What is it about French fries that have us hooked? Without a doubt, French fries are delicious. However, that magical deliciousness comes at a steep cost- pound for pound (or serving) French fries are taking a chunk out of our health unmatched by other foods.
But Why? Here’s a quick overview:
- French Fries Are Made Of White Potatoes – Well, the thing is white potatoes are notorious anti-nutrients. What that means, in a nutshell, is that they prevent absorption of nutrients from beneficial foods into your blood, thus reducing the nourishment you get from a meal
- They Are Carbs And Fat– fat has been cast into an unfairly negative spotlight over the years, but it is largely due to the taint campaign undertaken by carbohydrates, especially simple carbs. In the human body, fats are not “easily” stored, except when there is an abundance of carbs in the blood at the same time, resulting in an insulin spike. Insulin, doing his job, shuttles as much nutrients as it can into cells, either fat, liver or muscle cells. The result? Enhanced storage of fat, much more than would occur in the absence of insulin.
- They Are Loaded With Preservatives– nothing lasts that long (in a freezer or otherwise) without the use of preservatives. Preservatives do play a role in our agricultural system, but the kind of French fries we typically consume are bulk variety- fast food chain kind. Those made from fresh potatoes are a little better, though still not acceptable enough for justification.
There are literally tons more reasons why French fries should not be consumed by people with an interest in their health. However, part of changing includes finding alternatives to take its place.
Consider these healthy alternatives and be hooked!
Very Low Carb Options
Parmesan Coated Zucchini Fries
If you’ve ever had Poutine, then you’ll love these! These are prepared in a much healthier fashion than French fries, as opposed to deep frying you coat in a layer of egg batter and parmesan, pop in the oven for about 20 minutes, the n sprinkle with a little salt and black pepper upon coming out. The taste of these will blow your mind unlike any other, and can quickly end your withdrawal from French fries
While not exactly French Fry-esque, they do fit the bill for an excellent alternative to the unhealthy morsel, which acts as a sort of side dish or appetizer to your main meal and also makes a great snack and potato chips alternative.
Crispy Green Beans
These are prepared the same as the Kale chips, but using green beans instead. Bake until crispy and you have a very low carb French fry alternative.
Cut kale leaves in small “chip” size pieces, toss in a bowl with a little bit of olive oil, add spices, salt and pepper, then bake for a few minutes until crispy. Indulge, and enjoy without the guilt!
Loaded with anti-oxidants and vitamins, carrot fries make perfect snacks for movie night. To prepare, slice carrot into thin strips, sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper, then bake for about 25 minutes.
Not So Low Carb Options
The first time I had these it blew my mind. Different from the traditional “hard” crunchy nature of fries, these are made by compacting avocado meat into coated (with panko breadcrumbs and eggs) batters, then frying in oil until crispy.
A taste bud teasing combo that is crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Not to mention that it is loaded with healthy fat!
Sweet Potato Fries
We saved this one for last, just for those of you that actually tried something else but still didn’t quite hit the spot. Enter the sweet potato fries! These are prepared identically to classic French fries, except two things
- You can bake them instead of deep frying, since they keep their structure much better than white potatoes (and makes them much healthier)
- They are more nutritious than white potatoes, which suck and block nutrients from other foods. These are becoming popular in food establishment, which are trying to keep up with the demands for heathier alternatives.
These alternatives are enough to keep you satisfied for months (hopefully longer) and finally break your addiction to the sinful French fry.
Most of the options are also low-carb, perfect for when trying to lose weight. They are virtually preservative free, as you will buy the raw foods and make them yourself, opposed to buying mass-produced bulk fries in a bag.
Your health will thank you for it, with many years added to your life!