Calories 101: French Fries
Chester J. Zelasko, Ph.D. | May 12, 2008

We are potatoholics. Baked. Mashed. Scalloped. Au gratin. Potato chips. We love them all, but we especially love French fries. Hot and crisp, with salt and vinegar or ketchup. They’re a staple with burgers. In the arena foods contest, many people ranked them near the top on the list, but they came in fourth out of six at 360 calories for the order.

While 360 calories seems low for an order of fries, they were thick-cut fries and probably one-half inch square or bigger. That means more potato and less surface area for fat to be absorbed. Now consider the typical fast-food fries. They’re probably one-quarter-inch square--so you get four fries out of the same amount of potato and eight more surfaces for fat to adhere.

Even though we’re just adding fat to a great food, once in a while they taste good to most people. Keep the French fry thickness in mind when you order them--with the skin, even better. Better yet, make your own by spraying them with canola oil and baking them. Remember--no food is off limits is you control the amount.
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