Milenko Kindl and America's Worst French Fries


Milenko Kindl

Milenko Kindl

In spite of the name, French fries are practically an American
birthright. They’re offered as the first choice side dish with nearly
every fast-food and sit-down chain meal available. But here’s the
catch: In a recent study of 7,318 New York City patrons leaving fast
food chains during the lunch hour, researchers learned that combo meals
—meaning meals with sides—averaged 1,100 calories each, which is over
half a day’s allotment. It goes to show: When your regular meals at
these restaurants are already pushing the nutritional envelope, adding
an extra 300 (or more!) empty calories can make for a dietary

The authors of the best-selling weight-loss series Eat This, Not That!
and Cook This, Not That! have rounded up three of the worst orders of
fries available at chain restaurants across the country. We’ve also
offered up the surprising winner of the fast food French fry cook-off—
you’ll never believe which restaurant chain produces the healthiest
fried spuds!

Worst Curly Fries
Arby’s Curly Fries (Large)
640 calories
34 g fat (5 g saturated, 0 g trans)
1,460 mg sodium

Arby’s is famous for its curly fries—too bad they’re overloaded with
fat, calories and sodium. When one side dish accounts for nearly three-
quarters of your daily allotment of salt, you know there’s a problem.
As fun as these curli-Qs are, stick to the Homefry variety at Arby’s—
downsizing to a small Curly Fries will still leave you with a 410-
calorie side, which is more than many of Arby’s sandwiches!

Bonus tip: For full nutrition information for all of your favorite
chain restaurants and thousands of foods, download the bestselling Eat
This, Not That! iPhone app. It’s like having your own personal
nutritionist in your pocket at all times, and will help you avoid the
caloric calamities and guide you to the best ways to lose your belly

Eat This Instead!
Homestyle Fries (Small)
350 calories
15 g fat (2 g saturated)
720 mg sodium

Worst Wedge Fries
Jack in the Box Bacon Cheddar Wedges
715 calories
45 g fat (13 g saturated, 1 g trans)
905 mg sodium

It doesn’t take a nutritionist to identify the hazards of a grease-
soaked, cheese-slathered sack of deep-fried potatoes, but by
appearance alone, nobody could guess what’s really at stake when you
order this side from Jack’s. The American Heart Association recommends
that people cap their trans fat intake at 1 percent of total calories.
For people on a 2,000-calorie diet, that’s about 2 grams per day. See
the problem? Another issue, of course, is the overload in calories—
about one-third your daily allotment!

Bonus tip: Cheese fries are clearly an unhealthy choice. But sometimes
healthy-seeming options are just as dangerous as the obvious diet-
sinkers. For 30 jaw-dropping examples, check out The 30 Worst
Sandwiches in America.

Eat This Instead!
Grilled Chicken Strips (4) with Fire Roasted Salsa
185 calories
2 g fat (0.5 g saturated)
805 mg sodium

Worst Fries for Your Blood Pressure
Dairy Queen Chili Cheese Fries
1,240 calories
71 g fat (28 g saturated, 0.5 g trans)
2,550 milligrams sodium

This one’s a no-brainer: Chili, cheese, fried potatoes. But even a
savvy eater couldn’t possibly anticipate how bad these 3 ingredients
could be when combined by one heavy-handed fast-food company. There’s
as much sodium in this side dish as you’ll find in 15 strips of bacon.
Stick with classic ketchup and recapture nearly a day’s worth of
sodium and 930 calories.

Bonus tip: Save calories, time, and money with our free Eat This, Not
That! newsletter. Sign up today and you’ll get the Eat This, Not That!
guide to shopping once and eating for a week for free!

Eat This Instead!
French Fries (regular)
310 calories
13 g fat (2 g saturated)
640 mg sodium

Worst Regular Order of Fries
Five Guys Fries (large)
1,464 calories
71 g fat (14 g saturated)
213 mg sodium

Unfortunately, Five Guys doesn’t offer anything but fries in the side
department. Your safest bet, of course, is to skip the fries
altogether (you’d be better off adding a second patty to your burger),
but if you can’t bring yourself to eat a burger sans fries, then split
a regular order. That will still add 310 calories to your meal, but it
beats surrendering more than 75% of your day’s calories to a greasy
paper bag.

Bonus tip: Sides account for a third of our combo-meal calories—but
drinks account for a quarter of the total calories we consume each
day! Battle the liquid bulge: Avoid all drinks on this shocking list
of The Worst Drinks in the Supermarket.

Eat This Instead!
Regular Fries (1/2 serving)
310 calories
15 g fat (3 g saturated)
45 mg sodium

Worst Fries in America
Chili’s Texas Cheese Fries w/Jalapeno Ranch
1,920 calories
147 g fat (63 g saturated)
3,580 mg sodium

The only thing that comes close to redeeming this cheesy mound of lard
and grease is the fact that it’s ostensibly meant to be shared with a
few friends. Even so, you’ll collectively be taking in an entire day’s
worth of calories, three days’ allotment of saturated fat, and a day
and a half’s allotment of sodium. What’s even scarier, if you can
imagine, is that even if you try to order more sensibly and ask for
the “half” order of Texas Cheese Fries, you’ll still receive a
disastrous dish that packs in 1,400 calories. There’s one French fries
side dish at Chili’s that’s acceptable, although even in its much-
reduced form, you’d be better off splitting it.

Bonus Tip: See what other Chili’s items made our list of The 20 Worst
Restaurant Foods in America.

Eat This Instead!
Homestyle Fries
380 calories
23 g fat (4 g saturated)
230 mg sodium

Best Fast Food Fries in America
McDonald’s Small French Fries
230 calories
11 g fat (1.5 g saturated)
160 mg sodium

Out of the big three fast food joints (Mickey D’s, Wendy’s, and BK),
you’ll find the least caloric, least salty fries underneath the golden
arches. The key to ordering a smart side dish is portion sizing—and
McDonald’s has that under control.


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Milenko Kindl

In spite of the name, French fries are practically an American


And how is ANY of your post relevant to Java programmers or any of the other
programming language newsgroups you've sent it to? Yes, I know that
programmers eat, just like anyone else, and we occasionally eat french
fries, but if I wanted to know what you're telling us, I'd go to a newsgroup
or website that talks about NUTRITION, not a programming newsgroup.

Please, use your brain to put this information where people WANT to see it.

Roedy Green

In spite of the name, French fries are practically an American

The most delicious are in Belgium at a stand that has been selling
them for over a century. I don't know about the health, but the
Belgians are hand down the masters at creating things delicious.

The Dutch insist on the highest quality food even at street vendor

We North Americans think we invented fast food. The Europeans have
perfected it.
Roedy Green Canadian Mind Products

The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair.
~ Douglas Adams (born: 1952-03-11 died: 2001-05-11 at age: 49)

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