Your Diet

Adding high calorie vegetables to your diet enriches your meals with essential nutrients and flavors. Here’s how to weave these power-packed vegetables into every meal:

Start with Breakfast

Kick off your day with an energy-boosting smoothie by blending avocado, kale, and spinach. These greens pack a punch of vitamins and minerals. Alternatively, fold sautéed spinach and diced butternut squash into your morning omelet for a fiber-rich start.

If you want a high calorie breakfast smoothie, try this Creamy Peanut Butter Banana Avocado Smoothie that is also high in protein from The Dietitian Prescription!

Creamy peanut butter banana avocado smoothie from the dietitian prescription website.

Snack Smart

For a satisfying snack, dip carrot sticks or sliced bell peppers into hummus. Avocado slices sprinkled with a pinch of salt and lemon juice also make for a creamy, satisfying snack, providing healthy fats and fiber.

Enhance Your Salads

Elevate your salads by adding roasted sweet potatoes, beets, and corn. Sweet potatoes and beets offer a sweet, earthy flavor and a boost of vitamins A and C, while corn adds a pleasant crunch and B vitamins.

Make Them the Main Star

Create a centerpiece dish with stuffed bell peppers, using quinoa and black beans as filling for a protein-rich meal. Or, roast an acorn squash and fill it with a mixture of lentils and kale for a hearty, nutritious dinner.

Experiment with Soups

Craft a comforting lentil soup with chunks of sweet potato and kale. Lentils provide a protein base, while sweet potatoes and kale add fiber and key vitamins, making for a balanced and warming meal.

Swap Your Carbs

Replace traditional pasta with spaghetti squash or spiralized butternut squash for a nutrient-dense, lower-calorie alternative. For a comforting side, try mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes, seasoned with garlic and herbs for extra flavor.

Roast Them

Roasting vegetables like Brussels sprouts, parsnips, and carrots brings out their natural sweetness. Toss them with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast until tender and caramelized for a side dish that pairs well with any protein.

Incorporate into Desserts

Use pumpkin or sweet potato in baking to create moist, flavorful cakes or pies. Avocado can be blended into smoothies or used in chocolate avocado mousse for a rich, creamy dessert that’s full of healthy fats.

By integrating these specific high-calorie vegetables into your meals, you not only diversify your diet but also enhance your intake of essential nutrients, supporting overall health and well-being.

Final Thoughts

Embracing high calorie vegetables in our diets as we age is more than a step towards better nutrition; it’s a stride towards a fuller, more vibrant life. These vegetables are not just carriers of calories but are dense with nutrients that are essential for our well-being, especially in the later stages of life. 

From promoting weight management and gains to providing a bounty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, high calorie vegetables are foundational to a diet that promotes longevity and vitality.

Whether you start the day with a nutrient packed smoothie or enjoy a hearty squash soup, each meal offers an opportunity to nourish your body and delight your palate. The versatility of these vegetables ensures that they can be enjoyed in countless ways, making it easier to maintain a balanced and nutrient rich diet.

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Michelle Saari is a Registered Dietitian based in Canada. She has a Master's Degree in Human Nutritional Sciences and is a passionate advocate for spreading easy to understand, reliable, and trustworthy nutrition information. She is currently a full time online entrepreneur with two nutrition focused websites.

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