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Public Enemy: America's Most Dangerous French Fries

From The Daily Beast: The official American side dish sometimes masquerades as a heart attack on a plate. From a 2,100-calorie plate at Chili’s to Smokey Bones’ sodium-packed “Fire Stix,” The Daily Beast ranks the 30 unhealthiest French fry offerings.

French fries aren’t the healthiest snack, but it isn’t a stretch to venture that they’re the most popular side item served at restaurant chains in the United States—a thick, juicy cheeseburger isn’t the same without a nice side of hot fries.

While sales of French fries have fallen throughout the decade, Americans still eat roughly 2 billion servings of fries each year. That’s an awful lot of saturated fat and salt. French fries will never be found in the health food aisle, and French fry consumption has been linked to increased rates of Type-2 diabetes in middle-aged women with no history of chronic illness.

Yet while all fries may pose health risks if consumed in excess, not all fries are created equal. To find America’s unhealthiest fries, The Daily Beast measured data on French fry dishes from 36 popular restaurant chains across the four categories available for each eatery: calories, saturated fat, sodium, and carbohydrates. Each plate of fries was ranked within each nutritional category, then the ranking each French fry dish received for each nutritional category was totaled to determine the final ranking. Ties were broken by calorie content, and each eatery was limited to three appearances.

And for those who are curious, we did measure the benchmark of fried potatoes, McDonald’s large fries, and they came in well under the top 30. Here are the top 10...

#1: Chili's: Texas Cheese Fries with Chili and Jalapeno Ranch
Calories: 2070
Saturated Fat (g): 64
Sodium (mg): 5950
Carbohydrates (g): 105

#2: Friendly's: Loaded Waffle Fries
Calories: 1650
Saturated Fat (g): 28
Sodium (mg): 4720
Carbohydrates (g): 123

#3: Old Spaghetti Factory: Garlic Fries Appetizer
Calories: 1410
Saturated Fat (g): 17
Sodium (mg): 2730
Carbohydrates (g): 106

#4: Steak n Shake: Large Chili Cheese Fries
Calories: 1170
Saturated Fat (g): 22
Sodium (mg): 2150
Carbohydrates (g): 117

#5: Nathan's Famous: Super Size French Fries
Calories: 999
Saturated Fat (g): 10
Sodium (mg): 119
Carbohydrates (g): 75

#6: Steak n Shake: Large Bacon Cheese Fries
Calories: 870
Saturated Fat (g): 12
Sodium (mg): 1470
Carbohydrates (g): 94

#7: Smokey Bones: Fire Stix
Calories: 730
Saturated Fat (g): 12
Sodium (mg): 2540
Carbohydrates (g): 72

#8: Denny's: Smothered Cheese Fries
Calories: 840
Saturated Fat (g): 17
Sodium (mg): 1070
Carbohydrates (g): 74

#9: Steak n Shake: Large Cheese Fries
Calories: 810
Saturated Fat (g): 11
Sodium (mg): 1270
Carbohydrates (g): 94

#10: Sonic: Large with Cheese and Chili

Calories: 690
Saturated Fat (g): 13
Sodium (mg): 1290
Carbohydrates (g): 75

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