The majority of people with SCI (60%) are overweight and often struggling with ways to rid themselves of their added pounds. However, there are many individuals with SCI that are underweight and struggle 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.
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:
Whole grain pasta and bread (not whole wheat!) - add an extra serving or two of these a day to your diet and you’ll get the added fibre benefits of better bowel routines
Nuts & Seeds - walnuts, almonds, sesame seeds, Brazil nuts also 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 these throughout the day
Extra virgin olive oil – also contains healthy fats. Make your
own salad dressings or use to dip your whole grain bread
Below is a healthy weight boosting recipe that you can pop in your mouth all day!