In a recent New York Times article, the suggestion came as a shock to many of us who love to eat out. Professor Eric Rimm of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health recommends that we eat only 6 French fries as our portion. Which is surprising since recent research shows fast food giants are increasing the portion sizes, not decreasing them. According to Prof. Rimm, we should be focused on how many calories in 5 French fries there are and make this our go-to number of fries we eat.
How many calories in 5 french fries means it should be the recommended portion size
It’s difficult to tell how many fries are in a portion. But a large side of McDonald’s French fries is 510 calories. Which is enormous when you consider that a Big Mac is already 540 calories!
So how many calories in 5 French fries are there? The American Agriculture Department says a typical serving is around 3 ounces, which looks like 12 to 15 individual fries, and is around 140 calories. If we assume each fry is 10 calories each, this means even 5 or 6 French fries can be 60 calories.
Potatoes are nutritionally poor when compared to other veggies that are zero calories and carry a whole bunch of health benefits. Potatoes have a high glycemic index, which means eating more is linked to a higher risk of obesity and cardiovascular diseases. Yet when we remove the skin and deep-fry them, they become universal hunger-magnets. No one can seem to resist them and “just one more” is never enough. Studies show French fries are amongst the top unhealthiest foods people snack on at the office.
If you don’t think you can handle eating Prof. Rimm’s recommended portion size, despite how many calories in 5 French fries there are, then check out our suggestion for healthier French fries alternatives.
1. Homemade baked shoestring fries
You halve the number of calories by baking your own shoestring fries. Instead of using olive or vegetable oil, cook the fries in coconut oil.
2. Homemade wedges
If you miss the texture of normal fries, then you can deep-fry your own wedges. Just ensure you remove excess oil to save on calories.
3. Sweet potato fries
Sweet potato fries are rich with antioxidants that lower the risk of health diseases. And the high fibre content helps you feel fuller for longer so you don’t end up binging on French fries (although we’d totally understand if you did!)