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Unhealthy Fries French fries are pretty bad news. First off, deep-frying packs on calories like nothing else, because potato will absorb extra oil when immersed in it. An equal serving of fries can yield more than three times the caloric load of a baked potato, says Petrina Lim, nutritionist and course manager of the diploma in baking and culinary science at Temasek Polytechnic. One 170g serving of fries has 570 calories, compared to 158 in a baked potato.
Dangers Of Deep Frying
Deep-frying poses more problems, though: Acrylamide – a potential cancer- causing chemical – is formed when carbohydrate-rich or starchy foods are heated to temperatures above 120 deg C, says Lim. “Studies have shown that high doses of acrylamide causes cancer in rats, but its impact on our health is still inconclusive,” she adds. However, a study in the Journal of Food Science discovered that curly fries actually contained lower levels of acrylamide – 163 per cent less, in fact – compared to straight-cut fries. Credit this to the fact that due to the way it’s cut, curly fries take a shorter time to be cooked and achieve the same colour and flavour of regular fries. In fact, curly fries contain 22 per cent less oil and 26 per cent less salt, the study found. Still, it’s wise to limit our consumption of deep-fried foods, advises Lim.
Go Salt Free
Truth be told, we, too, know that french fries are just hard to resist. But to make them better, ask for no salt, says Lim. “One large serving of fries contains about 330mg of sodium. In Singapore, the daily recommended intake is not more than 2,000mg,” she says. A single serving of fries nets you almost ⅙ of your sodium quota for the day.