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.
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.
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.
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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