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.
- 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:
- Severe burn
- HIV or AIDS
- Celiac disease
- Type 1 Diabetes
- Eating disorder
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.
- Fertility issues
- 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.
|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.