I have always thought that Korean food was really nutritious for you and low in calories (for the most part), but according to a story in The Korea Times, most Korean men are getting their main calories from soju (Korean rice wine) and pork while women prefer something lighter like instant noodles and coffee at least during the summer months.

“Apart from boiled rice, the staple diet of Koreans, soju and pork are the major calorie sources for Korean men in their 30s and 40s while ramyen, or instant noodles, and coffee provide Korean women in the same age bracket, with the most calories according to a survey by a state-run health research institute.

The results showed Korean men obtained 2,400 kilocalories on average from their daily diet and took about a third or 33.9 percent of their daily calories from rice which provided them with 814 kilocalories per day.

But interestingly, the second biggest calorie source was from soju providing 138.7 kilocalories or 5.3 percent; about 84.7 kilocalories or 3.5 percent from instant noodles; and 77.2 kilocalories or 3.2 percent from pork. Grilled pork belly itself makes up 2.5 percent or 61.5 kilocalories.

Women in the same age bracket had rice, instant noodles and pork as their main energy source as their counterparts, but they drank a relatively large amount of coffee through which they obtained 38.7 kilocalories per day.”

While it’s probably true that most people’s eating habits change a little during the hot summer months—wanting something a bit lighter, not to mention cheaper when on holiday—it’s surprising how soju, pork, and ramyen comprise most of the daily caloric intake for Koreans in this age bracket.