The 20 Foods You Eat the Most
Few things will influence how good or bad you feel as much as what you eat each day. That’s why we think it’s so powerful that so many of you (4.5 million people and counting) have taken your destiny into your own hands by signing up for LIVESTRONG.COM's free MyPlate calorie counter. This easy-to-use tool shows you the calories, fat, carbs and protein in the food you eat throughout the day, giving you a powerful advantage over the dietary guesswork most people do. We recently took a look at all of the foods MyPlate users tracked. Here are the 20 that they reported eating the most frequently.
Tomatoes are packed with lycopene, an antioxidant that’s been correlated with reduced incidence of cancer and heart disease.
Who says spinach is boring? In one month alone, LIVESTRONG.COM members ate spinach in 14,921 different recipes. Data shows that spinach, which is loaded with vitamin A and fiber, was most likely to be eaten at dinner by females between the ages of 25 and 34.
Maybe it’s their bright color. Or maybe it’s all of that vitamin C. Or maybe it’s because oranges are just so portable. Whatever the reason, people love ‘em. In a single month, MyPlate users consumed nearly 8 million calories worth of oranges – and keep in mind that there’s only 85 calories in a single piece of the fruit.
Either women love bacon more than men, or guys just won’t own up to eating this indulgent meat. More women than men report eating bacon on a month-to-month basis. Not surprisingly, most of the time that bacon gets eaten at breakfast. It’s most common accompaniment? Hash browns.
LIVESTRONG.COM members ate strawberries on nearly 75,000 occasions in a month. The top 5 items eaten at the same time: blackberries, blueberries, mango, raspberries and plain Greek yogurt. The group consuming strawberries the most are men and women between the ages of 25 and 34 who are of normal weight. Strawberries are loaded with vitamin C and are only 45 calories per 8 berries.
People like to start their morning off with something sweet. At least that’s what our data shows. Of the tens of thousands of times people reported consuming honey on LIVESTRONG.COM, nearly half of those incidences came at breakfast. And 20 percent of all of that honey was consumed with tea. Good thing honey is a great immunity system booster, weighing in at only 64 calories per serving.
14. Romaine Lettuce
Caesar salad is a lunchtime favorite with our audience. Caesar dressing is the most commonly tracked food paired with romaine lettuce, and 49 percent of the time when romaine is eaten, it happens at lunch. Romaine lettuce is 8 calories per cup and is loaded with vitamin A.
While spinach (#19) is notable for how many different ways people use it, almonds are remarkably popular given how few recipes include them. To date, members have recorded only 185 different ways to eat almonds, despite eating more than 14 million calories worth of the nut per month. But why over complicate a great protein source that’s so delicious on its lonesome? The age group tracking the most almonds per month are persons from 45 to 54 years old, who are most likely to pair them with walnut halves or dried cranberries – if they pair them with anything at all.
12. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter and jelly are like an old married couple. They’re together so much, it’s hard not to think of them as the same item. LIVESTRONG.COM members’ menus are no exception. Eighteen of the top 25 foods eaten with peanut butter are different types of jelly. The other seven? They’re all breads.
11. Olive Oil
How many ways can you use olive oil? 83,453 and counting, according to our database. Most of those recipes are salad dressings, which often involve balsamic vinegar. But you also see olive oil popping up with pork tenderloin, sweet potatoes, and quinoa.
10. Quaker Oatmeal
In a single month, Quaker oats were tracked more than 93,771 times. Want to guess what the number one item tracked with Quaker oats is? If you said brown sugar, you win. There are approximately 100 calories per packet Quaker oats, but be aware that some flavors have extra sugar added. A better approach: Choose the plain variety and sweeten things up with berries.
Full of anti-oxidants and delicious in just about everything, no wonder LIVESTRONG.COM members ate more than 6.5 million calories worth of blueberries in a month. More than half of the time, they’re eating blueberries at breakfast (53 percent of all recorded incidents), often pairing them with raspberries or ground flax seeds.
8. Baby Carrots
A healthy addition to most every meal and chock full of beta carotene, baby carrots are a favorite of more than 14,600 LIVESTRONG.COM members. Most often, people have those carrots with their lunch or as a snack. Loaded with vitamin A, baby carrots are only 35 calories per 4 ounce serving.
Butter is about equally as likely to show up at breakfast as it is at dinner, so the chances that a LIVESTRONG.COM user would have their pat with a pancake or a steak are about even. We know our members strive to eat healthy meals, but with butter weighing in at 36 calories per serving, it’s okay to loosen up every once in a while.
Certainly not the forbidden fruit for LIVESTRONG.COM members, apples are tracked more than 190,000 times per month. Of all the different varieties, Fuji apples are the most popular. And very often (48 percent of the time), the person eating one of those apples has peanut butter with it.
5. Chicken Breast
One of the healthiest protein sources around. LIVESTRONG.COM members eat chicken more than 100,000 times per month. The meat seems to be a favorite of weight room goers – one in every 10 people who ate chicken also reported pumping iron.
Q: Who needs a pick-me-up? A: Everyone, apparently. LIVESTRONG.COM members report drinking a cup of coffee on nearly 300,000 occasions in a single month, with 70 percent of those drinks coming at breakfast. Popular accoutrements include half and half, Sweet ‘n Low, and Splenda.
During a month-long span, LIVESTRONG.COM users ate 138,347 bananas – that’s enough to give one to every person in Pasadena, California (population 137,122), and still have leftovers. Popular banana combos include smoothies, on oatmeal, or with peanut butter. Bananas also make a great pre- or post-workout snack.
Feeling thirsty? LIVESTRONG.COM trackers sure are. They recorded drinking 363,914 cups of milk in one month – that’s enough milk to fill 45 hot tubs. More than 56 percent of that milk was consumed at breakfast, often with cereals like Raisin Bran Crunch, Honey Nut Cheerios, and Frosted Flakes.
With more than 103,000 different recipes in our calorie tracker, eggs may be the most versatile food ever. The food is a breakfast stalwart: Nearly 60 percent of people who do eat eggs choose to start their day with them. And they report eating the eggs sunny-side up, scrambled, or straight out of a glass (Rocky Balboa would be proud).
What Do YOU Think?
Were you surprised by the foods on the list? Did all the foods you eat most frequently made it to the list? What other foods you think should have been listed? Let us know.
Susy joined LIVESTRONG.COM at its inception in 2008. Focused on all things food, fitness and health related, her daily contributions as the LIVESTRONG.COM community manager is an asset to the site and the millions of community members. She has a M. A. in Clinical Psychology.