McDonald’s Fries v. Homemade Fries

School Of Nutrition Posted Aug 26, 2014 Future Fit Training


If your journey back from work frequently involves a stop-over to buy fries from a drive-through, you may want to read this.

McDonald’s Fries v. Homemade Fries

Let’s look at some stats:

 

McDonald’s French Fries*

Homemade French Fries

Serving size

1 medium serving (114g)

1 small potato (114g), skin-on, cut into fries, tossed in 2 tsp (10g) rapeseed oil, pan-fried or baked

Calories

330 kcal

180 kcal

Protein

3 g

2.3 g

Fat

16 g

10 g

Saturated Fat

2 g

0.7 g

Carbohydrates

42 g

21 g

Fibre

4 g

3 g

Sodium

240 mg

7 mg

Ingredients

Potatoes, Vegetable Oil (Sunflower, Rapeseed), Dextrose (only added at beginning of season). Prepared in the restaurants using a non-hydrogenated vegetable oil. Salt is added after cooking.

 

*Source: http://www.mcdonalds.co.uk

Here are some highlights:

  • The homemade version has fewer carbohydrates and calories, and less fat, saturated fat and sodium.  
  • The higher fat content of McDonald’s fries is most likely due to deep fat frying or even some pre-frying done before the fries are shipped to the restaurant.
  • A quick glance at the label shows that dextrose has been added to the McDonald’s fries. Dextrose is a form of glucose derived from starches and it is one of the most commonly used ingredients in processed foods. This additive possibly contributes to the much higher carbohydrate load in the McDonald's fries when compared to the homemade version.
  • What the label does not tell you is that Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is used as a matter of safety to keep the oil from foaming. This also increases the life of the oil. The chemical is a form of silicone also used in cosmetics and Silly Putty. PDMS is non-toxic but will irritate the skin and eyes if inhaled or swallowed in its raw form.

OUR WINNER: Homemade French Fries!

McDonald’s has certainly come a long way since the days when they used hydrogenated oils containing trans-fats to fry their chips. Nevertheless, they are still high in calories, fat and salt. For that reason, I would highly recommend that you skip the drive-through and make your own fries at home. You get more actual potato in the homemade version and no mysterious ingredients. For a lower GI version, which is also high in the anti-oxidant beta-carotene, you can make your French fries with sweet potato.

Written by Victoria Trowse

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