French fries can be a guilty pleasure, but are frozen fries any better for you? On this episode of The Perfect Bite, host Andrea Jenna is joined by registered dietitian Zannat Reza of Citrus to find out which store-bought french fries are the healthiest and tastiest options.
“Potatoes in general can be healthier, because they’ve got vitamin C and they’ve got potassium,” Zannat explains. “With fries, they get their bad rep because they tend to be high in fat and high in salt.”
So which frozen option is best? Andrea and Zannat put the fries to the test
No Name Straight Cut
Both Andrea and Zannat are unimpressed by the bland flavour of this straight cut fry.
“It almost has a bit of a cardboardy feel,” Andrea comments. “It’s lacking flavour.”
365 Everyday Value Organic Crinkle Cut (Zannat’s favourite, healthiest option)
“This tastes like a potato,” Zannat says after biting into her first fry.
“It’s not salted or anything,” Andrea notices.
But Zannat says that even with unsalted fries, you can risk a high sodium intake.
“You are dipping your fries in ketchup, that’s pretty salty.”
This crinkle cut option won the nutritionist over, and she named it her favourite of the bunch.
“To me, it tasted the most like a real potato,” she explains.
Not a big surprise that the nutritionist’s favourite is also the healthiest choice.
“It has the shortest ingredient list,” she explains. “And when you look at the sodium it’s actually the lowest sodium.”
Cavendish Farms Flavourcrisp Spicy Straight Cut (Andrea’s favourite, least healthy option)
While Andrea comments that the pre-seasoned fries already look tasty, these fries don’t quite live up to expectations.
“They’re not bad,” Zannat says. “You can’t really taste the potato.”
“They’re probably not the best for you,” laughs Andrea, but this fry option was still her pick, because it had the most amount of seasoning and taste.
And Andrea was right – turns out, this option may be tasty, but it’s the least healthy of the bunch.
“It actually had the highest amount of fat in it per serving, and the highest amount of sodium,” Zannat says. “The sodium definitely comes from all the seasoning.”
McCain Superfries Homestyle Red Skin Straight Cut
“Even though they look like a potato, I’m not tasting the potato here,” Zannat immediately notices.
Andrea agrees. “Except for the potato skin, which I’m definitely chewing on, I’m not tasting anything more to this.”
Alexia Sweet Potato Fries with Sea Salt
The only sweet potato option goes over fairly well taste-wise with our testers.
“I like them,” Andrea says. “They taste like any sweet potato french fry I’ve ever had.”
Andrea was surprised this option didn’t rank as the healthiest choice, because sweet potato fries are often billed as a more health-conscious item.
“For this frozen brand, it has the highest amount of salt and fat,” Zannat says. “And if you look at what serving size they listed on their package, it’s only 12 fries. But seriously, who’s going to eat just 12 fries?”
But if you’re making fries from scratch at home, Zannat says that sweet potatoes are the healthiest option.
“They’re higher in fibre and they’re higher in vitamins,” she explains.
Which frozen fries do you swear by? Or do you prefer to make your own at home? Let us know in the comments below and your opinion could be included in an upcoming blog.