We american love potatoes, and also we especially love fries. In fact, the United states uses around a third of its potato to do French fries, according to the Alliance for Potato research study & education (yeah, that’s a thing).

You can discover fries on most restaurant menus, regularly with enticing adjectives like “house-made” or “garlicky” or “crinkle-cut.” and even as quick food restaurants sell healthier fare (like fresh apples or garden salads), you won’t hear civilization call for McDonald’s come ditch their well known fries any type of time soon.

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But even though they could seem supervisor indulgent, French fries, like many other foods, can fit right into a healthy and balanced diet. Here’s the skinny.

How plenty of Calories room in French Fries?

Let’s start with the many standard fries of all: McDonald’s. A tiny order the McDonald’s “World renowned Fries” has about 230 calories. Around 100 that those calories come indigenous fat, i m sorry is the inevitable result of deep frying.

But larger portions add up quickly, and restaurants have actually a fondness because that piling fries on the plate. A side of “classic fries” in ~ Applebee’s clocks in in ~ 430 calories. In a 2,000-calorie diet, those fries would certainly make up about 22 percent of your day’s calories—a pretty large chunk for a side dish. (By contrast, Applebee’s garlic mashed potato dish consists of just 250 calories.)

Other fried food varieties can also impact the calorie count. Because that example, a little order the curly fries native Arby’s consists of 410 calories. The extra calories deserve to be partially described by the coating of flour and also spices, i beg your pardon creates the thin, orange-hued breading.

Ordering a small size (or a “kid” size, if that available) will help save calories, however places choose Applebee’s or your favorite regional gastropub generally only give you one dimension to pick from: a heaping mountain of fries.

What about the calorie in Homemade Fries?

For residence cooks, you have actually an opportunity to scrape hundreds of calories—no exaggeration—off your fry order. That’s because you can skip the frying process and bake your fries, which reduces the quantity of oil top top the potato. Also drizzling the potato strips in a little of oil prior to baking will an outcome in a less fatty fry 보다 one it is deep-fried.

How girlfriend prep your fries can make a big difference. Below are a couple different scenarios:

Cutting one russet potato yourself, tossing it in a tablespoon of olive oil, and baking creates 2 servings the fries, which same 115 calories total. Baking a offer of frozen pre-fried French fries from the store will contain about 166 calories.

What"s a healthy French fried food Serving Size?

If you’re splitting with a group, don’t collection the fried food platter in the center of the table and also eat directly from it: You’ll likely eat an ext than girlfriend realize. Instead, placed one portion of fries on your plate and pass the fry dish to the center.

“A reasonable serving size would certainly literally fit in your hand,” claims Jennifer Fitzgibbon, MS, RDN, CSO, CDN, a registered oncology dietitian in ~ Stony Brook Cancer Center. Or put another way, a part of fries would be the size of fifty percent a baseball.

If you a number person, take about 10 to 12 fries because that yourself, says Toby Amidor, MS, RD, wall Street journal best-selling author of the upcoming Smart meal Prep because that Beginners.

If these parts sound tiny to you, you’re not crazy: The part sizes in ~ restaurants room pretty big—and not just when friend “supersize” it. Stick come ordering a size small, and also share whenever possible.

What around the Fat contents in French Fries?

Anything that dips into a deep fryer is going come contain a hefty sheep of fat—usually saturation fat. (Thankfully, most establishments no much longer use trans fat in your frying.) saturation fat have the right to raise your LDL cholesterol, which consequently may boost your threat of heart an illness and stroke, according to the American heart Association (AHA).

For a healthy heart, the AHA recommends obtaining no much more than 5 come 6 percent the your daily calories from saturation fat. Because that a 2,000-calorie diet, that way just 11 to 13 grams of saturation fat.

Here’s how numerous grams of saturation fat these fry orders contain:

1 gram in one serving of homemade, baked fries (made with half a russet potato and also a fifty percent tablespoon that olive oil)1.5 grams in a tiny order of McDonald’s fries 3 grams in a small order the Arby’s curly fries 3 grams in a offer of store-bought French fries 3.5 grams in a side order of Applebee’s classic fries

As you deserve to see, fries won’t undo her saturated fat intake for the day. However, think of your fries in the paper definition of the complete meal. Often, fries are offered alongside meaty burgers, steak, and chicken wings, which contain saturated fat together well. For example, the standard burger from Applebee’s has 16 grams of saturation fat, so her meal would certainly exceed 19 grams when an unified with the fries.

How much Sodium Is in French Fries?

Perhaps the main concern with your French fries is actually the sodium. A high-sodium diet is one of the best influences ~ above blood pressure, and also it have the right to increase your danger of heart condition and heart failure. (Here room other impacts of a high-salt diet.) The AHA argues sticking to 1,500 milligrams of salt a day—or at the most, 2,300 milligrams.

Here’s just how much sodium is in few of America’s favorite fries.

480 milligrams in a tiny order of burger King fries531 milligrams in a “little” bespeak of five Guys fries940 milligrams in a little order of Arby’s curly fries970 milligrams in a side order the Applebee’s standard fries

Even a tiny order the fries can make up a third—or even a half—or your recommended day-to-day sodium intake. If girlfriend opt because that a huge size, your salt count will be in trouble. A huge order of those famed Arby’s curly fries includes 1,480 milligrams the sodium. #Yikes.

How countless Calories space in French fry Condiments?

Few civilization eat their French fries naked (regarding the fries, anyway). Most fry dips are pretty harmless, yet they can add up.

Ketchup—arguably a fry’s best friend—contains around 15 calories and 160 milligrams of sodium per tablespoon. If you’re the kind of human that demands multiple pumps of ketchup because that your fry order, that salt can conveniently hit 400 milligrams, matching the quantity in the fries themselves.

Another popular dip for your fry is mayo. Although reduced in sodium, mayonnaise is significantly higher in calories and fat. One tablespoon the mayo includes 100 calories and also 11 grams the fat. If you dipped a tiny order of fries from White Castle right into two tablespoons that mayo, you’d finish up with 530 calories and also 43 grams the fat—and that’s simply for your side order.

So as soon as it pertains to dipping, continue with caution. Shot to stick come a single tablespoon to save calories, sodium, and saturated fat come a reasonable level.

Can French Fries right in a healthy and balanced Diet?

Remember, French fries aren’t every bad. Similar to potatoes themselves, you can get some valuable nutrients. Russet potatoes are one of the height food resources of potassium, and they’re also a an excellent source of fiber and even protein.

As with any type of food, balance and section control space key. “It’s important that if girlfriend really want a French fried food that you execute eat it, in moderation the course,” states Amidor.

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If you looking to add fries to your meal, think about what else is on her plate—not just for the meal but also the entire day.

The healthiest option is constantly to do it yourself, of course. Then you have actually the choice to bake them, which should save you calories as long as you don’t go overboard top top oil.

Try jazzing up her home-baked fries: Amidor likes including Cajun seasoning and Sriracha to his fries, “which add to a delicious, spicy twist to baked fries.” girlfriend can also make sweet potato fries because that a fun variation.

But sometimes, you just want the actual thing. “If you space eating French fries, then enhance them with a non-starchy vegetable favor broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, or string beans,” states Amidor. Right here are much more examples that non-starchy vegetables to include to your plate.

Treat her fries as the key starch the the meal and also go basic on additional carbs. “Drink many water with lemon and say no to bread during the meal,” claims Fitzgibbon.

Although French fries tend to acquire demonized top top the reg, they’re fine in moderation—just like any kind of treat food.

Try come stick to baked fries at residence to store cravings in ~ bay, yet every now and also then, walk ahead and also get her Fryday on.