French fries may seem the least of all evils when perusing a bar food menu. For starters, fries are nutritionally unrecognizable from a spud, says Jonathan Bonnet, MD, a family medicine resident physician at Duke University. Many of those come from a drive-thru. Sugar and trans fat may even make appearances in small quantities. Things escalate quickly from there. 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? 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. 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. One way to cut down on the toxin is to cook fries for less time. He does have a French fry preference, however: thick-cut over thin-cut, which yields a lower fry-to-oil ratio.
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Fries are always doomed to be on the “naughty” list. Typically paired with a fatty cheeseburger or fried fish, fries are easily put in the category of being unhealthy for you. But did you know that fries can be a great source of nutrients? When it comes to what happens to your body when you eat fries, it all has to do with the way that those fries have been prepared. We did a deep dive into french fries, looking at the risks and the benefits of eating fries on the regular, and how your favorite salty snack can actually help you with your weight loss efforts. No, we really aren’t kidding about this one. If you’re snagging a bag of fries that have been heavily fried in oil, they are likely dripping in saturated fats. Taking in too much saturated fat can raise your “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and can potentially lead to heart disease and stroke. Fries can easily increase that amount in one sitting, so make sure to portion them out carefully. Did you know French fries can actually be good for you?