How Bad Are French Fries for Weight Loss? You Can Enjoy Them!

By Lily •  Updated: 05/06/22 •  6 min read

Ah, french fries. Great as a snack and even better when paired with a juicy burger. The humble french fry is a well-loved accompaniment to many meals and is a firm favorite worldwide.

But, just how healthy are french fries? And is this a food you should be eating if you are looking to lose weight?

Let’s explore the world of the french fry, the effects it can have on weight loss, and alternative ways to cook and prepare them to suit many diets and eating plans. 

The Low-Down on French Fries

French fries are made from potatoes, which belong to the group of foods known as carbohydrates. While not all bad, carbohydrates can lead to weight gain and should be eaten in moderation, with close attention paid to portion sizes. 

While they may be high in carbohydrates, french fries are low in calories and make a good, filling snack that can help you maintain your energy levels.

French fries are considered a side dish by many, and can be found on a plate next to a yummy burger, with a steak, or even on their own for those who love their carbs

Served hot with your spice of choice and a range of delicious sauces, french fries are a quick, filling, budget-friendly meal loved by people of all ages across the globe.

With each country enjoying french fries in their own unique way, it is difficult to understand why anyone would think they are bad for you.

Again, everything is good in moderation, and this is especially true with carbohydrates and french fries.

Can I Eat French Fries While Trying to Lose Weight?

If you are trying to lose weight and have subscribed to a low-carbohydrate eating plan, chances are you will not be able to enjoy your crispy snack anytime soon. Potatoes are high in carbohydrates and should be avoided with certain eating plans. 

But, there are diets that encourage you to eat everything, even french fries, but in moderation and with a focus on portion control. French fries can most definitely be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet. As long as you do not overindulge and stick to healthy portion sizes, eating french fries will not cause significant weight gain. 

Not all carbohydrates are bad, and french fries fall into this category. Carbohydrates are necessary for sustained energy and should be consumed as part of a balanced diet.

Consider alternative methods of cooking french fries, limiting how many times a week you enjoy fries, or even look to other vegetables for an alternative to traditional potato fries. 

What are the Healthiest Ways to Enjoy French Fries?

Do you ever wish you could just eat whatever you want to without gaining weight? We have all had one of those difficult days when we are craving familiar comfort food like french fries before the stark reminder of your strict no-carb diet rears its ugly head. This is the time when we adapt and learn alternative methods of preparing our beloved french fries to try and ditch the guilt. 

Tasty french fries and measuring tape on green wooden background

How do you prepare your french fries? Many well-known food brands have created their own range of frozen french fries that are easy to prepare in an oven or those that are fried in a deep-fryer.

But, with the introduction and sudden popularity of air-fryers, the french fry can now be made using no oils or fats.

You, too, can enjoy a plate of french fries that have been cooked to perfection using nothing but heat. Experiment with flavor and try different spices and seasonings to create a new flavor sensation that will have your family scrambling to the kitchen for another serving. 

Another healthier alternative to traditional french fries is a dish of fries made from sweet potato. This versatile vegetable that is most commonly served up at Thanksgiving can be used to create delectable fries without the extra carbohydrates and fats. 

Peel and cut your sweet potatoes into a fry shape, place them on a baking tray with a drizzle of olive oil, pop them into the oven, and you are good to go. Quick, delicious, and healthy, sweet potato fries are the next best thing to french fries.  

French Fry Tips and Tricks 

As we have mentioned, most diets of today are based on portion control. While some exclude carbohydrates completely, there are those that allow the consumption of carbohydrates and, more specifically, french fries in moderation and controlled portion sizes. 

Here are a few more tips that you can follow to continue enjoying french fries while trying to lose weight:

Tip #1: Choose oven-baked rather than fried french fries where possible. Many food brands are available in both options. 

Tip #2: Try to eat french fries only twice a week. Limit the number of times you enjoy french fries by creating a meal plan and sticking to it. 

Tip #3: Change it up and try sweet potato fries as a healthier alternative to traditional fries. Packed with flavor and great as a side dish, sweet potato fries are a good substitute for french fries when that craving strikes. 

Tip #4: If you are really unable to avoid french fries, try using different cooking methods to reduce the amount of fat and oil that goes with making them. Switch from canola oil to olive or coconut oil for a healthier take on french fries, or invest in an air-fryer and enjoy low-fat, healthy meals all year round. 


No scientific evidence currently exists to prove that french fries are bad for weight loss. The key to making them a healthy option is in the way you prepare them.

Ditch the deep-fryer and choose an air-fryer, or grab a bag of frozen oven-baked chips for a healthy snack that even the fussiest of palates will enjoy.

For those who are more daring in their food choices, try out sweet potato fries for a great alternative to traditional fries that has a truly unique flavor. 


Hi, I'm Lily! Like you, I have struggled with my weight. It was not an easy journey but I was able to lose 40 pounds and have kept it off for 14 years. My goal is to share with you all the research, tips, and tricks that I have learned over the years to help you lose weight also.