The Top 10 Things Americans Consume

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

We’re swimming in information about healthy eating. Conversely, we also have access to nearly limitless amounts of research, articles, and books which point out the disastrous health consequences of eating processed food

You’d think we would have learned how to eat more healthily - or, at least stop eating so much processed food, out of concern for our long-term health.

But we haven’t.

Just have a look at the ten most popular items regularly consumed by Americans. The amount of junk food we eat each year is staggeringly high. It’s no wonder we’re experiencing an epidemic of obesity and diabetes, along with their accompanying diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and dementia.

a photograph of junk foods like pizza, donuts, chips, and fries

In this article, I’ll cover:

I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s impossible to overstate how important your health is. So, let’s get started.


#1 Soda

The average American consumes 44.7 gallons of carbonated, syrupy sugar soda per year. And it’s not just sugar to be concerned about. There’s phosphoric acid, caffeine, and a wide variety of chemicals.

a picture of a variety of colored sodas in bottles and glasses

#2 Bread

On average, Americans consume 53 pounds of bread each year.

Bread contains not only refined carbohydrates that raise your Fat Storing Hormone, but also gluten. Gluten can tear up your intestine, creating numerous digestive problems and possibly cognitive issues too.

As well, bread contains dough softeners, hidden sodium, and MSG (monosodium glutamate). When you combine bread with protein - as with meat in a sandwich - and eat them together, you get some of what’s called glycation.

Glycation happens when you combine a carbohydrate with a protein, or a carb with fat, and then heat it. Your blood and its vessels essentially become sticky, leading to an increased risk of stroke and heart disease.

Think about someone with diabetes. They have high blood sugar, which then combines with the protein in their blood. Essentially, the sugar gets stuck to the protein. Then, the diabetic gets a test called the A1C, which measures an average of your blood sugar over a three month period.

There’s a specific rating scale that then lets you evaluate whether or not your A1C is normal or not. The A1C essentially is measuring how glycated (sticky) your blood is. In other words, your risk of cardiovascular disease, among others.

And speaking of bread and cooked meat, look what’s next.

#3 Burgers

Over 50 billion burgers a year are sold in the US. That’s billion with a “b”. A lot of people are eating a lot of burgers.

I eat burgers too, but without the bun of course, in order to stay keto compliant. But also to avoid glycation and its damaging effects.

Most people eat a burger with ketchup, fries, and a soda. When you combine a burger with bun, fries, and a soft drink, you’ll experience a higher amount of glycation, along with an exaggerated Fat Storing Hormone response in your body.

Too much Fat Storing Hormone results in visceral fat (link), which is unhealthy. Visceral fat forms inside your liver and around your organs, potentially creating health problems such as Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, and stroke.

an illustration of visceral fat in the body

#4 French Fries

The average American consumes 49.2 pounds of potato products per year. 29 of these pounds are french fries. The rest of the nearly 50 pounds is made up of chips and other forms of potato. In fact, over 1.5 billion pounds of chips are sold each year!

We Americans love potato products.

And of course, we need to ask ourselves: what are the potatoes being fried in? Usually genetically modified (GMO) corn oil or soy oil. Then, when you combine potatoes, these oils, and high heat, you trigger the formation of something called acrylamide, a known carcinogen.

#5 Ice Cream

Ice cream is such a popular treat that on average each American eats 23 pounds a year. Over 1.4 billion gallons are sold each year - so you can see, there is a strong financial incentive for ice cream manufacturers to keep you hooked on this sweet treat.

Now let’s dig down a little bit into why ice cream is unhealthy.

Ice cream combines carbohydrates and sugar along with protein and fat, which is then heated, resulting in a significant amount of glycation.

I used to eat a lot of ice cream, to help me sleep at night. Sounds weird, right? But it worked for awhile because eating it caused a big blood sugar spike, which made me very tired. I’d fall right asleep. Then, at 2 o’clock in the morning, my blood sugars would nosedive in response to the excess Fat Storing Hormone my body had made to lower my high blood sugars.

Every morning at 2 AM, I’d experience severe restless legs syndrome triggered by lactic acid in my muscles. Eating glucose can cause lactic acid build-up. I felt miserable.

And of course I’d wake up with big bags under my eyes. I mean, I really had no awareness of nutrition back then - two years ago. Wait, just kidding! Actually I was in my late 20’s.

#6 Hot Dogs

20 billion hot dogs are sold each year. That’s mind blowing. And I’m not talking about grass-fed, organic hot dogs. No, I’m talking about the ones that are processed, made with nitrates and MSG, along with additional parts from the cow or pig.

If you look at the ingredients of a typical hot dog, the manufacturers often put dextrose - a type of sugar- in them. I’m not sure why; perhaps as a filler. And because the sweet taste gets you hooked.

#7 Pizza

The average person consumes 40 pizzas per year. If you divide 52 weeks by 40 pizzas, that means on average we eat 1.3 pizzas a week. We spend over $38 billion each year just on pizza alone.

people grabbing slices at a pizza party

#8 Oreo Cookies

Over 2.5 billion packs of Oreos are sold every year.

If you look at the ingredients in them, the first bunch of them are different forms of sugar. Then, the last ingredient is chocolate. Which means there’s not as much chocolate as you might think.

But there sure is a lot of sugar.

#9 Chicken Nuggets/Chicken Strips

Every single year, 2.3 billion servings of chicken nuggets are dished up, along with 1.5 billion servings of chicken strips.

Eating them causes glycation, because the breading and protein is combined with heat. Eating them also causes an Fat Storing Hormone spike. They’re usually fried in GMO corn oil or soy oil, which is inflammatory, increasing your risk of diseases such as diabetes, auto-immune conditions, and neurological issues like Parkinson’s.

#10 Donuts

Can you believe there are 25,000 donut shops in the US? I can. They’re everywhere.

Americans buy 10 billion donuts per year. Once again, we find the same problem with them being cooked in soy oil or corn oil. As well, they cause glycation because of being deep fried, also making them full of the carcinogen acrylamide, as I mentioned. Plus, your Fat Storing Hormone spikes.


Now It’s Obvious Why We Suffer From These Health Problems

Isn’t it obvious now why you may suffer from:

And more.I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea.


How To Lower Your Risk Of Chronic Disease And Obesity

Now that you know the insidious effects of processed food, I challenge you to ditch it. Or, at the very least, cut down the amount you eat.

Better yet, switch to the Healthy KetoTM way of eating. Combine keto with intermittent fasting, and watch your weight drop, your Fat Storing Hormone and blood sugars start to return to normal, and your risk of chronic, debilitating disease plummet.

Without your health, your quality of life is poor. I want you to feel your best. You can do this by taking charge of what you eat, and making choices to support your health not risk it.

By the way, you may have noticed that I’m especially hard on consuming sugar. There's a good reason; it’s highly toxic and addictive. For more information, I encourage you to check out my video about sugar toxicity. You may be surprised by what you find out.

I applaud you for taking steps to eat more healthily.

a young woman holding a bag of healthy food

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Disclaimer: Our educational content is not meant or intended for medical advice or treatment.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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