What You’re Really Eating When You Eat McDonald’s French Fries

What You’re Really Eating When You Eat McDonald’s French Fries

How unhealthy can McDonald’s fries be? They’re just potatoes, right? Well, no. Surprisingly to some and unsurprisingly to
many, the fries that come with most of your McDonald’s meals might turn out to be the
most shockingly unhealthy items you’ll order from the fast food chain. Here’s why. We all love french fries, but if you take
a good look at the nutritional stats of McDonald’s fries, you just might be horrified. A medium portion of fries includes 340 calories,
16 grams of fat, and 44 grams of carbs. At first glance, that doesn’t seem too bad
— until you realize it’s only a side dish, and is more than likely to be added to something
else the restaurant produces. As a comparison, a breakfast of scrambled
eggs, bacon, toast and coffee will set you back just about the same amount. If you’re cooking fries at home, you can probably
expect a very small handful of things to go into them — potatoes, oil, and salt. So it should come as quite a shock to find
that McDonald’s fries have 19 ingredients in total. Yes, you’ll find the potatoes, oil and salt
that will go into any fries, but you’re also going to come across a lot of chemicals, fats
and acids. Some of these ingredients are included for
flavor, while some aid the cooking process. Others help preserve the finished product,
but the simple fact of the matter is that many are unnecessary — and most are incredibly
unhealthy. One of the many ingredients that are thrust
into each batch of McDonald’s fries is natural beef flavor. This was introduced once the restaurant put
an end to cooking their fries in actual beef fat. Beef flavoring itself — the exact ingredients
of which aren’t required to be disclosed by the companies who make it — doesn’t technically
qualify as an ingredient, according to the FDA. However, you can be sure that the flavoring
contains a whole host of things, none of which are guaranteed to come from beef at all. “Where’s the beef?” According to McDonald’s themselves, dextrose,
a form of sugar, is added to their fries because the way their potatoes are par-cooked removes
any natural sugars. So the dextrose solution is sprayed onto the
fries before cooking to give them the golden appearance they’re known for. Dextrose sugar is actually commonly used in
baking, and constitutes one of the ingredients of McDonald’s fries which remains uniform
around the world, even in the countries that use far fewer of the questionable ingredients
that are utilized in the USA. TBHQ is a chemical preservative which is used
to extend the storage life of many foods. Unsurprisingly, considering you’ll find it
in most processed foods, it’s one of the many ingredients included in McDonald’s fries. While it may not be outwardly toxic for humans
to consume, the health effects of TBHQ may be significant. It may lead to vision disturbances and other
largely undesirable side effects. Fortunately for fry-lovers, most of the side
effects tend to come with doses much higher than you’ll find in your favorite starchy
side. The FDA strongly regulates the amounts of
TBHQ that can be added to foods, meaning those tasty fries are well within safe limits. Citric acid is probably one of the more unassuming
ingredients in McDonald’s fries, considering you’ve likely come across it in more than
a few types of fruit. Well, it’s not quite citric acid itself that’s
added to fries — rather, it’s a citric-based antioxidant that’s used to boost the shelf-life
of various fried foods. Then you’ve got your hydrolyzed wheat and
milk, the former of which is used in hair products and the latter of which is used in
baby formula. These are used in tandem with the beef flavoring
to give fries their taste, and, unsurprisingly, make McDonald’s fries unsuitable for anyone
intolerant to wheat or dairy. The cooking process for McDonald’s fries goes
something like this. First, the non-GMO potatoes are peeled and
cut into their distinctive stick-like shape. The natural sugars are removed in a process
known as blanching, before being doused in chemicals to get their color. Then they’re partially fried in oil and
the beef flavor and hydrolyzed wheat and milk is added. After this, the fries are frozen and shipped
to the restaurants, where they’re fried in more oils — and this is where the TBHQ is
added, too. After they’re cooked, salt is added and the
fries are served up to the customer. One of the least healthy aspects of these
fries lies in the hydrogenated soybean oil in which they’re fried. This oil facilitates the inclusion of trans
fats into the cooking process. Trans fats, of course, are exactly as bad
as their reputation suggests, and a diet high in trans fats can lead to cholesterol problems,
heart disease, and strokes. “And that is why when you eat fast food
you feel great and 30 minutes later, you feel terrible.” McDonald’s came under scrutiny when it was
revealed that the fatty content of their fries was far greater than previously thought. Today, hydrogenated oils are still used in
the fries, so these trans fats aren’t going anywhere, and as long as they’re included
in the recipe, you can be sure that you’re not doing yourself any favors by eating them. Moderation is key, here. Ordering some fries with your meal isn’t going
to kill you. The chemical ingredients are all FDA approved,
and even the worst things about them — the trans fats — aren’t outright dangerous. Piling on the fries — or any other McDonald’s
food for that matter — in considerable excess is, of course, far more likely to kill you. So, consume with care. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Mashed videos about your favorite
stuff are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
bell so you don’t miss a single one.


  1. Back when McDonalds started they cook the fries in lard, great fries! Now how do the vegetarians feel about beef flavored fries? The best way to cook deep fried foods is in lard, you can cook at a higher temperature, less fat in your food.

  2. Frys maybe the worst but before I quit going there anything I got there made me sick.when you combine that with the worst service of any fast food chain why would anyone eat there.

  3. You know what. I have lost weight relatively easily. I personally think it’s because I don’t eat this crap anymore and haven’t for several years. When I stopped eating it (ate it several times a week), weight dropped. It wasn’t just mcDs I stopped. Because I went very low carb, my appetite changed. I only ever get a small fry. There is no reason to have larger than a small.

  4. I used to think McDonald's fries were the best anywhere but my wife started buying frozen fries and cooking them in oil and I like them just as much. A lot cheaper than McDonalds ($3 for large fries) and sounds like they are healthier even though cooking them in oil.

  5. FACT! This video is a load of bullshit.  I've been on a visit to the whole process (McCains over here) they are just potato and nothing else. Potato in the front door and frozen fries out the back door, nothing spurious added. Click Bait….

  6. Mashed, why do you do videos like this??? Stop the presses, McDonald's food product is unhealthy!!!! Dont eat the shit every day. Once in a while ain't gonna hurt you……..except for your pride.

  7. I think this channel just hates McDonald's they always bash food items from McDonald's. Take all you learned here throw half of it in the trash because it's most likely not all true. Then take the shit u believe and apply it to the other fast food giants as well Wendy's burger king culvers long John silvers etc. Don't forget the frozen fries u buy at jewel. The fast food restaurants all have their foods made in factories the factory gets orders and makes the orders which get shipped to the proper outlet.

  8. Believe or not,but i don't like to eat mcdonalds food as they are unhealthy.i am mcdonalds worker,who works 200 hours each month.some times 230 hours in a month.but do you believe that i preapare and eat my food at home.when we clean mcdonald machinery all the chemicals are staying in the machines and people are eating them🤫

  9. I cannot even eat MCD’s anymore, because all the fake stuff ruins my stomach/gut so easily. Plus I’m lactose and gluten intolerant’s! So I never eat that again, I eat the real stuff at home/homemade.

  10. Partially hydrogenated oils are the ones with trans fat. Fully hydrogenated oils are being used now.

  11. I stopped eating the fries (and later all together everything) when I dropped a fry on the ground and my dog wouldn't even touch it. Eats her poop but wont touch that lol

  12. Their fries if taking away, their fries straightaway turns soggy within 10mins ya! Have to eat straightaway when dining in ya! 🤔

  13. I stopped eating from mc Donalds when I was 27. I got sick after eating their food and I was done. It takes a lot for me to try fast food chains… too many chemicals.

  14. This is why I fucking hate French fries ever since I came out of my mom’s womb. My mouth already knew fries where fucked up on the first bite lol

  15. Why would you put milk in a fries recipie? What are milk intollerent people meant to have then? Apple sticks?

  16. It’s making me hungry for McDonalds fries …… we have to die from something. Awesome
    You don’t want to outlive your money right. if I live 80 and die from fries I don’t care.

  17. I remember morgan spurloks super size me. He put mc donalds fries in a crock jar. They never changed, never & I think he left them in there for months

  18. I hate mcd fries. Many times I will buy the burger and get fries from another restaurant. Those fries are the worst. I never buy mcd fries and strongly recommend you go elsewhere to get fries. Like plastic sticks. Yuck!

  19. Lol I had an allergy attack because of they're fries the first time I ate them because I thought "these will be fine it's not like anybody puts milk in fries, that would just be weird." I was wrong. (Severe dairy allergy)

  20. @Mashed: Canada used different ingredient for their mcdonald fries, since the fries comes from the company Mc Cain, and since MC Cain does not used Wheat to make their Fries, except for their spicy Fries.

  21. They help keep my weight up. I know that’s a horrible way to gain/maintain weight but eh. I can’t eat much. Why not?

  22. Got to die sometime, and I prefer to go happy, just don't try eating takeaway every day, everything in moderation, as she said. Cheers

  23. The average potato contains 27 chemicals … buy organic folks
    Also, the McDonald's in my area has this barrel outside which has a safety warning on it …
    Toluene diisocyanate 80/20

  24. All of McDonald's food is gross. I saw an experiment where someone bought a burger and fries. The experiment consisted of leaving the food out on a desk in room temperature for over a week. They food did not change in appearance. No insects were interested in it. No mold formed on any cheese or the bun. The food still looked like the day it was bought. If you do not believe that, try it for yourself. That food is not fit for human consumption.

  25. I don't think I'll voluntarily ever go to mcKillsya again. But if the fries are presented to me I just might have one

  26. OK I COOK my fries and hashbrowns in a skillet or in oven with no oil. no lard. no butter. so why does ALL THE BURGERJOINTS in usa decide that they have to throw YOUR FOOD into VAT FULL OF GREASE before they serve it to you.? why? for your health? or to slowly clog up your arteries. making you dependant upon PILLS by the time your 45.
    why else? I can think of no other reason because the price to BUY THE LARD they use to fry your foods COSTS MONEY so why spend extra MONEY with no reason or purpose? don't they cut corners and send EMPLOYEES HOME early just to get them off the clock and SAVE MONEY?
    has nobody ever wondered? BECAUSE the same amount of energy they use to keep the fryers on is the same amount of energy it takes to bake the fries and hashbrowns and onionrings in a skillet or oven. so why do the FOODJOINTS make a unhealthy decision to DIP YOUR FOOD into nasty grease before they serve it to you? WHY don't they ask you if you want it dipped? BECAUSE theres an ULTERIOR MOTIVE. HIDING. COVERTLY. even when shopping at the grocer they always give you a COMBOLOCO deal where if you buy 3 cans of beans youll get a free THING OF COOKING OIL. wtf?
    to be simple and plain im telling you people here and now, theres no reason, no GOOD REASON, to DIP your food into nasty grease before you eat it. no reason at all that's a good reason. its all a cycle. they feed you grease, your arteries get clogged, you get headaches, you get tired easy, your TOLD BY YOUR DOCTOR ITS OLD AGE. take these/ losartan. lol itll clear up your arteries. but KEEP EATING GREASE.!
    AND THE cheerios fritos are GLUED TOGETHER. they use a AFDA approved glue to keep those cheerios and fritos shape. then now I understand why when you have a WIC card only CHEERIOS ARE WIC APPROVED. in texas. isn't that sweet? the only cereal wic approved is MADE WITH GLUE.

  27. I feel like it's horrible that they don't let the customers know about the beef fat. Their fries aren't even vegetarian!

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