America's most diet-busting french fries revealed (and McDonald's is the healthy option!)
The new Eat This Not That guide reveals that a single portion can vary by as many as 1,200 caloriesIt revealed that McDonald's fries were among the least fattening, however a large portion of Five Guys's fries contains a staggering 1,474 calories
14:53 GMT, 27 September 2012
Snack tactics: Knowing where to order your french fries can make all the difference to your waistline
Whether loaded with chili and cheese, or served simply with lashings of salt, the humble french fry is undoubtedly America's favourite deep-fried treat.
But knowing where to order the popular snack can make all the difference to your waistline, as a new book reveals that servings can vary wildly in terms of fat and calorie content.
Researchers for Eat This, Not That! 2013: The No-Diet Weight Loss Solution found that one portion can differ by as many as 1,200 calories.
McDonald's french fries were
surprisingly among the healthiest on offer at 230 calories and 11g of
fat per small serving, however a plate of Chili's
Texas Cheese Fries with Chili and Ranch is a serious diet-buster at
2,150 calories, with a staggering 144g of fat and 6,080mg sodium.
fries aren't all bad though – if yours aren't complete without a layer
of melted cheese, then head to Steak 'n' Shake instead, where a small Bacon Cheese French Fries comes in at a rather less terrifying 360 calories and 20g fat.
Thicker-cut steak fries are the safest way to play it on a restaurant menu, the Eat This Not That team reveals, as the higher ratio of potato to oil cuts the fat content down significantly.
That does not appear to be the case at TGI Friday's though, as the chain's Parmesan Steak Fries have almost double the fat of its regular fries at 49g and 660 calories.
Serving size: McDonald's french fries (left) were surprisingly among the healthiest on offer at 230 calories and 11g of fat per small serving, while Five Guys' huge portions (right) mean there are 1,474 calories in a large
Instead, choose KFC's potato wedges, at 290 calories and 15g of fat, just 2.5g of which is saturated.
Novelty value: Jack in the Box serves the lowest-calorie curly fries
Men's Health editor-in-chief David Zinczenko, who is
behind the Eat This Not That series, told MailOnline
that the trick to having your fries and eating them is to exercise
'The occasional order of fries isn’t so bad, but most people treat
deep-fried potatoes like a food group,' he said.
'One out of every six restaurant
orders comes with fries, and more than 50per cent of American potatoes
pass through a deep fryer before being sold. When researchers look at
the effect of this, it becomes clear that there’s a direct connection
between french fries and weight gain.'
The new guide also compared sweet potato fries, which many might believe is a healthier alternative.
The exact opposite is the case at the Cheesecake Factory, however, where a portion of sweet potato fries is 400 calories more than its regular fries.
THE EAT THIS NOT THAT GUIDE TO AMERICA'S FRENCH FRIES
FAST FOOD FRIES
McDonald’s is awfully proud of its fries. So proud, in fact, that the
chain bought the rights to be the exclusive fry purveyor at the Olympic
Games in London. And perhaps it should be proud – the spuds taste great
and they have fewer calories than any other fast food chain’s. Five Guys
is also proud of its fries, but that pride manifests itself in
elephantine portions that threaten to tip your table and will most
certainly tip your bathroom scale. Make your choice accordingly.
BEST: McDonald's French Fries (small)
230 calories11g fat (1.5g saturated)160mg sodium
WORST: Five Guys Fries (large)
1,474 calories71g fat (14g saturated)213mg sodium
Let’s be frank: topping fries with cheese, ranch, bacon, gravy, sour
cream, or any similar high-fat accoutrement is the kind of innovation
that turns skinny people chubby. But if you have a hankering you can’t
control, just remember to keep the portion in check. Fortunately Steak 'n Shake gives you that option: Order the chain’s small over the loaded
fries at Chili’s and you’ll eliminate 1,790 calories.
BEST: Steak ‘n Shake Bacon Cheese French Fries (small)
360 calories20g fat (6g saturated)710mg sodium
WORST: Chili's Texas Cheese Fries with Chili and Ranch
2,150 calories144g fat (62g saturated)6,080mg sodium
Wedges tend to be a smarter option: You pack more soft potato inside
each greasy exterior, which ultimately leads to fewer calories for the
same amount of food. But that doesn’t mean you don’t still have to
consider portion size. Opt for KFC’s over TGI’s and you’ll cut the
calories by more than half.
BEST: KFC Potato Wedges
290 calories15g fat (2.5g saturated)810mg sodium
WORST: TGI Friday's Parmesan Steak Fries
660 calories49g fat (10g saturated)630mg sodium
SWEET POTATO FRIES
Think you’re saving yourself calories by opting for sweet potatoes over
standard spuds Think again.
A side of The Cheesecake Factory’s fries
will run you 400 calories more than their regular fries and stick
you with nearly 50 percent more carbohydrates than a can of Pringles.
Switch to Burger King’s fries and you’ll cut more than two-thirds of the
BEST: Burger King Sweet Potato Fries (small)
290 calories16g fat (2.5g saturated)530mg sodium
WORST: Cheesecake Factory Sweet Potato Fries
960 caloriesN/A (3g saturated)1,521mg sodium
Its menu once clotted with trans fats, Jack in the Box has made a
concerted effort in recent years to cut down on dangerous oils. What
remains is a dramatically improved side dish lineup, including your best
option for a novelty fry. Arby’s, on the other hand, seasons every
order with more than half a teaspoon of salt.
BEST: Jack in the Box Seasoned Curly Fries (small)
16g fat (1g saturated)
WORST: Arby’s Curly Fries (large)
35g fat (5g saturated)
Source: Eat This Not That