61 Shocking Most Calorie Dense Food In The USA

As Americans become more aware of their choices of foods, many restaurants have started replacing calorie-dense foods with healthier options. 

Unfortunately, if you’re health-conscious, you’ll discover that most menus still have several unhealthy foods. And yes, people still order these meals, especially those unaware of calorie-dense foods. 

We’ll mention several calorie-dense foods in the USA and hope Americans will continue to make healthier food choices after reading this post. 

What Calorie Dense Foods Implies

What’s the meaning of calorie-dense food? Firstly, the term “calories” implies the energy a food has.

Here is the calorific value of diverse foods:

  • Protein – 4 calories per gram
  • Carbohydrates – 4 calories per gram
  • Alcohol – 7 calories per gram  
  • Fat – 9 calories per gram

What is “calorie density?” Another word for calorie density is energy density. It refers to the number of calories present in particular food relative to its weight (100 grams or 3.5 ounces). 

A Handy Tip: According to the dietary guidelines for Americans from 2020 to 2025, the recommendation is that adults should get their calories from carbohydrates, protein and fat in specific proportions. 

Here is the amount of calories the guideline stipulates that Americans can get from these foods. 

  • Protein – 10 to 30%
  • Fat – 20 to 35%
  • Carbohydrates – 45 to 65%

Why Americans Should Think Twice Before Eating Calorie Dense Foods

Before mentioning what those calorie dense foods are, let’s talk about the dangers or risks of eating high calorie foods. 

So why should Americans and the world think twice before eating or incorporating high-calorie foods in their diet plans?

The obvious answer is the health risk calorie-dense diets pose—your chance of becoming obese or overweight increases when you consume high-calorie foods. 

High-calorie foods, mainly processed foods, contain a high amount of sugar, fat and starches. 

Another shocking thing about calorie-dense foods is their nutrient level. These foods have little to no nutrients. Thus, they don’t offer any benefits to the human body. 

Some calorie-dense foods contain artificially-produced simple carbs, which can cause blood sugar spikes when eaten.

Inactive individuals that consume high-calorie-dense foods are at high risk of obesity, as they store so much fat and don’t exercise their bodies. 

However, even if you’re super active and exercise regularly, failure to remove calorie-dense foods from your plate will make it impossible or more challenging for you to lose weight.

You cannot lose weight or shed a reasonable amount of fat when you only work out but have yet to have a dietary plan that exempts high-calorie foods from your plate. It is as simple as that. 

Health Issues Eating Calorie Dense Food Can Cause

What diseases can one have from consuming calorie-dense foods? The diseases are numerous. 

We mentioned earlier that a high-calorie diet could lead to obesity. So the possibility of obesity happening to those who consume a high-calorie diet and don’t engage in physical activities is high. 

Obesity can lead to a host of health issues too. So take note. 

Here are the diseases you may likely develop when you become obese. 

  • Gallstones
  • Dementia 
  • Osteoarthritis 
  • Hypertension
  • Brain shrinkage
  • Cognitive decline
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease 
  • Non-insulin-dependent diabetes

When Americans Can Eat Calorie Dense Foods

The body needs calories, and certain conditions may cause a person to increase their caloric intake. 

Human beings cannot survive without calories. That is the plain truth. Calories produce the energy needed by the body to perform several functions. 

The energy released from the calories we consume helps the body to fuel metabolic pathways, critical thoughts and physical movements. 

Now, the question is this. When does one have to increase calorie intake? 

Several things can cause someone to consume more calories daily. 

Here they are:

  • Medical condition 
  • Need to gain weight
  • Need for the larger body frame 

So, calories are not entirely bad. However, if you’re already obese, increasing your caloric intake won’t be a good idea. 

We explained earlier that certain medical conditions might cause a person to lose weight, increasing their need to consume more calories.

Check out the health conditions that can make a person consume more calories:

  • Cancer
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Severe burn
  • Depression
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Celiac disease
  • Hypertension
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Eating disorder
  • Hyperthyroidism

So, all these medical conditions can make a person lose significant weight and look skinny. And most people don’t like that. So, they may increase their calorie intake to add some flesh. 

When a person suffers severe burns, they tend to lose a significant amount of weight. Thus, someone recovering from a severe burn may need to increase their caloric intake to add more flesh.

A Handy Tip: Bodybuilders or trainers may incorporate calories in their students’ diets. They do this to enable their trainees to gain muscle mass. 

Health Risks Associated With Low Calories Foods

Calorie-dense foods can cause obesity, exposing you to other health challenges. So start managing your calorie intake if you’re not seeking to gain weight or meet calorie demands. 

On the other hand, we shouldn’t forget that being underweight could cause life-threatening issues too.

Here is a list of health-related problems underweight individuals expose themselves to. 

  • Anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Fertility issues
  • Osteoporosis
  • Low muscle mass
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • High risks of contracting diseases

61 Most Calorie Dense Foods In The USA

We have defined what calories and calorie-dense foods are. Now, let’s list the American foods that are calorie dense to enable you to make an informed decision.

Dishes Caloric Value
1. Red Lobster: Create Your Combination 3,600
2. Johnny Rockets: Bacon Cheddar Double burger 3,500
3. Chili’s Crispy Honey-Chipotle And Waffles 2,590
4. Dickey’s Barbecue Pit: 3-Meat Plate 2,500
5. Cheesecake Factory Pasta Napoletana 2,480
6. Chili’s Ultimate Smokehouse Combo 2,470
7. Outback Steakhouse: Herb-Roasted Prime Rib 2,400
8. Cheesecake Factory Pasta Carbonara with Chicken 2,340
9. Chili’s TEXAS Cheese Fries with Chili, Full Order 2,310
10. Cheesecake Factory Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken 2,310
11. Uno Pizzeria & Grill Deep Dish Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese 2,200
12. Cheesecake Factory Bruléed French Toast with Bacon 2,180
13. Cheesecake Factory Cajun Chicken ‘Littles’ 2,130
14. Cheesecake Factory Louisiana Chicken Pasta 2,120
15. Bob Evans Double Meat Farmer’s Choice Breakfast 2,110
16. Romano Macaroni Grill Mama’s Trio 2,110
17. Buffalo Wild Wings Spicy Garlic Boneless Wings, 30 Count 2,090
18. Cheesecake Factory Farfalle combined with your Chicken and Roasted Garlic 2,060
19. Cheesecake Factory Cinnamon Roll Pancakes 2,040
20. Sonic: Pineapple Upside Down Master Blast Shake 2,020
21. IHOP: Cheeseburger Omelette With Pancakes 1,990
22. Olive Garden: Asiago Tortelloni Alfredo with Grilled Chicken 1,980
23. Uno Pizzeria & Grill Pizza Skins 1,970
24. Dave & Buster’s: Carnivore Pizzadilla 1,970
25. Cheesecake Factory Chicken Parmesan Sandwich 1,960
26. O’Charley’s Seafood Platter 1,950
27. Cheesecake Factory Fried Shrimp Platter 1,920
28. Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad Wrap 1,910
29. TGI Fridays Chicken Parmesan Pasta 1,890
30. McDonald’s: 40-Piece Chicken Nugget Set 1,880
31. Cheesecake Factory Fish & Chips 1,860
32. Applebee’s: 4-Cheese Mac & Cheese with Honey Pepper Chicken Tenders 1,830
33. Chili’s Bacon Ranch Beef Quesadilla 1,820
34. Outback Steakhouse: Baby Back Ribs, Full Order, with Aussie Fries 1,820
35. Friendly’s Double Honey BBQ Burger with French Fries 1,764
36. Cracker Barrel Southern Fried Chicken 1,640
37. Applebee’s Four-Cheese Mac & Cheese with Honey Pepper Chicken Tenders + Breadstick 1,610
38. On the Border The Big Bordurrito Steak 1,750
39. Red Lobster Admiral’s Feast 1,650
40. Friendly’s Clam Strips Platter 1,596
41. Applebee’s Breadsticks with Alfredo Sauce 1,590
42. Olive Garden Chicken Alfredo 1,570
43. Bonefish Grill 3 Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos with Fries 1,560
44. Olive Garden Tour of Italy 1,550
45. On The Border Dos XX 3 Fish Taco 1,500
46. Applebee’s Fish & Chips 1,490
47. IHOP Country Fried Steak & Eggs with Sausage Gravy 1,440
48. Chipotle Carnitas Burrito 1,425
49. Chili’s Quesadilla Explosion Salad 1,410
50. Olive Garden Chicken & Shrimp Carbonara 1,390
51. Red Lobster Cajun Chicken Linguini Alfredo 1,340
52. McDonald’s Big Breakfast with Hotcakes 1,340
53. Denny’s The Grand Slamwich with Hashbrowns 1,320
54. P.F. Chang’s Chicken Pad Thai 1,320
55. Friendly’s New England Fish ‘N’ Chips 1,301
56. Chili’s: Ultimate Smokehouse Combo 1,270
57. IHOP Colorado Omelette 1,250
58. Friendly’s Double Bacon Cheeseburger with Fries 1,228
59. Buffalo Wild Wings: Cheese Curd Bacon Burger 1,210
60. P.F. Chang’s Crispy Honey Chicken 1,120
61. Wendy’s: Dave’s Triple 1,090

How To Cut Down On Your Calorie Intake Daily

Do you want to lose weight? If yes, then you must start cutting down on your calorie intake. 

You lose weight when you consume fewer calories than you lose. And for most individuals, cutting off about 500 calories per day is a great place to start. 

If you continue to reduce your calorie intake by 500 calories per day, you’ll shed around 450 g per week. 

A Handy Tip: It is vital for people seeking to lose weight to have a proper discussion with their healthcare providers before embarking on their weight loss journey. Your healthcare provider will help in determining a healthy weight for you. 

Again, remember that it takes discipline to achieve your weight loss goal. So, you must be ready to discipline yourself and be prepared to make sacrifices to achieve your goal. 

If you follow the tips below, you can curb at least 500 calories per day. So are you ready? Then, Jump in.  

1: Replace your snacks with healthier options:

Do you enjoy snacking in between meals, or when you’re waiting for the food to be ready? You’re not alone! 

But unfortunately, snacking can make it challenging to hit your weight loss goal in no time. And this is even worse when you’re consuming unhealthy snacks filled with calories. 

For instance, tortilla chips boast around 425 calories. Now you can see how huge this is. 

Instead of these unhealthy and calorie-dense snacks, you can go for air-popped popcorn or a low-calorie option. 

2: Check food labels before buying them:

You can read the components of any food you want to buy before splashing the cash. You’ll find them written on the packaging, with the nutritional value of each ingredient written. 

Check the calorie content of the food. If it’s too high, please avoid buying or eating such foods. We have also shared information on calorie-dense foods sold at the restaurant to help you make healthier food choices. 

You can visit the table to see if your favorite food is one of them. 

3: Start avoiding alcohol: 

If you’re someone that likes drinking excess alcohol, now is the time to change your lifestyle. Avoid alcohol. Otherwise, you might struggle to hit your weight loss goal. 

Alcohol will only raise your calorie levels. And the worst part is, it doesn’t have any nutritional value. 

4: Consume enough water daily:

Water is good for the body. It helps your kidneys perform their detoxification job. Additionally, water can help you hit your weight loss goals faster. 

It feels your stomach, causing you to stay longer without feeling hungry. Water can help you lose around 96 calories daily. 

A Handy Tip: Endeavor to consume around eight glasses of water daily. 

Also, note that consuming water before a meal can help you to suppress your hunger and cause you to consume less food. 


So these are the most calorie-dense food in the USA. They are foods that can cause the calories in your body to increase. 

Excess calories in the body can lead to obesity. And as you may already know, obesity can give room for other life-threatening health issues. 

These include hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, and others. 

However, calories are not all that bad. Bodybuilders consume calories to build muscle mass. Individuals on weight gain programs also consume calories. 

The primary thing is to ensure you consume healthy calories if there is a need to do so. 

Francis Stein
Francis Stein
Francis Stein is a writer and traveler who has already traveled most of the states of America. He loves to explore new places and meet new people, and he hopes to continue traveling the world in search of adventure. Francis enjoys writing about his experiences as a way of sharing his love for exploration with others.


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