The number of calories in steak cut French fries can vary depending on the specific recipe, cooking method, and portion size. On average, a serving of steak cut French fries contains around 400-500 calories.
Calories in Different Portion Sizes of Steak Cut Fries
|10 medium steak cut fries (70g)||220 calories|
|20 medium steak cut fries (140g)||440 calories|
|Small order of steak fries (170g)||530 calories|
|Medium order of steak fries (230g)||720 calories|
|Large order of steak fries (340g)||1060 calories|
As shown in the table above, the number of calories in steak cut fries can range from 220 calories for a small 10 fry serving to over 1000 calories for a large fast food portion. In most restaurants, a small to medium sized order of steak fries contains 400-600 calories.
Factors That Influence Calorie Content
Several factors affect the calorie content in steak cut French fries:
The main ingredients in steak fries are potatoes, oil for frying, and salt. Potatoes are a starchy vegetable that contain carbohydrates and a small amount of protein. Once cut and fried, the starch in potatoes absorbs a lot of oil, which significantly increases the calorie content. Using healthier oils like canola or olive oil instead of trans fat laden hydrogenated oils reduces the amount of calories absorbed.
How the fries are cooked makes a big difference in calories. Frying cooks the potatoes in hot oil, absorbing much more fat and calories compared to baking. Air frying is a healthier option that uses little to no oil compared to deep frying.
As shown in the calorie chart earlier, portion size has a direct impact on calories. More fries equals more calories. Requesting a small or medium size is better than large if watching calories.
Loading up fries with high calorie toppings like bacon, cheese, ranch dressing or mayonnaise can double or triple the calories. Keeping toppings light or skipping them altogether keeps calories in check.
Nutrition Facts for Steak Cut French Fries
Here are the nutrition facts for a 170g serving of steak cut French fries, which is a typical small to medium order at a restaurant:
Key points about the nutrition breakdown:
– Over half the calories come from fat due to being deep fried in oil. Air frying would reduce the fat and calories.
– 63g of carbs mainly comes from the starch in the potatoes.
– 5g of fiber provides about 20% of the recommended daily value.
– At 270mg, the sodium content is quite high due to added table salt.
– Protein is low at just 5g since potatoes lack protein. Adding a protein like grilled chicken breast would help balance the meal.
Healthier Ways to Make Steak Fries
While steak fries are high in fat and calories, there are some simple substitutions to make them a bit healthier:
– Use an air fryer instead of deep frying. Air frying uses just a mist of oil reducing calories by 70-80%.
– Coat fries in just 1-2 tsp of olive oil instead of frying in cups of oil. Then bake the fries in the oven.
– Season with herbs and spices instead of just salt. Try garlic powder, onion powder, paprika or chili powder.
– Dip in Greek yogurt ranch instead of full-fat ranch dressing.
– Eat a medium size versus large portion to cut calories in half.
– Substitute a side salad or steamed veggies instead of fries.
Health Risks of Too Many French Fries
While the occasional order of French fries is fine for most people, regularly eating large portions can lead to potential health issues:
The high amount of calories, fat, and sodium coupled with large portion sizes can easily lead to weight gain over time. This increases the risk for obesity.
High Blood Pressure
With their high sodium content, French fries can contribute to high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. This puts strain on the heart.
Type 2 Diabetes
Eating lots of fried and high carb foods like fries raises the risk for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
The combination of weight gain, high blood pressure and diabetes from eating too many French fries increases the chances of developing heart disease.
Acrylamide, a chemical produced when starchy foods are fried at high temperatures, has been linked with increased cancer risk.
Healthier Potato Alternatives
To get that potato fix while avoiding the extra calories and fat of French fries, consider these healthier alternatives:
– Baked potato – Top with salsa, Greek yogurt, or just a sprinkle of cheese instead of butter and sour cream.
– Mashed cauliflower – Has the creamy, comfort food feel of mashed potatoes with fewer carbs.
– Roasted sweet potato fries – More nutrients than white potatoes, and easier to bake with less added fat.
– Cauliflower tots – Kid-friendly and perfect for dipping, with a fraction of the calories of tater tots.
– Hash browns – Shredded potato patties pan-fried in just a bit of cooking spray or olive oil.
Healthy Meals With French Fries
While steak fries aren’t the most nutritious side, enjoying them occasionally is fine. Here are some healthier meal ideas built around French fries:
– Steak fries with grilled chicken or salmon
– Steak fries with veggie or turkey burger
– Steak fries with green salad or broccoli
– Steak fries as a side to a bowl of vegetable chili
– Steak fries as an accompaniment to scrambled eggs and avocado toast
– Steak fries served with roasted Brussels sprouts and a lean pork chop
The key is watching portions and balancing the fries out with healthier foods like lean protein, veggies, beans, etc. Using French fries a side versus the main meal can help keep calories in check.
Steak cut French fries are a delicious but high calorie side dish, with a typical serving containing around 400-500 calories. Factors like ingredients, cooking method, and portion size all impact the calories. While an occasional indulgence is fine, eating too many French fries too often can lead to excess calories, weight gain, and increased health risks. Lightening up ingredients, watching portions, and enjoying fries alongside healthier foods can help keep calories and nutrition in balance.