Fast-Food French Fries: Which Are Healthiest?
The 'Recipe Doctor' rates the best and worst fast-food fries.
The Worst French Fries
Highest in Calories:
- Carl's Jr. Natural Cut small fries (116 g): 540 calories
- In & Out regular fries (125 g): 400 calories
Highest in Fat:
- Carl's Jr. Natural Cut small fries (116 g) = 25 grams total fat
- Arby's small curly fries (106 g) = 20 grams total fat
Highest Percentage of Calories From Fat:
- Arby's Curly Fries, small (106 g): 53%
- Chick-fil-A Waffle Potato fries (85 g): 51%
Highest in "Bad Fat" (saturated and trans fats)
- Jack in the Box Natural Cut fries, small (124 g): 9 grams (4 grams
saturated fat and 5 grams trans)
- Long John Silvers basket combo portion (113 g): 7 grams (3.5 grams
saturated fat and 3.5 grams trans)
Lowest in Fiber:
- In & Out fries (125 g): 2 grams fiber (tied with No. 2)
- Sonic Drive-In regular (75 g): 2 grams fiber
Highest in Sodium:
- Carl's Jr. Natural Cut fries (116 g): 1360 mg sodium
- Arby's curly fries, small (106 g): 791 mg sodium
The Fast-Food French Fries Health Loser
And the award for worst fast-food french fry, healthwise, goes to ... Carl's
Jr. Natural Cut French Fries which are highest in calories and grams of fat.
Sharing the award is Jack in the Box Natural Cut fries, which are shockingly
high in "bad fats" (4 grams saturated fat and 5 grams trans fat).
A Healthier French Fries Recipe
If you really want healthier French fries, your best bet is to make them
yourself. Here is a lower-fat, lower-calorie french fries recipe that could
give fast-food fries a run for the money.
Parsley-Parmesan Oven French Fries
4 medium (or 3 large) unpeeled russet potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch thick
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil (canola oil can be substituted)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a nonstick jellyroll pan with canola oil
- In large zip-top plastic bag, combine potatoes with olive oil and salt;
seal bag and toss to coat potatoes well.
- Arrange potatoes in single layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 45-50
minutes or until golden brown, turning after 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine Parmesan cheese and parsley. When fries
are light brown, sprinkle the Parmesan cheese mixture over the top and bake
about 5 minutes more. Remove pan from oven; let cool for 2 minutes before
Yield: 4 servings
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members:
Journal as: 3/4 cup starchy foods with 1 tsp fat
Nutritional Information: Per serving: 287 calories, 9 g protein, 50 g
carbohydrates, 6.1 g fat, 1.8 g saturated fat, 6 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 406 mg
sodium. Calories from fat: 19%.
Recipes provided by Elaine Magee.
Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, is the "Recipe Doctor" for WebMD and the
author of numerous books on nutrition and health. Her opinions and conclusions
are her own.