It is no secret that some of the things we enjoy the most in this world can be detrimental to our overall health and nutrition.
Many of the dishes we consume on a global level, and which we have woven into our shared definition of what fine dining is, actually contain far more calories than many people are aware of.
But just how many calories do our favorite foods have, and is there anything we can do about it?
Recommended Calorie Intake
Before we take a look at some of the world’s most popular foods, it is important to understand what the ‘normal’ calorie intake should be for adult men and women.
While it’s certainly true that no two people are the same, and thus no two metabolisms work exactly the same, working in generalized terms will help to establish a baseline, against which we can then proceed.
The recommended daily calorie intake for adult males is around 2500 calories a day.
This can vary depending on lifestyle, exercise, bodily dimensions, and metabolism, but stands as the generic mark that most men should be aiming for.
For the ‘average’ adult female, the recommended daily calorie intake should be around 2000 calories a day.
Evolution has made it so that women generally have higher levels of body fat than men.
Women hold onto and store fats differently to men, with their bodies storing in specific ways to facilitate and benefit pregnancy and child bearing.
Genetics and metabolism also play an important part, with evolution making men larger framed and taller, and women shorter and more petite in terms of build.
Popular Foods & Their Calories
When it comes to many of our favorite dishes, the calories don’t tend to be on our side.
Generally, a pepperoni pizza, with a regular crust, tends to be around 298 calories per slice – meaning that those consuming a whole pizza to themselves could easily be consuming close to 1500 in one meal.
Spaghetti & Sauce
Another Italian dish that is popular around the world, spaghetti and sauce (such as bolognaise) can be incredibly calorie heavy, even when consumed in the recommended portion size.
1 cup of cooked and enriched spaghetti, without any added salt, tends to be around 221 calories. That is before adding the sauce, with a general marinara sauce generally consisting of around 92 calories per every 4 ounces.
A snack well loved around the world, potato chips can be quite calorific, despite their quick and easy, on-the-go appeal.
While figures may differ depending on brand, flavor, and country of origin, an average bag of plain, salted potato chips tends to consist of 155 calories per ounce.
Popular around the world (particularly in America), the hot dog has become a classic, on-the-go food, found at sporting events, on street corners, and even in movie theaters.
But this simple, tasty treat can contain around 137 calories for the meat alone. When combined with the bun (66 calories), and the ketchup and mustard (15 calories per tablespoon, and 2 calories per teaspoon respectively) the calories can really mount up.
Ground Beef Hamburger
A 4 ounce ground beef patty, consisting of 15% fat that has been pan broiled can have a calorie count of around 193.
When adding two pieces of bread (or a bun) this soon escalates by 66 calories a slice, and then the calories of the sauces on top of that. Combine that with a slice of American cheddar cheese (113 calories per slice), you are well on your way to one calorific meal.
Popular amongst the young and old alike, ice cream is loved all around the world, and is a chilled, sweet treat for those hot, summer days by the beach.
But did you know that one scoop of vanilla ice cream can contain around 145 calories? This doubles with two scoops, and increases even more when you add the sugared cone, and any sauces or toppings you might like.
Wine & Beer
It is no secret that alcohol can be bad for us, but very few people are actually aware of the calorie count of their favorite beverages.
A 5 ounce serving of cabernet sauvignon red wine can come to 123 calories, whilst the same serving of a sauvignon blanc white wine can come to 121.
And for those beer drinkers amongst you, a regular 12 ounce can or bottle can come 153, and really, who only ever just has the one?
Chili With Beans
While this can differ depending on whether it is canned or freshly made, chili can be quite calorie heavy, especially when containing beans.
One cup of general canned chili can equate to 287 calories, which is why it is so important to find a good recipe and have a go yourself!
A popular sweet treat around the world, the jelly donut was never pretending to be our calorific friend, but some of you may be surprised to hear that just one donut can contain around 289 calories.
Easily the most popular soft drink in the world, cola can come under several brands, all of them different in terms of ingredients and figures.
However, a standard 12 ounce can of cola can generally equate to around 136 calories (when opting for the full fat version).
And there we have it, everything you need to know about the most popular dishes in the world, and the amounts of calories that they contain.
The best way to avoid the negative effects of bad calories is to make sure they are a rare treat.
Moderation of any food will not do you any lasting harm, and when combined with a healthy, nutritious diet, can be a nice novelty when the mood strikes.