Worldwide Nutrition

There are many reasons as to why we travel, whether nationally or internationally. One particular reason is to try the unique cuisines that other places have to offer. I know personally, I’d love to try authentic pasta from Italy; just thinking about that gives me a little bit of wanderlust.

Or maybe you don’t really consider yourself a “foodie”. Perhaps you prefer your cheeseburgers plain and consider ketchup a spicy condiment; that’s okay too, by the way. Either way, if you want to travel, you should probably have a good idea about what to expect to eat wherever you intend to go. Some of the data may not really come as a surprise to you (think location, location, location) and if you’re good at geography you may already know what to expect. Either way, it’s a good way for you to test your knowledge and maybe even give yourself the opportunity to expand your palette.


If you’re not a vegan or vegetarian, you’ll probably want to know what meats are available to you if you’re traveling abroad. Exotic meats like puffin can be found in Iceland and Bison– while it can be found in the US– is also commonly found in European countries like Germany and Switzerland. But, who eats the most meat altogether? Here are the top 3 meat-eating countries:

  • Hong Kong (29%) One of their most popular dishes is sweet and sour pork
  • Argentina (19%)
  • Vietnam (18%)

Japan consumes the most seafood (no surprises there) and the US takes the lead on the country that consumes the most poultry.

Need a meatless option? Here are the countries that consume the least amount of meat:

  • India (1%) Samosa is among their most popular dishes
  • Somalia (7%)
  • North Korea (5%)

Most other African countries are also on the low end of the meat consuming spectrum.


According to National Geographic, the world consumes about 11% of produce. Cuban natives consume 16% produce which is a 23% decrease from where they used to be in 1989 after the crash of the Soviet Union led to their loss of their primary trading partner. Fruits make up about 6% of the world’s produce intake. Top fruit consuming countries include:

  • Cuba (8%) Ropa Vieja ranks as one of their most popular meals
  • Brazil (5%)


The largest food intake portion of the world is in the grain category. At 45% for the global consumption, National Geographic breaks this into rice, wheat, and corn. Vietnam consumes the most rice at over 50%, but their wheat consumption only makes up 2% of their grain. Other top rice consumers are:

  • North Korea (35%)
  • India (29%)
  • South Korea (28%)

Libya and Russia are the top two countries that consume the most wheat. Mexico consumes the most corn.

While you might not be venturing out of the country any time soon, it is quite interesting to see what the world eats and just how much they eat. This information gives you a little extra insight to international cuisine and can be helpful to know whether you’re adding to your own cookbook at home or looking at what’s on the menu at your next foreign vacation spot.

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Rachel Palepale

Author Bio

Rachel Palepale has been part of the First Capital Gym team since November 2021. She has been coaching since August 2021. She has a B.A. in Professional Writing.