- 6 Secrets to Healthier French Fries
- The Cookful
- French Fries – Deep Fried vs. Oven Baked
- Should I Eat French Fries?
- Thank you!
- Ingredients to make baked french fries:
- How to cut french fries:
- How to make baked french fries:
- Are potatoes healthy?
- What can you eat these healthy baked french fries with?
- Other healthy potato recipes:
- Healthy Baked French Fries
- Is There Such a Thing as a Healthy French Fry?
- Downsize, Don’t Supersize
- Ask About Oils
- Order Thick Cuts
- Savor That Spud
- Bake or Roast Your Own
- Try a Potato Alternative
- Go Grilled
- More from HuffPost Healthy Living:
- 5 Ways to Make Healthier French Fries: No, Seriously
- Healthy French Fries: Do They Exist?
- Similar articles
- How to make super crispy homemade French fries
- Homemade no-fry French Fries
6 Secrets to Healthier French Fries
Whether you call them French fries, chips, or frites, deep-fried potatoes are a universal guilty pleasure and supremely satisfying. But indulging in an order from your favorite fast-food joint isn’t the healthiest choice: A medium fry will set you back between 300 and 400 calories and upwards of 500 milligrams of sodium. However, French fry fanatics can take heart because turning the fried favorite into a healthy side dish is easier than you might think. Go healthy and homemade with these easy techniques to make delicious French fries you can enjoy guilt-free.
Bake, Don’t Fry
Traditional fries are cooked in a vat of vegetable oil, which means you’re getting a lot of extra fat and calories in your favorite side dish. And while baking your fries undoubtedly cuts back, it’s still easy to go overboard with oil, which contains 120 calories per tablespoon. Choose heart-healthy olive oil and measure out two tablespoons before pouring onto potatoes and tossing lightly in a bowl. To cut back even further, fill a spray bottle with olive oil and give your fries a light mist instead. Simply spread potatoes out on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes or until they get nice and crispy.
By taking frying out of the equation, you’re slashing calories and fat right off the bat — but by eliminating oil all together, you’re slimming down those fries even more. Follow the same directions as above, but swap out the oil for a few tablespoons of seasoned, whisked egg whites or vegetable broth. Remember to turn the potatoes once or twice so they’re nice and brown on all sides.
Skip the Salt
Anyone who has dug into salty fast-food French fries has probably felt the uncomfortable bloat that follows. While you can control sodium content better at home, salt is far from your only option when it comes to flavoring your fries. Instead, choose flavorful spices that pack a punch without adding extra sodium like fresh garlic, cumin, paprika, thyme, and rosemary. Even sweeter spices like cinnamon and nutmeg work well, especially when using sweet potatoes.
Sweet potatoes are higher in fiber and vitamin A and lower in calories than your classic potato — and they make slightly sweet fries that are absolutely delicious. Give this simple recipe for Sweet Potato Fries a try — they’re a sweet swap you might make for good!
Return to Your Roots
Potatoes aren’t the only ingredient that makes a delicious fry. Parsnips, rutabagas, turnips, and carrots are all delicious in fry form and surprisingly similar in texture to the classic French fry for a fraction of the calories and a bigger nutritional boost. Give the swap a try with this recipe for Parsnip Fries.
Ketchup is the go-to companion for a serving of fries, but tasty as it may be, the condiment can be a sneaky source of calories and sugar. Opt for a homemade version to keep sugar under control; you can even get creative with flavors like in this Olive Ketchup recipe. Or try mixing ketchup with Greek yogurt for a delicious dipping sauce that cuts down on sugar while providing an extra protein boost.
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French Fries – Deep Fried vs. Oven Baked
We’re comparing deep-fried French fries and oven-baked so you can easily decide which ones to make.
Which French fries are better – Deep-fried French fries or Oven-baked? I’ve given you recipes and directions for both types. To make both types of French fries the basic steps are the same. The only difference is how they are cooked.
However, there are a few other factors you need to ask yourself when it comes to Deep-fried French Fries and Oven-baked French Fries. One is time. Another is how healthy you want the fries to be. Then the last thing you have to consider is texture – do you like the softer texture or a crunchy texture French fry?
No matter what method you choose to prepare your French fries, it takes 2 hours to soak them. So, when it comes to time, you have to decide how fast you want them. The deep-fried method gives you French fries within minutes of cooking them, whereas the oven-baked take about 45 minutes before you can enjoy them. So you need to ask yourself how fast you want to eat homemade fries.
The next thing to consider with homemade fries is the health factor. Oven-baked French Fries are healthier. Why? You use less oil to make them. Deep-fried French fries are submerged in the oil so they soak up more of the oil and are greasier than the oven-baked type.
Most nutritionists will recommend the oven-baked option because they do not use as much oil as the deep-fried kind. Here is where the third option I briefly mentioned in the deep-fried French fry recipe comes into play. An air fryer will give you similar results to traditional deep-fried French fries, only it uses way less oil.
The texture of deep-fried and oven-baked French fries are quite different. Oven-baked French fries tend to be softer and can be lighter in color as well. Deep-fried French fries turn out much crisper and have more of a golden color.
Another thing to consider is flavoring. You can go crazy baking flavors like garlic and Cajun seasoning into the oven-baked fries. This is a little harder with deep-fried French fries, but you can sort of do that too. The downfall with deep-fried French fries is that you have to quickly sprinkle the seasonings on after they come out of the oil or the seasonings won’t stick to the fries.
Either method is great. It all comes down to what you want to make and eat. If you are in the mood for amusement and fast food-style fries then deep-fried is the way to go. If you want bistro-style, healthier fries then oven bake them. Either way, your family will love you for making homemade French fries.
last updated on October 1, 2019
Everyone has a love affair with food. That is the motto and inspiration of the blog Seduction in the Kitchen Deanna writes. Not afraid to try something different with food, her goal is to seduce you with food.Trust me you will be seduced by some of her recipes she creates and will want to make them over and over again.
Should I Eat French Fries?
7/9 experts say no.
French fries may seem the least of all evils when perusing a bar food menu. Potatoes are a health food, and what’s a French fry but a potato heated with a little oil? A record number of experts weighed in on this one—we didn’t want to take no for an answer—but regretfully, 7 out of the total 9 give French fries a big thumbs down.
For starters, fries are nutritionally unrecognizable from a spud, says Jonathan Bonnet, MD, a family medicine resident physician at Duke University. “They involve frying, salting, and removing one of the healthiest parts of the potato: the skin, where many of the nutrients and fiber are found,” he says. “The fry you eat is much different than the potato from which it came”—a scary thought, considering that by 15-18 months of age, French fries are the number-one vegetable consumed by toddlers.
Many of those come from a drive-thru. A medium order of fries has 365 calories along with 17 grams of fat, a full 26% of your daily value. Sodium clocks in at 246 mg, or 10% of the upper limit you should eat in a day. Sugar and trans fat may even make appearances in small quantities. “Here we have an extremely starchy vegetable dipped in a fryer that then loads on the unhealthy fat, and what you have left is a food that has no nutritional redeeming value in it at all,” says Kristin Kirkpatrick, RD, manager of wellness nutrition services at Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute.
What’s more, French fries are often the super-fatty side dish to a burger—and both are often used as vehicles for things like sugar-laced ketchup and fatty mayo, says David Katz, MD, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center. Things escalate quickly from there. “Let’s face it: it is very hard to stop eating these things,” says Katz. Foods high in fat and refined carbohydrates are likely to be addictive, found one study.
On a much stranger note, French fries may mess with your…eyes? Chung-Jung Chiu, PhD, a scientist at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University between popular Western-diet foods—including French fries—and age-related macular degeneration. “When people are older, they become even more vulnerable to these dietary insults,” he says.
All of which makes a compelling case for fries as a selective treat, says Alice Lichtenstein, director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at Tufts University.
Nearly half of the experts we talked to warned about the carcinogen acrylamide, a chemical that forms in some foods when they’re cooked at high temperatures by frying, roasting or baking. To make acrylamide, a food needs sugars, an amino acid called asparagine and hot temperatures—all of which are involved in the making of the fry. Along with potato chips, it’s the most often-cited source of dietary acrylamide.
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It’s not yet definitive what acrylamide means for human health, but the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) just released its scientific two cents, saying that acrylamide “potentially increases the risk of developing cancer for consumers in all age groups.” The Joint Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives has named acrylamide a human health concern in the past and called for more studies. “At very low concentrations, it will accumulate during the years of childhood and adolescence and will contribute to serious diseases, including cancer,” says Allal Ouhtit, professor at Sultan Qaboos University in Oman and author of a recent review on acrylamide. You should limit your intake of French fries, says Eric Morrissette, spokesperson for Health Canada, but eating them occasionally isn’t likely to be a health concern.
One way to cut down on the toxin is to cook fries for less time. “When the product is overdone—beyond the ‘golden yellow’—the amount of acrylamide in French fries increase exponentially,” says Vincenzo Fogliano, chair of food quality and design group at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. People who eat a diet high in acrylamide may have a slightly increased risk of cancer, he says, but if fries are prepped in good oil that hasn’t been reheated, cooked for not-too-long and naked of mayo and ketchup, they’re a-ok. “French fries per se are not that bad as people think,” he says.
So agrees Steve Elmore, PhD, senior research fellow in the department of food & nutritional sciences at the University of Reading in the UK. “They are delicious, natural and like most foods, harmless in moderation,” Elmore says. He’s researched acrylamide since 2002, but doesn’t think there’s enough evidence to prove that it causes cancer in humans. He does have a French fry preference, however: thick-cut over thin-cut, which yields a lower fry-to-oil ratio.
For those of us with a French fry fetish, it’s tough news to hear. But on the plus side, any food this bad for you must taste oh-so-good—a fact you’ll savor when you sparingly treat yourself to a small order of fries.
Illustration by Lon Tweeten for TIME
Read next: Should I Eat Corn?
Write to Mandy Oaklander at [email protected]
A Healthy Baked French Fries recipe that is paleo, Whole30 and gluten free! Made with only four ingredients, they’re easy to make and taste delicious!
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Is there anything better than biting into a perfectly crispy, slightly salty, warm french fry? Honestly, I don’t think so!
These Healthy Baked French Fries are seriously delicious and have the perfect amount of crunch!
These baked french fries go well with just about anything, and are far better for you than fries that are deep fried. Regardless of what you serve them with, these Healthy Baked French Fries are going to be a hit!
Fries get a pretty bad reputation because of fast food. A lot of people think that they have to be unhealthy, when in reality – potatoes aren’t the enemy!
When you bake potatoes with heart healthy oils, and go light on the salt… they actually aren’t as bad for you as many people think.
Ingredients to make baked french fries:
In order to make baked french fries you’ll need potatoes
- silpat baking liners or parchment paper
- baking sheets
- olive oil
- sea salt
How to cut french fries:
You don’t need a fancy fry cutter to cut french fries. To cut potatoes into fries, slice potatoes into thin slabs (see step 2).
Slice slabs into 1/2 inch thick sticks.
You now have perfect french fry shapes!
Once you have your potatoes cut – you’re good to go!
How to make baked french fries:
To make baked french fries, simply toss potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper. Lay sliced potatoes on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place in the oven + bake!
Are potatoes healthy?
Yes! Potatoes actually are high in fiber, and have a good about of nutrients in them including B6, potassium, and phosphorous! (More info about it here)
And did I mention that they just taste really good? Try to convince me that you wouldn’t want to eat an entire plate of these. LOOK at how crispy they are!
And that’s how it’s done! Super simple, delicious fries that are perfect as a side with pretty much anything. They’re crispy, just the right amount of salty, and so yummy!
What can you eat these healthy baked french fries with?
- Pretty much anything.. I’m serious.
- Healthy Chicken Tenders
- Sweet Potato Turkey Jalapeno Sliders
- Whole30 Cashew Coconut Chicken Tenders
I do have to warn you though.. once you start eating these, you will become addicted. You start off by just trying one, and then you want another, and another.. and one more.. you get the picture.
Other healthy potato recipes:
- Crispy Dijon Roasted Potatoes
- Crispy Rosemary Smashed Potatoes
- Crispy Garlic Thyme Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Crispy Sheet Pan Roasted Potatoes
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Healthy Baked French Fries
This Healthy Baked French Fries recipe is paleo, Whole30 and gluten free. Made with only four ingredients, they’re easy to make and taste delicious! Course Side Dish Cuisine American Keyword healthy baked french fries, whole30 french fries Prep Time 2 minutes Cook Time 45 minutes Total Time 47 minutes Servings 8 people Calories 181kcal WW Freestyle Points 5 Author The Clean Eating Couple
- 3 lbs russet potatoes cut into french fry shapes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. While oven is heating, cut potatoes into fry shapes, approximately 1/4 inch thick.
- Add cut potatoes, olive oil, salt + pepper to a ziploc bag or large mixing bowl. Shake to cover all of the potatoes evenly with oil + seasoning
- Place potatoes on a greased cookie sheet or silpat baking liner.
- Bake at 450 for 25 minutes, flip + bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until all fries are golden brown.
- Depending on oven, you can broil the fries for an extra minute at the end to make them extra crispy
WW Freestyle Note: Save 1SP per serving by using olive oil spray
Nutrition Facts Healthy Baked French Fries Amount Per Serving (6 oz) Calories 181 Calories from Fat 45 % Daily Value* Fat 5g8% Sodium 444mg19% Potassium 714mg20% Carbohydrates 30g10% Fiber 2g8% Sugar 1g1% Protein 3g6% Vitamin C 9.7mg12% Calcium 24mg2% Iron 1.5mg8% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Looking for help with eating healthy?Check out our 4 Weeks of Clean Eating Guide! Tried this recipe?Share it! Make sure to tag @thecleaneatingcouple or use #thecleaneatingcouple!
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Is There Such a Thing as a Healthy French Fry?
As much as we love a perfectly-salted, golden-brown fry every now and then, it’s still a little troubling that a country where 35.7 percent of adults are obese would devote a day (even in jest) to celebrating one of the most egregious nutrition offenders.
Twenty years ago, a serving of French fries clocked in around 210 calories. Today, the average size will set you back almost triple that, according to the New York City Department of Health. In fact, French fries (and other potato products) seem to contribute directly to weight gain over time, according to a 2011 Harvard study. The researchers found that eating more potato products (chips, in particular) led to a gain of over one pound a year, while sugary beverages led to less than a pound gained.
Calories aside, French fries are also often high in sodium and fat, thanks to all the oil used in frying, including trans fats.
But nobody likes a spoil sport. That’s why, even here at Healthy Living, we’re celebrating National French Fry Day — with a healthy twist of course.
Downsize, Don’t Supersize
We’re firm believers of the “everything in moderation” principle, but it’s all too easy to stretch the limits of what counts as moderation. There’s a big difference between having a few fries at your favorite diner, pub or fast-food joint and ordering the largest size on the menu. Take McDonald’s for example. A medium-sized order will set you back 380 calories and 19 grams of fat. But switch to a kids’ order and you’ll save big: This smaller size has only 100 calories and five grams of fat.
When it comes to fried foods, the less you eat, the better, says Gayl Canfield, Ph. D., R.D., nutrition director at the Pritikin Longevity Center. You’ll eat less if you split the order with someone else. “Order it, and share it, along with other, healthier foods,” she recommends.
Ask About Oils
A number of chain restaurants, like Five Guys, advertise the fact that they use peanut oil in their cooking, which results in at least a slightly healthier batch of fries. Peanut oil is great for frying because of its high smoke point and neutral taste, according to Serious Eats, but it also has less saturated fat than lard, beef fat or duck fat, says Canfield, all of which are used on French fries. Plus, peanut oil also boasts heart-healthy poly- and monounsaturated fats. If your favorite restaurant doesn’t openly disclose what kind of oil they use, ask your server.
Order Thick Cuts
Shoestring, curly, waffle, wedges — there is a style of French fry for just about everyone, but is there a healthiest cut? The thicker the better, Canfield says. A smaller fry packs less potato and more unhealthy fried surface area, she says.
Savor That Spud
Eating your fries slowly may help you eat just a few, Prevention.com recommends. Not gobbling up your food is a healthy idea in general, as it allows time for the brain to register when you’re feeling fullbefore you have time to wolf down more calories. Savoring each bite may help you take fewer bites all together.
Bake or Roast Your Own
If you’re going to be “celebrating” in the comfort of your own kitchen, you have a few more options to get healthy — and creative. Baking or roasting potatoes drastically cuts back on the amount of oil absorbed into the spud, says Canfield. Cut them into thick wedges, sprinkle on your favorite herbs (she loves dill!) and pop them in the oven until they’re golden-brown.
Try a Potato Alternative
Potatoes get a bad rap, but they actually made our list of 50 of the healthiest foods thanks to their mix of complex carbs, vitamins and fiber.
You’ve probably already tried sweet potato fries, which may have a healthy leg up on the white stuff, thanks to beta carotene, but “it’s what we do to them that makes them unhealthy,” says Canfield. An order of deep-friend sweets, that means, might not actually be a whole lot better than the regular kind.
That said, there are a number of other superfoods that make for healthier sides — and are even better baked or roasted. There is a seemingly endless number of recipes for healthy French fry alternatives made with everything from zucchini to parsnip to kohlrabi. “I’ve seen squash fries, green beans, but it’s all the same concept,” says Canfield. “You could oven roast them and have a much better outcome calorically and nutrition-wise.”
“Another thing you can do especially with vegetables is put them on the grill,” says Canfield. “Make big wedges of potato and zucchini and onion and grill in a grill basket and it’s really yummy,” she says. That technique may even give you a little of the crunch you’re looking for.
More from HuffPost Healthy Living:
8 Tips to Make Mexican Takeout Healthier
What to Order at an Italian Restaurant
How to Pick the Healthiest Indian Dishes
I thought it must be a slow news day. The New York Times ran a story about French fries with a conclusion that shocked no one: French fries aren’t a particularly healthy food choice. But is this anything new? And just how bad are they?
Could French fries actually kill you?
Maybe. At least, that’s the implication of the study that triggered the latest news coverage. Researchers found that regular consumers of French fries don’t live as long as those who eat them less often.
Of course, I immediately wondered: is it really the French fries? What else do big-time consumers of French fries do that might affect their longevity? Are they couch potatoes (or should I say couch fries)? Do they drink too much? I’m guessing their other food choices might not be the best. Maybe it’s the Big Macs, cheesecake, and smoking that’s responsible more than the fries? So, let’s take a closer look at the study.
More French fries, more death
In June 2017, researchers publishing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition described a study of 4,400 older adults monitored over an eight-year period that found:
- Higher potato consumption (including fried and non-fried potatoes) was not associated with a higher risk of death.
- Eating French fries more than twice a week was associated with a more than doubled risk of death.
- The findings held up even after accounting for obesity, physical activity, smoking, and alcohol consumption (as reported by study subjects during study enrollment).
The authors had some theories on why French fries might raise the risk of death, including:
- French fries have a lot of fat and salt that could raise the risk of cardiovascular disease. During the years of this study, trans fat (a particularly unhealthy type of fat) had not yet been banned from the US market.
- High consumption of French fries could increase the risk of future high blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity (which are known risk factors for cardiovascular disease and other health problems),
- High consumers of French fries might also be high consumers of other high-fat or high-salt foods, sweetened beverages, and red meat. So, as suspected, this study does not prove that the higher rates of death among higher consumers of French fries were actually due to the fries.
But are French Fries really a “death food”?
This brings us to the real question raised by this new research: must you swear off French fries forever? I say no. Here’s why:
- The higher risk of death was noted among those who ate French fries more than twice a week. Eating them once a week or less would likely have a negligible effect on your health.
- Portion size matters. This study didn’t provide details of how many fries study subjects ate at one sitting, but an “official” serving is just 10 to 15 individual fries (130–150 calories). Most fast food establishments serve three to four times that amount! Stick with one serving, or share a restaurant serving with a couple of meal mates.
- Homemade “baked fries” using minimal olive or canola oil aren’t French fries, but they’re close… and much healthier.
The coverage of this new research (“A weapon of dietary destruction!”) made it sound as though having fries with your meal is a death sentence. But let’s not overstate the “danger” of French fries. And let’s also face this irrefutable fact: they’re too good to give up.
But, if we think of them as an occasional indulgence and understand what a single portion of French fries looks like, there’s no reason to eliminate them from your diet. And they go great with a salad.
Follow me on Twitter @RobShmerling
5 Ways to Make Healthier French Fries: No, Seriously
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE French fries. Everyone has their vices, and French fries are my kryptonite. And with a side of mayo? Don’t even get me started… I can eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. (Really!)
Sadly, they’ve always had a bad rap – famous for clinging onto your waist and never letting go. Presenting: healthy fries.
No, that is not an oxymoron. Potatoes are actually quite healthy – an open secret that most of us overlook. If prepared the right way, French fries can actually make for a very satisfying, guilt-free snack. They may not be exactly taste like the deep fried, salty, fatty ones that come straight out of a restaurant-grade fryer basket, but these 5 ways to make guilt-free French fries will blow your mind (and taste good too.)
1. Bake, Don’t Fry
Traditionally, fries are cooked in vegetable oil which results in extra fat and calories. And while you’re undoubtedly cutting back while baking fries, it’s still easy to go overboard. Measure about 2 tablespoons of olive oil before pouring or spraying onto potatoes.Total Time: 30-40 minutes
2 tablespoons olive oil (for spraying)
Salt to taste
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Cut the potatoes, as evenly as you possibly can.
3. Place in a pot with enough water to immerse the fries completely.
4. Bring the water to a boil and turn off after two minutes.
5. Immediately drain the potatoes and soak out any moisture, using a kitchen towel.
6. Lightly spray an oven-safe baking dish with oil. Then place the potatoes on the dish in a single layer. Note: Do not to overlap them.
7. Lightly spray on another coat of oil. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Flip over, once halfway through the baking. Start checking your fries about 10 minute in, so they don’t burn.
8. Season the fries lightly, and voila!
2. Grill ‘em!
Another way to make yummy French fries minus the guilt, it to grill them. Prepare just like you would in order to bake fries in the oven, and then fire up the grill. Keep turning to prevent the fries from sticking.
3. Opt for Sweet Potato Instead
Skip your standard white potato, and make a healthier version by going with sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are a complex carb that will not turn into sugar directly; any extra glucose will be stored as fat. Be sure to keep those nutrient-rich skins on the sweet potatoes, and then you can slice them however you want. You can bake them in the oven, rather than cooking in a frying pan. Coat the fries with a tablespoon of olive oil, then toss them in your favourite seasoning and spread out on a baking sheet.
4. Skip the Salt
Salt is far from your only option when it comes to flavouring French fries. Opt for flavourful spices that pack a punch without adding extra sodium. Think: fresh garlic, cumin, chili powder, paprika, thyme, and rosemary. Even sweeter spices like cinnamon and nutmeg work well, especially if you’re using sweet potatoes.
5. Zucchini Fries
The next time your burger calls for a side, try these easy, oven-baked, breaded zucchini strips. It’s a healthy alternative and ideal for that crunch that you crave.
CommentsIt’s true, you can now enjoy your fries minus the guilt and extra fat!
Healthy French Fries: Do They Exist?
Chris Kissell July 6, 2018 Food & Nutrition Email Print Twitter Pinterest Facebook
This post was most recently updated on July 9th, 2018
Gastronomically speaking, few things are more precious to the U.S. palate than french fries.
Yes, the fast-food, restaurant and bar staple may have “french” in the name, but fries are as American as apple pie. (In fact, the “french” in fries refers to the style of cut, not the country.)
By at least one estimate, the average U.S. citizen eats about 29 pounds of french fries each year.
Unfortunately, those fries – from the iconic McDonald’s variety to those you whip up in your own deep fryer — don’t love you as much as you love them.
In fact, eating too many french fries can do serious damage to both your waistline and your long-term overall health, says Nancy Farrell, a registered dietitian nutritionist and founder of Farrell Dietitian Services in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Many dangers of eating french fries are well-known. “Of course, the fat content is of concern,” Farrell says.
Because french fries typically are deep-fried, they are loaded with trans fats and saturated fats. Not only does consuming such fats lead to weight gain, but it also raises your risk of heart disease, stroke and type-2 diabetes. In other words, fries aren’t exactly part of a heart-healthy diet. (Not even close.)
Nutritionists and other health experts also lament that french fries have a high sodium content. Consuming too much sodium causes you to retain water and can contribute to high blood pressure and heart issues, which is why the American Heart Association recommends you reduce sodium in your diet.
Acrylamide is the enemy
One of the biggest dangers of french fries is something a little more hidden: the presence of acrylamide.
“Acrylamide is a carcinogen that is produced during the high-heat frying or baking of potatoes,” Farrell says.
The link between acrylamide and cancer has been found in studies with lab rats. The American Cancer Society says it remains unknown if this risk extends to humans.
However, the National Toxicology Program says acrylamide can be “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” In addition, the Food and Drug Administration is concerned enough that in 2013, it issued guidelines for reducing the amount of acrylamide in the diet.
How to enjoy french fries safely
If you love french fries, you don’t have to banish them from your plate. As with so many things, moderation is the key.
For example, baking fries at home allows you to make them somewhat more healthful. Farrell recommends the following preparation method:
• Slice your own store-bought potatoes
• Place the slices in a reclosable bag
• Add heart-healthy olive oil and seasonings
• Close bag and shake
• Arrange the slices on a shallow baking sheet and roast in the oven at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes
Other tips for making fries more healthful at home include substituting whisked egg whites for oil (especially helpful for those on an oil-free diet), and skipping salt altogether when consuming the fries.
Worried that baked fries might taste too bland? Make sweet potato fries, which will be more flavorful in their natural element than standard fries — or try something entirely new by baking up parsnip fries, zucchini fries, avocado fries or carrot fries.
If you plan to eat fries in a restaurant, it can be more difficult to make the meal healthful, Farrell says.
“Quantity consumed is of great importance,” she says. “My tip (is to) always share a small serving of fries.”
Of course, skipping fries altogether remains the best way to protect your health when eating in a restaurant.
The American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends asking your server if you can substitute another dish for french fries – for example, a small salad with dressing on the side.
Other good alternatives to fries include steamed vegetables and fresh fruit. Or, you could ask for a baked potato instead of having that potato turned into fries.
Chris Kissell has been a writer and editor for more than two decades. His work has appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines, and on many news websites, ranging from Bankrate.com to Fox Business. He lives in Denver, Colorado.
Tags French friesfries
Chris Kissell has been a writer and editor for more than two decades. His work has appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines, and on many news websites, ranging from Bankrate.com to Fox Business. He lives in Denver, Colorado.
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November 1, 2016
Our best Homemade French fries recipe for crispy fries, every time!
We all love them. Admit it. Hot, crispy, yet fluffy potato french fries. It’s ok if you don’t want to admit it aloud. Just like you don’t want to admit that you have danced to Gangnam Style and busted a move. But we all know its true. The thing we don’t love is feeding our kids greasy, fried, unhealthy french fries with very little nutrition left in them.
Potatoes are quite nutritious and the often get a bad rap – but look at all of the healthy benefits potatoes offer:
Potatoes are a good source of:
- Potassium: Potassium is a mineral that is part of every body cell. It helps regulate fluids and mineral balance in and out of cells and in doing so, helps maintain normal blood pressure.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant stabilizing free radicals, thus helping prevent cellular damage. It aids in collagen production; assists with iron absorption; and helps heal wounds and keep your gums healthy. Vitamin C may help support the body’s immune system.
- Fiber: Dietary fiber is a complex carbohydrate and is the part of the plant material that cannot be digested and absorbed in the bloodstream. Soluble fiber may help with weight loss as it makes you feel full longer, and research has shown it also may help lower blood cholesterol.
How to make super crispy homemade French fries
Begin with some nice Russet potatoes. You can use any potato, but the russet potatoes are great because they have the perfect level of moisture.
Peel the potatoes with a potato peeler. This is one area that the kids can get involved. Learning to use a potato peeler is a basic cooking skill that is easy for little hands to master. After the potatoes are peeled, cut them in half lengthwise. If they are very large, you can cut them in half again to create sticks that are half as long.
Slice the long way and cut into even thin pieces. The more evenly thick you can cut them, the more even they will bake.
Put them in a bowl of ice water and let them soak for about 20 minutes. This helps remove starch and make them more crispy. You don’t have to soak them, you can just give them a good rinse if you don’t have time.
Rinse well and then thoroughly pat them dry with paper towel. Make sure you get as much water off as you can.
Next put them in a ziploc bag with 1-2 tsp of oil and shake to coat. Line a baking sheet with foil, and place a cooling rack on top of it. Lay the potatoes on the cooling rack so that they are not touching. Sprinkle with salt.
Bake at 450 degrees F for 30 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
Serve with ketchup and enjoy! These were SO good and the best part is that it just potatoes! We don’t make these often, but they are definitely a fun treat that my kids love to eat when we do. And I feel great letting them eat them!
MORE RECIPES FOR HOMEMADE FRENCH FRIES
Homemade no-fry French Fries
Pin Course: Side Dish Cuisine: American Keyword: Homemade no-fry French Fries Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 1 hour Servings: 4 Calories: 188kcal
- 4 medium russet potato
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Peel the potatoes and cut in half and then half again.
- Cut into even thin pieces. The more evenly thick you can cut them, the more even they will bake.
- Put them in a bowl of ice water and let them soak for about 20 minutes. This helps remove starch and make them more crispy. You don’t have to soak them, you can just give them a good rinse if you don’t have time.
- Rinse well and then thoroughly pat them dry with paper towel. Make sure you get as much water off as you can.
- Next put them in a ziploc bag with 1-2 tsp of oil and shake to coat.
- Line a baking sheet with foil, and place a cooling rack on top of it. Lay the potatoes on the cooling rack so that they are not touching. Sprinkle with salt.
- Bake at 450 degrees F for 30 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SuperHealthyKids or tag #SuperHealthyKids!
Calories: 188kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 85mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g
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