What food has the highest calorie per unit price that you can buy and eat regularly? The food cannot give you any undesirable health effect due to the sole reason that you eat it regularly (say once daily).


closed as primarily opinion-based by anongoodnurse, mgkrebbs, kmm, AliceD, fileunderwater Jan 3 '17 at 23:56

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ This question is unclear. Calories aren't the same as nutrition; fat is the most calorie dense food. What do you want to know? The most nutritious food for the price? The price where? Or are you trying to gain weight? There are better ways to gain weight than eating cheap calories. $\endgroup$ – anongoodnurse Jan 2 '17 at 1:23
  • $\begingroup$ I'm looking for high calorie food, not the most nutritious, but the bottom line is you can eat it regular without causing any health concern.... $\endgroup$ – y chung Jan 2 '17 at 2:47
  • $\begingroup$ I honestly do not understand why it would be opinion based (I am entirely amused by the absurdity of people calling a close of this question). At best you can say little research would have been able to provide answer to this question (I am not sure) and me, the author himself does not show enough effort on his own to answer. This question can be entirely answered scientifically, given enough data about price and calorie of food, as well as long-term nutritional and health study of food substances. What kind of reason is that to close a question (do you even think???)? What a shame. $\endgroup$ – y chung Jan 7 '17 at 6:26

The first part of the question can be answer by simplifying it a bit. Food can be divided into a few base categories

Carbohydrate (eg rice)

Fatty acids (ie fat, butter and oil)

Aminoacids (meat)

What is the cost of rice? It depends on the quality of rice you are willing to eat. Good quality US rice cost about = $530 Per Metric Ton. Low quality 100% broken rice cost USD 350 per ton http://www.riceauthority.com/prices/

Cost of cheap fatty acid (palm old) = ~$650 per ton. http://www.indexmundi.com/commodities/?commodity=palm-oil

Meat : well it is over $ 1000 USD per ton. http://www.globalmeatnews.com/Industry-Markets/Meat-prices-to-remain-high-as-demand-increases

IN terms of energy per cost... Rice 4 cal per g https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=calories+rice+per+gram

Oil 9 cal per gram https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=calories+oil++per+gram

So in terms of highest calorie per unit price, the winner goes to palm oil.

The second requirement.. is a bit difficult to answer.

Genetics can play a role. Specifically the innuit can have a diet were 50% of their calories is derived from fat, without suffering form cardiovascular problem and starvation from lack of carbohydrate (ie the brain only runs on glucose) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inuit_diet. How this is possible is debated. Idea include, high levels of animal glycogen in their diet where most meat is eaten raw, a miss calculation in anthropological studies on the amount of plant carbohydrate in Inuit diet, and genetic differences.

Traditional asian diets can have upto 70% of calories derived from carbohydrates. https://hms.harvard.edu/news/lower-diabetes-risk-asian-diet


  • $\begingroup$ Thx for your answer!! $\endgroup$ – y chung Jan 2 '17 at 6:11
  • $\begingroup$ The cheapest source of calories in the world is one that is contributing to global extinction and catastrophic climate change through the destruction of the rainforest (palm oil). These definitely qualify as undesirable health effects. $\endgroup$ – Jonathan Moore May 8 at 13:43

Pick the fatty acid of your choice, any fat or oil has the highest calorie to weight than any other food. Most fats are fairly cheap, there is a reason fried foods are so fattening. As long as you are eating an otherwise healthy diet all the health risks associated with fats are from gaining weight.


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