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What the average American eats in a year

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Pixabay

What the average American eats in a year

When it comes to a healthy diet, most of us are more concerned about avoiding unhealthy foods like sugary sodas and trans fats. But what if we told you that what you do put in your body matters more than what you keep out?

According to the 27-year global diet analysis published in April 2019 for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017, most U.S. citizens eat the wrong kinds of foods on a regular basis. The study, which explored the dietary risks and health effects in 195 countries, revealed that a lack of healthy foods in the typical American diet is just as (if not more) detrimental to health as a diet high in sugar, salt, and red meat. According to the study, diets low in healthy foods like whole grains, fruits, and seeds kill more people than diets high in trans fats and added sugars.

For the United States, along with India, Brazil, Pakistan, Nigeria, Russia, Egypt, Germany, Iran, and Turkey, the greatest risk factor for diet-related diseases was a lack of whole grains. One of the biggest problems? Many Americans simply don't know the difference between real whole grains and the refined, processed versions that are often full of sugar or sodium. The trick is to look for the handy Whole Grains Council stamp on your food products. When stacked against the most populated countries in the study, the United States came in second overall for diets low in nuts and seeds, and third for too much sodium.

Stacker crunched the numbers on data collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture over a 15-year period to determine the food-consumption habits of the average American, ranked per capita and broken down by age group, (for this list, children are considered those younger than age 20, adults are considered those age 20 or older), as well as income bracket. In order to give our readers the most accurate data points, we took the average of each year's numbers. Rather than providing details about broad food groups such as dairy, meat, and sugar, this list dives into more specific foods, such as carrots, yogurt, and apple juice, as well as facts about nutrition from the USDA Agricultural Research Service and the USDA National Agricultural Library.

See how you match up against the rest of the country with your eating habits—and don't forget that eating healthy is just as important as avoiding the bad stuff.

You may also like: America's fastest growing imports

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AlbanyColley // Pixabay

#50. Leafy vegetables

U.S. annual consumption: 0.8 lb. per capita (0.02 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 0.3 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 1 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 0.5 lb. (31% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 0.9 lb. (19% above U.S. average)

Leafy vegetable and greens such as spinach, bok choy, and kale are high in fiber and low in calories (and we all know that kale is certainly having a moment). Considering that these foods are super high in vitamins and minerals, it is pretty disappointing that Americans only consume less than a pound per year. Luckily since the recent rise in popularity of kale, there are plenty of recipes out there to add leafy veggies to your diet.

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Public Domain

#49. Oils, other

U.S. annual consumption: 1.1 lb. per capita (0.02 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 1 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 1.2 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 1 lb. (9% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 1.2 lb. (6% above U.S. average)

These are the oils that aren't used for things like salads or cooking, but rather oils that sneak their way into food items such as spreads, dips, crackers, and chips. Oils, along with healthy fats, are actually pretty crucial to a well-balanced diet as they can help the body absorb nutrients. Plant-based oils (such as the oil from nuts) are entirely free from cholesterol, which is a big win for your heart health, too.

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Parvathisri // Wikimedia Commons

#48. Green peas

U.S. annual consumption: 1.8 lb. per capita (0.04 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 1.3 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 2.0 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 1.7 lb. (7% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 1.9 lb. (3% above U.S. average)

Something about those squishy little green balls just doesn't sit right with many American children. Peas are high in fiber and rich with vitamins, such as iron and vitamin A, which make them good for energy, strong bones, and vision.

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#47. Cucumbers

U.S. annual consumption: 2.2 lb. per capita (0.04 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 1.5 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 2.5 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 2 lb. (12% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 2.4 lb. (7% above U.S. average)

As with most green vegetables, cucumbers are low in calories, but high in antioxidants and vitamins. The watery veggie is perfect to stick inside a salad or wrap for added hydration on a hot day. Though it may be tempting, resist peeling off that dark green skin while preparing a cucumber: It is a great source of fiber.

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#46. Tree nuts

U.S. annual consumption: 2.3 lb. per capita (0.05 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 0.8 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 3 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 1.4 lb. (41% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 3 lb. (26% above U.S. average)

There's a reason why humans have been eating nuts since the Stone Age. Apart from being easy to consume and prepare, nuts are high in unsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, and (listen up, vegetarians) protein. Tree nuts are also high in vitamin E, which boosts the immune system and helps skin and hair stay healthy.

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Sue_v67 // Pixabay

#45. Oat flour

U.S. annual consumption: 2.7 lb. per capita (0.05 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 2.7 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 2.7 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 2.3 lb. (15% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 3 lb. (10% above U.S. average)

Oat flour is whole-grain flour made from finely ground oats, and a staple in many gluten-free foodies' kitchens. It's popular in baking and can be substituted for regular all-purpose flour in recipes for goodies such as cookies and muffins. Consider making the switch to oat flour if you have high cholesterol, as oats have been shown to reduce clogged arteries, according to the USDA.

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Carey Tilden // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Butter

U.S. annual consumption: 2.8 lb. per capita (0.05 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 2 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 3.1 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 2.3 lb. (18% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 3.1 lb. (12% above U.S. average)

Contrary to popular belief (unless you have specific dietary restrictions) butter doesn't exactly deserve the bad reputation it gets. When enjoyed in moderation and paired with other healthy foods, butter is an important part of a balanced diet. Many people choose to stick with grass-fed butter to take advantage of the higher levels of vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids.

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#43. Celery

U.S. annual consumption: 2.8 lb. per capita (0.05 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 1.4 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 3.4 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 2.4 lb. (15% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 3.1 lb. (10% above U.S. average)

While most people find celery flavorless and boring, humans actually have a long history with the humble stalk. According to scientists, people in Egypt, Rome, and China used celery medicinally as an aphrodisiac and hangover cure. The leaves were also used as decoration and crowns for athletes; archeologists even found a celery leaf wreath in King Tut's tomb.

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#42. Oranges

U.S. annual consumption: 3.5 lb. per capita (0.07 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 3.4 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 3.5 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 3.9 lb. (13% above U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 3.2 lb. (8% below U.S. average)

Everyone knows that oranges are high in vitamin C, but the fruit also has an added bonus when it comes to nutrition. Oranges are full of citrus limonoids, which have been found to help fight several different types of cancer. The USDA continues to study the compound's cholesterol-lowering health benefits, as well.

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16:9clue // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Snap beans

U.S. annual consumption: 3.7 lb. per capita (0.07 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 2.2 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 4.3 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 3.3 lb. (11% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 4 lb. (7% above U.S. average)

Also known as green beans or string beans, snap beans are an excellent source of calcium and magnesium, two important minerals for bone strength and development. In fact, the USDA says that both minerals are just as easily absorbed from eating snap beans as drinking milk in children. Even though the levels are different (you'd need five cups of beans to equal the amount of calcium in one cup of milk), it's good news for those seeking calcium from sources other than dairy.

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BMK // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Margarine

U.S. annual consumption: 3.8 lb. per capita (0.07 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 2.8 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 4.2 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 3.4 lb. (10% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 4 lb. (6% above U.S. average)

The controversial condiment made a splash in the 1970s when health officials began urging consumers to eat less butter. Margarine is a processed product using hydrogenated vegetable oil that is designed to look and taste like butter, without all the dairy fat that accompanies regular butter. Margarine does, however, contain trans fats.

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#39. Broccoli and cauliflower

U.S. annual consumption: 4.3 lb. per capita (0.08 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 2.2 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 5.1 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 3.2 lb. (26% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 4.9 lb. (16% above U.S. average)

Though some people believe cauliflower and broccoli are just different colored versions of each other, the nutritional benefits of the two veggies vary slightly. They are both members of the flowering cabbage family (with siblings like brussels sprouts and turnips). Both are excellent sources of vitamin C, with broccoli having more vitamin A and calcium, and cauliflower having more potassium.

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#38. Carrots

U.S. annual consumption: 4.6 lb. per capita (0.09 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 3.4 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 5.1 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 3.9 lb. (16% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 5.1 lb. (10% above U.S. average)

Carrots have been a domesticated crop since about 900 A.D. Originating in Afghanistan, the purple and yellow versions quickly grew in popularity in the Mediterranean, Europe, and Asia. Though orange carrots are the most predominant nowadays, they didn't come along until the 1700s.

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Suanpa // Pixabay

#37. Melons

U.S. annual consumption: 4.9 lb. per capita (0.09 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 3.8 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 5.4 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 4.2 lb. (16% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 5.4 lb. (10% above U.S. average)

Whether you prefer honeydew, watermelon, or cantaloupe, melons are the perfect addition to a summer barbecue or fruit salad. Melons are low in calories, free from cholesterol and fat, and low in sodium. Even better, they're also high in vitamins A and C, and potassium.

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Janine // Flickr

#36. Berries

U.S. annual consumption: 5.5 lb. per capita (0.11 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 4.5 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 5.9 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 4.1 lb. (25% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 6.4 lb. (16% above U.S. average)

Americans consume five and a half pounds of berries per capita in a year, but considering the many nutritional benefits of everything from cranberries to blueberries that number could stand to be higher. One cup of raspberries, for example, contains over half of the daily requirement for vitamin C. Blackberries have 8 grams of fiber per cup, which is 32% of your daily value.

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PxHere

#35. Peanuts

U.S. annual consumption: 5.6 lb. per capita (0.11 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 4.7 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 6 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 4.5 lb. (20% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 6.3 lb. (12% above U.S. average)

Peanuts are packed with good fats, protein, and magnesium. Not to mention that a cup contains almost half of your daily recommended value of dietary fiber. Use caution when spreading on peanut butter, though, as some add a sneaky amount of extra sugars and sodium.

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#34. Yogurt

U.S. annual consumption: 5.8 lb. per capita (0.11 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 5 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 6.2 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 4 lb. (32% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 7 lb. (20% above U.S. average)

Not only is plain, unsweetened yogurt a great source of calcium and protein, it's good for your gut as well. The bacterial fermentation process of milk to make Greek yogurt produces important probiotic cultures that can strengthen your digestive tract. Instead of the yogurts containing added sugars and flavors, opt for plain unsweetened and try adding your own natural toppings instead.

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Tenz1225 // Flickr

#33. Tropical fruits

U.S. annual consumption: 6 lb. per capita (0.11 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 7.6 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 5.3 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 6.3 lb. (5% above U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 5.8 lb. (3% below U.S. average)

Tropical fruits describe exotic options like starfruit, papaya, passionfruit, acai, mango, and more. Though they might be a bit more difficult to find in certain parts of the United States, the fragrant, colorful fruits are definitely worth the splurge if you run across some at the grocery store. Or, you can always take a vacation to Hawaii.

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RitaE // Pixabay

#32. Legumes, dried

U.S. annual consumption: 6 lb. per capita (0.12 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 3.7 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 6.9 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 6.5 lb. (9% above U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 5.7 lb. (5% below U.S. average)

Dried legumes include beans, peas, and lentils. Paleo eaters may disagree, but beans and other legumes are chock full of essential nutrients for a healthy diet according to the USDA. Beans are low in fat, and a great cholesterol-free source of protein.

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#31. Peppers

U.S. annual consumption: 6.7 lb. per capita (0.13 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 2.8 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 8.3 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 5.5 lb. (17% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 7.5 lb. (11% above U.S. average)

Hot peppers like habanero and jalapeno are used in cuisines all over the world to spice up dishes, while sweet peppers like the bell pepper conversely add a pleasant cooling crunch to salads and stir-fries. No matter if you enjoy the hot or the sweet version, adding peppers to your diet will help increase your level of vitamin C. Chili peppers contain almost twice your daily allowance.

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#30. Other citrus fruits

U.S. annual consumption: 6.8 lb. per capita (0.13 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 3.6 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 8.1 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 5.3 lb. (22% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 7.7 lb. (13% above U.S. average)

“Other citrus fruits,” meaning citrus fruits other than oranges, include grapefruits, lemons, and limes. Lemons, for example, have been around for at least 8 million years, and were actually a hybrid invented by humans rather than a naturally occurring fruit. All citrus fruits can be traced back to an origin in the Himalayas, according to scientists.

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#29. Stone fruits

U.S. annual consumption: 7.3 lb. per capita (0.14 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 4.7 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 8.3 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 6.1 lb. (16% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 8 lb. (11% above U.S. average)

Adults consume almost twice as much stone fruit as children in the United States. Stone fruits, which include peaches, cherries, and plums, are identified by their hard stone pit surrounded by edible flesh that is usually quite sweet. Apricots, for example, are a good source of vitamin A, which is essential for growth and development.

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#28. Sweet corn

U.S. annual consumption: 7.3 lb. per capita (0.14 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 5.8 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 7.9 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 6.8 lb. (6% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 7.6 lb. (5% above U.S. average)

You would think that with the sheer amount of corn being grown in the United States (the “corn belt” spreading from the Midwest to the Great Plains is almost completely covered with the crop) that its citizens would consume more than 7.3 pounds per year. In reality, only a small percentage of the corn grown in the United States goes towards feeding people. The majority is used for biofuels, such as ethanol, and animal feed.

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#27. Onions

U.S. annual consumption: 7.9 lb. per capita (0.15 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 4.4 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 9.4 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 7.1 lb. (10% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 8.5 lb. (7% above U.S. average)

Apart from being an essential ingredient in pasta sauces and soups, onions and garlic contain an important compound called allicin that helps reduce inflammation and provide antioxidant benefits. Onions are a source of fiber, which helps you stay feeling full, and vitamin C for a healthy immune system. They also are low in both fat and calories.

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#26. Grapes

U.S. annual consumption: 8.3 lb. per capita (0.16 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 9.9 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 7.7 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 7.7 lb. (8% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 8.8 lb. (5% above U.S. average)

First cultivated in the Middle East around 8 million years ago, we have grapes to thank for wine, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and raisins. Though most of the grapes farmed in the United States are used for winemaking, snacking on the fruit on its own has plenty of nutritional benefits. Apart from being high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and potassium, the skin of red grapes contains a compound called resveratrol that has been linked to health benefits.

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M. Rehemtulla // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Turkey

U.S. annual consumption: 8.6 lb. per capita (0.17 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 6.4 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 9.5 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 7.3 lb. (15% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 9.4 lb. (9% above U.S. average)

Ever wonder why eating turkey can give you the urge to take a good, long nap? Turkey contains an essential amino acid called tryptophan, which helps the body produce melatonin and serotonin. Both are known to promote healthy sleep and a stable mood.

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Wisconsin Dept of Natural Resources // Flickr

#24. Dairy, other

U.S. annual consumption: 9.1 lb. per capita (0.17 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 6.2 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 10.2 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 7.2 lb. (21% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 10.3 lb. (13% above U.S. average)

Referring to any dairy products that are not milk, butter, cheese, or yogurt, one of the biggest contenders in this category is one of America's favorite treats. Ice cream can be high in saturated fat and obviously, high in sugar. Gelato is a great option for those wanting to lower their fat consumption, but still want to indulge in a creamy sweet treat.

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Jon Sullivan // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Finfish and shellfish

U.S. annual consumption: 9.6 lb. per capita (0.18 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 4.1 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 11.8 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 8.3 lb. (14% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 10.4 lb. (9% above U.S. average)

Finfish can mean anything from halibut to salmon, while shellfish include crustaceans and mollusks such as oysters, crabs, and shrimp. Finfish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce blood pressure, as well as potassium and vitamin B-6. Shellfish are high in protein, and significantly lower in fat than finfish.

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Steve Hopson // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Bananas

U.S. annual consumption: 10.8 lb. per capita (0.21 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 7.7 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 12.1 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 10 lb. (8% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 11.3 lb. (4% above U.S. average)

Eating just one banana a day will provide you with 20% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin B-6, which has been shown to benefit the central nervous system. One banana also contains over 10% of the recommended daily amount of potassium and fiber. Potassium is both a mineral and an electrolyte, which can help our bodies maintain constant blood pressure and strengthen bone and muscle.

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Cookbookman17 // Flickr

#21. Rice, dried

U.S. annual consumption: 11.4 lb. per capita (0.22 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 9.5 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 12.2 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 12.4 lb. (9% above U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 10.8 lb. (5% below U.S. average)

Ninety percent of the world's rice is farmed in Asia, and the crop is a primary food for the diets of over half the Earth's population. Most of the rice grown in the United States is cultivated in California and the South. Rice provides carbohydrates that the body turns into energy without the addition of fats and cholesterol.

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Couleur // Pixnio

#20. Corn flour

U.S. annual consumption: 12.7 lb. per capita (0.24 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 14.4 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 12.0 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 14.7 lb. (15% above U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 11.6 lb. (9% below U.S. average)

Corn flour is made from grinding maize into a fine powdery texture, and can be used to make baked goods like corn muffins and cornbread. This version of flour contains little saturated fat and cholesterol. It is also low in sodium, which can help prevent high blood pressure in certain people.

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Amy Stephenson // Flickr

#19. Shortening

U.S. annual consumption: 13.7 lb. per capita (0.26 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 12.4 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 14.2 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 12.7 lb. (7% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 14.3 lb. (4% above U.S. average)

Most people who think of shortening think of Crisco, but shortening actually refers to any fats or oils derived from animals or vegetables that are solid at room temperature. Shortening is used in baking for creating a crisp and crumbly texture in doughs. Lard, or pig fat, has a 98% fat content and can be used in biscuits, tortillas, and frying.

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#18. Apples

U.S. annual consumption: 14 lb. per capita (0.27 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 15.7 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 13.2 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 12.2 lb. (12% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 15 lb. (8% above U.S. average)

The saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” definitely has some truth to it. Apples are a good source of dietary fiber and vitamin C. Half a cup of fresh gala apples has 8 grams of carbs and 6 grams of sugar.

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#17. Apple juice

U.S. annual consumption: 14.4 lb. per capita (0.28 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 27.6 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 9.1 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 16.7 lb. (16% above U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 12.9 lb. (11% below U.S. average)

It should be noted that 1 gallon of apple juice contains 8.8 pounds of apples. It is one of the most popular kids' beverages in the country, so it's no surprise that children in the United States consume about three times the amount of apple juice as adults. Apple juice from concentrate can contain added sugars as opposed to 100% juice, so it is a good idea to read the label if you're limiting your sugar intake.

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Dwight Sipler // Flickr

#16. Lettuce

U.S. annual consumption: 15.1 lb. per capita (0.29 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 7.3 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 18.3 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 10.7 lb. (29% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 18 lb. (19% above U.S. average)

With its crisp texture and mellow flavor, it's hard to say anything bad about lettuce. While lettuces such as iceberg don't have a ton of nutritional value, they are great for filling you up because of their high water content. Some lettuces have small amounts of vitamins, but not much compared to darker leafy greens like spinach and kale.

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Pezibear // Pixabay

#15. Fluid milk, 1% fat

U.S. annual consumption: 15.3 lb. per capita (0.29 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 19.1 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 13.8 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 11.2 lb. (27% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 18 lb. (18% above U.S. average)

One-percent fat milk is the least popular milk in America, according to this list. One gallon of 1% equals 8.61 pounds of whole milk. As most Americans know, milk is a good source of calcium for growing strong bones.

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16:9clue // Flickr

#14. Eggs

U.S. annual consumption: 19.4 lb. per capita (0.37 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 14 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 21.5 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 19.1 lb. (2% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 19.7 lb. (2% above U.S. average)

Americans crack almost 20 pounds of eggs each year per capita. Keep in mind that a dozen eggs weighs 1.57 pounds, so that is almost 30 dozen eggs. The rate is about the same for low- and high-income consumption, thanks largely in part to the accessibility and relatively low price of ages, and the allure for those wanting more protein in their diets without eating meat.

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Mike Mozart // Flickr

#13. Fluid milk, skim

U.S. annual consumption: 20.1 lb. per capita (0.39 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 16.6 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 21.6 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 13.9 lb. (31% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 24.1 lb. (20% above U.S. average)

Many Americans opt for skim milk over whole fat milk because it has fewer calories. Recent studies have shown, however, that whole milk may be healthier in the long run for most people. One study showed that when people replace whole fat milk with skim milk, they often compensate for the calories by eating more sugars and carbs.

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George Hodan // Public Domain Pictures

#12. Cheese

U.S. annual consumption: 20.2 lb. per capita (0.39 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 18.8 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 20.7 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 17.4 lb. (14% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 21.9 lb. (8% above U.S. average)

While too much cheese can lead to health issues, eating it in moderation can reap benefits to the diet such as added calcium and protein. Unfortunately, some cheeses can also be high in saturated fat and sodium. One cup of ricotta, for example, can contain 100% of your daily allowed value of saturated fat.

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Congerdesign // Pixabay

#11. Salad and cooking oils

U.S. annual consumption: 25.9 lb. per capita (0.5 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 23.2 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 26.9 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 23.7 lb. (8% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 27.3 lb. (5% above U.S. average)

Oils for cooking or oils added to salads can vary depending on your preference. While most people cook with olive oil or vegetable oil, the past few years have seen a rise in popularity for coconut and avocado oils. Topping a salad with a light, oil-based vinaigrette may be a healthier option than sodium-rich dressings like blue cheese and ranch.

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#10. Tomatoes

U.S. annual consumption: 31.2 lb. per capita (0.6 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 26.3 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 33.2 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 28.9 lb. (8% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 32.7 lb. (5% above U.S. average)

The tomato was initially domesticated in South America, and was introduced to Europe in the 1600s—though some believed the plant to be poisonous and only grew it for decoration. By the early 1800s, the tomato was a widely eaten food in both Europe and the United States. The question of “fruit or vegetable” originated in 1893, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that, though botanically a fruit, the tomato would be legally considered a vegetable.

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Thogru // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Pork

U.S. annual consumption: 32.2 lb. per capita (0.62 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 22.3 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 36.2 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 30.8 lb. (4% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 33.3 lb. (3% above U.S. average)

Ribs, chops, sausage, and of course bacon—pork is a versatile protein with a lot to offer. The National Pork Board created the slogan “the other white meat” in 1987 as a marketing campaign. The organization went through a rebranding and changed the slogan in 2011 to “Pork. Be Inspired.''

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AlbanyColley // Pixabay

#8. Orange juice

U.S. annual consumption: 36.9 lb. per capita (0.71 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 39.1 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 36 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 36.1 lb. (2% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 37.5 lb. (2% above U.S. average)

Americans consume three-fifths of a gallon of OJ per year, with 1 gallon of orange juice equaling 8.7 pounds of oranges. While oranges are famously rich in vitamin C, which boosts the immune system, drinking too much of the juice can lead to unwanted high levels of sugar. The levels of orange juice consumption are almost the same when it comes to low versus high incomes.

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Couleur // Pixnio

#7. Fluid milk, whole

U.S. annual consumption: 43.3 lb. per capita (0.83 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 68.3 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 33.3 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 55.2 lb. (28% above U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 36.2 lb. (17% below U.S. average)

Contrary to common belief, whole milk doesn't actually contain all that much fat. In fact, whole milk is only 3.5% milk fat. According to the Dairy Council of California, whole milk is the closest you can get to straight from the cow before processing, which includes pasteurization, homogenization, and fortification.

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#6. Fluid milk, 2% fat

U.S. annual consumption: 43.5 lb. per capita (0.84 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 64.8 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 34.9 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 41.3 lb. (5% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 45 lb. (3% above U.S. average)

For those who enjoy the taste of whole milk, but don't want all the calories, 2% milk contains less dairy fat than its whole milk version. Children consume almost twice as much 2% milk as adults in the United States. As a whole, Americans consume over 40 pounds of 2% annually per capita, more than any other type of milk.

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Biswarup Ganguli // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Chicken

U.S. annual consumption: 45.8 lb. per capita (0.88 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 37.4 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 49.2 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 43.8 lb. (4% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 47 lb. (3% above U.S. average)

One of the most widely consumed proteins on the planet, the modern chicken is actually a descendant of the Southeast Asian red jungle fowl. The original fowl was first domesticated in India, and history shows the process dating back to 2000 B.C. Nowadays, most chickens raised for meat in the United States are of the Cornish and White Rock breeds, according to the USDA.

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#4. Beef

U.S. annual consumption: 48.2 lb. per capita (0.93 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 38.4 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 52.1 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 47.2 lb. (2% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 48.9 lb. (2% above U.S. average)

There no argument that Americans love their beef. Whether it's barbecued cheeseburgers or filet mignon, beef is the #4 most consumed food on the list. The USDA puts a specific grade onto American beef in terms of quality, and it's evaluated by officials as either prime, choice, or select.

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#3. Potatoes

U.S. annual consumption: 57.7 lb. per capita (1.11 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 52.8 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 59.7 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 55.5 lb. (4% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 59.1 lb. (2% above U.S. average)

Did you know that the state of Idaho produces 13 billion pounds of potatoes each year? The National Potato Council reports that potatoes are a front-runner when it comes to potassium and antioxidant content. As an added bonus, potatoes also have little to no fat and cholesterol.

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Cogdogblog // Flickr

#2. Caloric sweeteners

U.S. annual consumption: 84.2 lb. per capita (1.62 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 86.3 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 83.4 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 84.5 lb. (0% above U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 84 lb. (0% below U.S. average)

Caloric sweeteners, or sugar substitutes, are added to beverages and foods to enhance flavor. While our bodies naturally produce sugars (glucose) from when we consume carbs, proteins, and fats, added sugars from sweetened beverages like soda don't provide any nutritional benefits. There have been many studies on how caloric sweeteners affect the brain and the body, but the long-term effects are still relatively uncertain.

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Congerdesign // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Wheat flour

U.S. annual consumption: 98 lb. per capita (1.89 lb. per week)
- Child annual consumption: 93.5 lb.
- Adult annual consumption: 99.8 lb.
- Low-income annual consumption: 89.2 lb. (9% below U.S. average)
- High-income annual consumption: 103.6 lb. (6% above U.S. average)

All-purpose flour is one of the most popular types of flour in the United States because of its accessibility and low price. While all-purpose is made using a combination of both hard and soft wheats (and can be either bleached or unbleached, chemically or naturally), there are also more fiber-rich types of flour, such as whole wheat flour available. The National School Lunch Program run by the USDA will require that half of weekly grains allowed for school lunches be rich in whole grains, beginning in mid-2019.

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