6 Foods to Build Mass
When you hear the words “bulking up,” you might think it means a free pass to loosen up on your diet, but this is not the case. Adding mass is a tricky process, and reintroducing junk food into your diet can kill your progress. You want to build muscle while cutting fat, which means that you still have to be strict with what you eat. Eating more of the right types of foods is much more productive than being indiscriminate about what you put into your body.
One issue with getting protein is that much of a person’s whole protein source is probably coming from meat. An increase in the amount of meat you eat can lead to problems like high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Seeking out the healthiest foods to help you add mass can cut your risk of developing these disorders.
Salmon is the first choice of many bodybuilders. Ounce for ounce, salmon has roughly the same amount of protein as poultry and beef do. It also has a fraction of the saturated fat, which will help keep unhealthy cholesterol in check. Salmon is also frequently recommended for its omega-3 fatty acid content. Omega-3s contribute even more to a healthy heart, but they also contribute to joint health. Keeping healthy joints will help your body accommodate your extra mass.
Red meats tend to be high in saturated fat and cholesterol, with the exception of one. Buffalo, also called bison, is lower in calories and fat than beef and even chicken and fish, which are the go-to low fat sources of protein for many bodybuilders. It is much denser in protein than beef is: six ounces of bison has the same amount of protein that nine ounces of beef does. Bison also has a high stearic acid content. Stearic acid is a cholesterol-neutral saturated fat, meaning that it gives you the energy that saturated fat provides while not contributing to higher cholesterol.
When you are on a bulking diet, you need to emphasize complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates prevent the insulin spikes that simple carbohydrates promote. Insulin spikes cause your body to store fat. This is counterproductive to your goal of cutting fat. Complex carbohydrates contain fiber, which helps keep your blood glucose low and prevents your body from releasing insulin.
Oatmeal is high in fiber, which makes it a good breakfast food, since it will keep you feeling full for a longer period of time while releasing its nutrients slowly. This slow release of nutrients – particularly sugars – is what keeps blood glucose levels stable. It is also a source of minerals that are necessary for regulating energy and for bone health.
Quinoa is a high-protein, high-fiber grain. Its protein content is higher than that of eggs, and it contains all of the essential amino acids. It is also a good source of unsaturated fats, which provide energy to your body while having no impact on your cholesterol. Quinoa’s nutritional content makes it superior to most other grains, such as wheat or barley.
Chia has the highest concentration of omega-3 fatty acids of any plant, making it a valuable food for joint and heart health. Its protein content is bolstered by the ease with which it is absorbed by the body, making it useful for when you are trying to encourage rapid growth. Fast-absorbing proteins shorten healing time and accelerate new muscle growth.
Avocados are high in calories and unsaturated fats. Maintaining a caloric surplus is much easier when avocados are a regular part of your diet, since they add extra calories while also supplying healthy fats that provide you with energy while discouraging abdominal fat storage.