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Just How Healthy Are Burger King's New Low-Cal 'Satisfries'?

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
10/4/2013 6:00 AM   :  48 comments   :  23,882 Views

A few weeks ago, Burger King started heavily promoting its latest menu offering called Satisfries, which are formulated to have 40% less fat than the leading fast food French fry (from McDonald's). We decided to try the fries, than take a close look at the ingredients and nutrition facts to discover whether these fries are as healthy as they seem.

The Taste
These fries taste great! One of our testers gave them five stars and said they were as good as any fry she'd ever tasted (and fries are her weakness). Other testers were more measured in their praise, but all said the Satisfry would easily satisfy any French fry craving. "If you like thick-cut fries you’ll probably like these," one tester said. "They were less greasy, too, which I really liked!"

To make them stand out from the regular BK fries, Satisfries are thick and crinkle cut. So if you like a fry with a crispy exterior and a thick, potatoey inside, you'll enjoy these.

The Nutrition
Like all fast food fries, Satisfries are coated with a thin batter, which helps them stay crispy longer. The Satisfry batter is designed to help it absorb less fat from the frying process than regular French fries; that's how you can get all the French fry goodness for less fat, even though they are still fried in oil. And there's nothing particularly scary in the ingredients list:

Potatoes, vegetable oil (contains one or more of the following oils: canola, soybean, cottonseed, sunflower, corn), tapioca starch-modified, contains 2% or less of corn starch-modified, paprika extract (color), rice flour, salt, sodium acid pyrophosphate (to maintain natural color), turmeric extract (color), xantham gum.

While a small container of Satisfries does have less fat than regular fries from both McDonald's and Burger King fries (see chart below), it still packs in 11 fat grams per serving, not to mention 300 mg of sodium (and that's assuming the fry guy wasn't giving that salt shaker an extra shake). For the truly shocking comparison, stack up the Satisfries to an equal amount of baked potato suggests Becky Hand, Registered Dietitian with SparkPeople. "A plain spud has only 118 calories, 0 grams of fat and a mere 6 milligrams of sodium. There is no doubt about it, even these 'light' fries are still fat-soaked and covered in a mound of salt."

So if you're watching sodium or calories, these "light" fries still aren't a choice you're going to want to make every day. Remember, when people hear that foods are "low-fat" or "low-calorie" they tend to also assume that's the same as "healthy." While Satisfries are a little healthier than the regular fast food fries, there's no reason you can't enjoy Satisfries (or any other French fry you like) from time to time. All things in moderation, after all.


French Fries Calories Carbs Protein Fat Sodium
Burger King Satisfries (small/127 g) 270 41 g 4 g 11 g 300 mg
Burger King Regular Fries (small/128 g) 340 49 g 4 g 15 g 480 mg
McDonald's Fries (medium/117 g) 380 48 g 4 g 19 g 270 mg
 
 
If you want to have fries more often, try this homemade baked version. You can use white or sweet potatoes (or even a mix of both). Cut the potatoes into uniform strips, spray with cooking spray or brush with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and bake in the oven at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. You can cut the fat down to a few grams and get all the fiber and vitamins from the fresh potatoes!
 
Are you a French fry fan? Have you (or will you) try the new Satisfries? 


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Comments

  • HIKER-BABE
    48
    so hey, I didn't expect them to be 'heathy' but they are less 'bad'...and you can't compare them to a baked potato Spark ...the point is, if you want an occasional 'treat' & if you enjoy fries, they're are a better choice & they taste great. But certainly don't have a free for all thinking they're a bargain. I like them & may indulge once in-awhile. - 1/11/2014   6:05:11 PM
  • 47
    Me and my fiancé has had them and we like them alot. We were a tad skeptical on how they are less calories but I think they are definitely the "healthier" option. Less calories and less grams of fat is always good. - 10/22/2013   2:26:29 PM
  • 46
    My husband had them and he said (watch out Mc Donalds)! - 10/14/2013   8:27:05 PM
  • DELLMEL
    45
    I tried them and they taste really great. - 10/12/2013   7:26:57 PM
  • 44
    Thanks for pointing out the broken link! It's fixed now : ) - 10/9/2013   7:55:05 AM
  • 43
    They should be baked—never fried. Talk about trans-fats!
    Frying creates trans-fats! Frying hydrogenates vegetable oils.
    Worst of all, these vegetables are nightshades. (I've got a bit of an inflammation problem, so I have to avoid such vegetabes and fruits).
    I will pass on these ... - 10/8/2013   1:17:37 PM
  • 42
    I have a hard time believing that anything from BK can be healthy. I think I'll continue to pass. Also, 270 cal is only 70 cal less than the 340 of the full fat version. It doesn't seem worth the trouble. - 10/6/2013   9:18:42 PM
  • 41
    Interesting article though I rarely have fries and then only a very small amount. - 10/6/2013   6:20:21 PM
  • 40
    I guess if you have to have fast food fries this is a better choice, I think that the Ore Ida Crinkle Cut fries baked are fantastic and they have 120 calories, 4.5 grams fat, and 290 mg sodium. This is for a 3 ounce serving or 12 fries. - 10/6/2013   8:58:21 AM
  • 39
    Ive made sweet potato fries in the oven with olive oil and low sodium soy sauce last 5 minutes sprinkle a little garlic powder over them yum - 10/6/2013   8:02:14 AM
  • MAMAZON
    38
    I don't eat fast food a lot, but the next time I stop at Burger King I will definitely try the Satisfries. - 10/5/2013   8:41:33 PM
  • 37
    I will say up front that I am NOT a huge fry fan, but I tried one of my son's the other day. I thought that they were better than the BK fries, which, to me, have a bitter aftertaste. - 10/5/2013   8:06:38 PM
  • 36
    It really irritates me when companies create "healthy" versions of things and then market them using the word 'healthier'. No. They aren't. They're still super unhealthy and they rarely add the caveat to eat infrequently.
    Here in Australia Hungry Jacks (America's Burger King) don't try to pretend that they're healthy. People KNOW that their food is fat and salt laden and as a result they're only an occasional food. But McDonalds, Subway, and KFC all try to plug a 'healthier' range and many people are confused into thinking that their healthy range is good for you. It's not! It's just not as bad as the rest of the menu.
    It's good to have better options than your regular fries, but the best option is to make them yourself and avoid the nastiness from fast food joints all together. - 10/5/2013   5:04:39 PM
  • LORA316K
    35
    I prefer backed potatoes to French fries any day. - 10/5/2013   4:53:54 PM
  • 34
    Worst tasting fries I have ever tasted. - 10/5/2013   3:07:30 PM
  • 33
    every one is soooo different aren't they? I vary rarely eat fast food...maybe once or twice a year. I wanted a treat on my birthday so my husband got me a cheese burger and fries. I had no idea they made a switch {until now} and wow I was really disappointed in the burger and the fries....they tasted off I wont go back which is a good thing for me I guess - 10/5/2013   1:43:02 PM
  • MEASPRITE
    32
    Okay, being a lover of french fries forever I did try them... I found them to be yummy.. They are fat fries, crinkle cut... fantastic for potatoe flavor. That was the very first time I tried them. I loved them so much I went back for another order... well.. being fast food and I'm so grateful the second time was nasty. I'm thankful I won't be revisiting.... haha! - 10/5/2013   12:26:20 PM
  • 31
    I'm diabetic. My cholesterol levels are fine, and I try to eat healthy, so occasional high fat or calorie intake does not worry me. The carbs are the big thing, and the article did not even mention them. Luckily the nutrition info is posted. These fries have a few less carbs than their regular counterparts, but not enough of a difference to let me indulge. - 10/5/2013   12:11:51 PM
  • 30
    No. I don't do fast food, and just started a trial low-carb protocol. "Less fat" still doesn't add up to "healthy". - 10/5/2013   11:58:13 AM
  • CYNDISM
    29
    Burger King's small size is 127 g where McDonald's medium is 117g. You get more in Burger King's small then you do in McDonald's medium. - 10/5/2013   6:22:19 AM
  • 28
    Is there a reason why the comparison was made between "small" BK varieties and a "medium" McD's? Seems that either the small McD's might actually be healthier by comparison or McD's is skimping on their portion sizes in relation to BK. - 10/5/2013   12:02:16 AM
  • 27
    No, I won't bother trying them. On the rare occasion I want fries, I'll just get the regular.

    In the meantime, I'll slice and bake them in the oven with olive oil or butter and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and paprika... then enjoy guilt-free skin and all! - 10/4/2013   11:35:01 PM
  • 26
    Note to Spark tech: The link titled "try this homemade baked version" near the end of the article leads to:
    www.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.a
    sp?recipe=121

    It should, instead, lead to:
    recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-d
    etail.asp?recipe=121

    Thanks! =) - 10/4/2013   10:52:59 PM
  • 25
    We don't get fast food often but stopped there on our way home one evening. I got those fries and to be honest, I thought they had a funny taste. Plus they were way too thick for me. There is nothing wrong with going to a fast food place once in while. It doesn't make you unhealthy. - 10/4/2013   7:39:51 PM
  • 24
    We don't get fast food often but stopped there on our way home one evening. I got those fries and to be honest, I thought they had a funny taste. Plus they were way too thick for me. There is nothing wrong with going to a fast food place once in while. It doesn't make you unhealthy. - 10/4/2013   7:39:50 PM
  • 23
    Why are you in Burger King in the first place? Not a place healthy people should be going to - 10/4/2013   6:47:57 PM
  • 22
    The link to the healthy fries doesn't work. :( - 10/4/2013   6:00:28 PM
  • 21
    I was glad to read that the author wasn't promoting them as "healthy" and pointed out that all things light are not healthy - thank-you. - 10/4/2013   5:48:20 PM
  • KORNBALL18
    20
    I am not a fry fan so these aren't tempting in the least. I always ask for the apples instead, as I prefer them and they're much better for me. Still, at least they appears to be trying to offer something healthier than their traditional fries and every little lost calorie or gram of fat helps, right? - 10/4/2013   3:21:36 PM
  • NUTRI2015
    19
    i've not tried them nor do i want to. if i were unable to use moderation and have fries once every month or two, these would be worse. when people see "healthy" they think they can eat more. i don't believe the batter-frying is any better than the twice-fried system other restaurants use. - 10/4/2013   2:53:45 PM
  • KAYWAY87
    18
    My mother says they are delicious. I haven't tried them yet, but when I do get fries (which is rare) I usually always minus the salt on them, it's ridiculous how much salt they much on them! They taste SO much better without salt AND you always get them fresh. :0) - 10/4/2013   1:52:45 PM
  • 17
    Although I live 5 hours from NYC, they have a sort of fast food restaurant called better burger... All their french fries are hand made and baked so their so much healthier I'd drive 5 hours just to eat them!!! - 10/4/2013   1:25:43 PM
  • 16
    The carb count is ridiculous! Anyone with Diabetes 2 should stay away from fast food!! - 10/4/2013   12:03:54 PM
  • SIA1308
    15
    Proud to say it has been almost 3 consistent months since I went through a drive-thru (or inside) Last year it was Jan 1st till about June with no fast food. Only reason I had to break down and eat it was because we were moving 2k miles and driving the whole way. Kinda hard to have a proper meal with a limited budget while crossing several states. But 100% back on track now, I think about it and it turns my stomach. We make all of our sins at home so we know A- It is real meat B- No preservatives/ harmful chemicals and we can control the sodium and fat levels and still make it sooooooo tastey. So being that I grew up eating drive thru dinners I can honestly say I do not miss it one bit, and my clothes don't either! ;) - 10/4/2013   11:44:31 AM
  • 14
    I tried them and they are really delicious...crispy,tastes like fries, not chemicals...won't eat every day but they are very good! - 10/4/2013   10:50:36 AM
  • 13
    Mmmmm...GMOs. If these fries had zero fat and tasted like heaven, I STILL wouldn't call them healthy, nor would I be tempted to eat them. - 10/4/2013   10:20:17 AM
  • 12
    I'm sure I'll try these fries in the near future.. I love French fries!! :o) I prefer home-made fries most of the time, however, because I can limit the salt and oil and have a healthier version compared to the fast food / bagged frozen fries from the store. - 10/4/2013   10:16:48 AM
  • 11
    I will try these. I prefer a thinner fry, but for less calories, I'll adjust. Ü Hey, every calorie counts. I like BK burgers better too. - 10/4/2013   10:00:46 AM
  • 10
    I am not a huge fan of BK but probably my husband will want to try these, so I will sample one or two of his and see if I like them. Doesn't matter though, I just don't eat this sort of thing very often so it isn't like I am going to go out to intentionally get them! - 10/4/2013   9:57:01 AM
  • 9
    I actually work at the factory that makes them. Compared to the other battered fries that we do, these are alot healthier. That being said, I don't think any of us that go to Burger King go there because of the healthy foods. It is simply a better way of managing our lifestyles. - 10/4/2013   9:45:01 AM
  • 8
    These oils at high heat change chemical composition which is bad for you The only fat that you can use at high heat is lard - 10/4/2013   9:36:56 AM
  • 7
    Even though these fries are "suppose" to be healthy. I still don't see them doing anything different except for a few less calories. They are still a fast food choice, but I can see everyone's view about trying them if they end up at BK - 10/4/2013   9:27:24 AM
  • 6
    I don't often go to BK (don't like their burgers...), but I love french fries, and I would probably try these if I actually ended up there. - 10/4/2013   8:59:32 AM
  • 5
    Oddly enough, I wasn't interested in them until reading this article! LOL
    Good thing I don't even know where BK is near me! - 10/4/2013   8:19:58 AM
  • 4
    They sound like the fries Braums makes and I love those. :-) - 10/4/2013   8:17:10 AM
  • MADGALVIN1
    3
    cant wait to try them - 10/4/2013   6:32:38 AM
  • 2
    I had these the other day. They taste great. I especially like them because I love a crinkle cut fry. If you're going to eat a fast food fry you might a well eat a Satisyfry! - 10/4/2013   6:16:28 AM
  • 1
    I actually tried these in a small size last night despite my not liking BK fries. It wasn't bad. - 10/4/2013   2:07:56 AM

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