French fries are thin strips of potato that are deep fried. This is known as chips in United Kingdom.
A thicker cut British style of fried potato was popular in the Commonwealth countries; the thin style of French fries has become popular all over the world mainly due to fast food chains such as McDonald’s and Burger King. It was J. R. Simplot Company of Idaho who introduced frozen French fries in 1950.
French fries contain large amount of fat mostly saturated from the process of frying. The high temperatures used for frying are harmful to the health of the consumers. It is reported that nearly quarter of vegetables consumed in United States are prepared similar to French fries and this has given rise to the obese population. French fries fried in beef tallow add saturated fat to the preparation. Replacing beef tallow by other oils doe not make much of a difference any way.
Americans are known to consume on an average 30 pounds of French fries annually. The most popular condiment used is ketchup. Ketchup sales are driven by consumption of French fries.
A small order of McDonald’s French fries is 68 grams by weight. This is known to consist of 51 percent carbohydrates, 43 percent fat and 6 percent protein. The distribution when mentioned in the form of weight is carbohydrates 26.4 grams, fat 10 grams and protein 3.1 grams. The total calories available in the small serving are 209. Carbohydrates contribute 107 calories while fat and protein contribute 89.6 and 12.4 calories each.
Let us compare the above nutritional data with a baked potato small with 138 gram by weight. This consists of 92 percent carbohydrates, 1 percent fat and 7 percent protein. In terms of weight it works out 29.2 grams of carbohydrates, 0.2 gram of fat and 3.5 gram of protein.
The difference is obvious if we examine how the frying has changed the nutritional characteristics of the potato. Any day the baked potato scores over French fries if one is looking for a low fat diet.
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