Yeah. Your fries have stuff in them.

French Fries CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0)
Potatoes are amazing. Even better, fries are easily one of the best snacks ever to have been invented. As a potato lover, I do not discriminate against any shape, size, or colour when it comes to potatoes. Although, ever since watching a video explaining the nineteen ingredients found in McDonalds’ french fries, it has been a love-hate relationship with fries. After all, it doesn’t hurt to indulge in the greasy goodness every once in a while… right? Here’s to the good, the bad and the ugly.

The Good

After all, nothing can be entirely bad, right? French fries are made up of potatoes. According to research done by PostivieMed, potatoes are a rich source of fiber, which helps to pass waste through the digestive system. Dietary fiber also improves your cardiovascular health, helping prevent high cholesterol that increases your risk of heart disease. Cholesterol is a fat-like substance in the body needed in order for the body to function— to build cell walls and produce some hormones, for instance.

The Bad and the Ugly

A medium order of fries has 365 calories along with 17 grams of fat, a full 26% of your daily value. Sodium clocks in at 246 mg, or 10% of the upper limit you should eat in a day.

Effects of acrylamide

Experts, according to TIME, also warned about the carcinogen acrylamide, a chemical that forms in some foods when they’re cooked at high temperatures by frying, roasting or baking. Acrylamide is a chemical that can form in some foods during high-temperature cooking processes, such as frying, roasting, and baking. Acrylamide forms from sugars and an amino acid that are naturally present in food; it does not come from food packaging or the environment. Moreover, studies have found that acrylamide exposure potentially increases the risk for several types of cancer. Vincenzo Fogliano, a chair of food quality and design group at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, states “When the product is overdone—beyond the ‘golden yellow’—the amount of acrylamide in French fries increase exponentially.”

What on earth are you eating? 

Out of the many many ingredients, here are five of the most toxic ingredients.
  1. Dextrose is a natural form of sugar that helps give the fries their perfect golden colour. Consuming too much can lead to an increased risk of weight gain, heart disease, diabetes and acne.
  2. Sodium acid pyrophosphate is added to keep the potatoes from turning grey after freezing and before they are cooked at the restaurant.
  3. Citric acid is added to preserve the freshness of the oil.
  4. Dimethylpolysiloxane is also added to reduce foaming and oil splattering.
  5. TBHQ (tert-Butylhydroquinone) is an antioxidant that acts as a preservative, allowing the oil to remain fresh from the supplier all the way to the restaurant.
For those of us with a French fry fetish, it’s tough news to hear. Next time you pull up by the drive-thru at McDonald’s, rethink your actions and consider all of the detrimental ingredients you are consuming!

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