abc1234/ShutterstockCurly, wedge, crinkle-cut, shoestring or waffle: No matter how you like your fries, chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re a fan of one of America’s most popular restaurant orders. Every year, the average American eats 30 pounds of these delicious, salty potato sticks. Whether you enjoy making your own crispy version from scratch or picking them up at the drive-thru, you, like most of us, are probably no stranger to the classic American french fry. (This is why McDonald’s fries are so addicting. And don’t worry about eating too many, this restaurant’s are worse for you than McDonald’s)
So, who’s mastered the art? Five Guys Burgers and Fries, a fast-food chain located mostly on the East Coast. The chefs are incredibly picky about their potatoes, only selecting spuds that grow in Idaho north of the 42nd Parallel. They’re even more selective about how the fries are prepared, requiring cooks to shake them exactly 15 times before serving. This meticulous process leads to a tasty result—but with a dark secret. That’s right: It’s the unhealthiest fry recipe in America.
One small serving of the fries contains a staggering 526 calories, but most people don’t order a small (especially since upsizing will only cost a couple bucks more). Instead, a large fry order contains a whopping 1,314 calories. That’s more than half the average recommended amount for a pretty active adult man for the entire day. To put it in perspective, that’s as many calories as a Five Guys hamburger patty, bun and milkshake combined. The calorie count is also substantially higher than most other fast food fries. McDonald’s, often touted as one of the nation’s most fattening restaurants, packs a mere 510 calories in their large order of fries—less than half of Five Guys’. That said, a Five Guys large is way larger, weighing in at 568 grams vs. McDonald’s 178. (This is the scary side affect doctors found to your french fry addiction.)
Even if you don’t mind loading up on those extra calories, there are plenty of other numbers that make the Five Guys large fry a little frightening. They have 68 grams of fat, the equivalent of more than six Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and 1,327 milligrams of sodium, making the fries saltier than six restaurant salt packets. As for sugar, the fries aren’t too bad, with only 6 grams. But that doesn’t quite make them healthy.
Regardless, we think Five Guys fries are absolutely incredible—perfectly crispy on the outside but fluffy on the inside. Worth the $5 price tag? Most definitely. Worth the 1,314 calories? Hmm…We’ll let you weigh in on that.