Skip to content

The Worst Fast-Food French Fries

Not all drive-thru spuds are created equal.

Oh, the French fry. Is there any side dish better than fried up spuds to pair along with that cheeseburger or order of chicken nuggets? It's a true fast-food staple, and for those who take their fries seriously, they have a favorite. But it's important to know that not all fast-food fries are the same. And we're not just talking about taste here! There are some fry options that are truly unhealthy for you.

So which popular fast-food chain has the worst French fries out there, health-wise?

We rounded up the fast-food fry and tater tot orders that are just bad news. To determine which fast-food fries are the worst of the bunch, we looked at large-size orders from some of the most beloved chains. Now, here's the list of the worst fast-food fries, ranked from bad to the absolute worst. And if you're looking to make more diet changes, be sure to check out the 100 Unhealthiest Foods On the Planet.


In-N-Out Burger Fries

In-n-out french fries in holder on background
Courtesy of In-N-Out
Per order: 370 calories, 15 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 250 mg sodium, 52 g carbs (6 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 6 g protein

The beloved West-coast chain that is In-N-Out offers up an order of fries that don't seem as terrible compared to the others on this list coming in at 370 calories and costing you 250 milligrams of sodium. Remember—you'll want to keep them plain and skip the "animal style" secret menu topping, though!


Burger King French Fries

two orders of burger king fries
Per large size: 430 calories, 18 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 410 mg sodium, 66 g carbs (7 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 5 g protein

While a side order of onion rings is often a must for those who are loyal Burger King fans, the golden fries are often sitting alongside a Whopper. Here, one large order is packing 430 calories and 410 milligrams of sodium.


A&W Fries

aw fries
Courtesy of A&W
Per large size: 430 calories, 17 g fat (4 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 640 mg sodium, 61 g carbs (6 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 5 g protein

At A&W, the fries are described as "golden fried and crispy. A burger's best friend." They're plain and simple, but they're still not so innocent. Keep in mind this order has the same amount of calories as BK's large-order of fries, but has 230 milligrams more sodium.


McDonald's World Famous Fries

Mcdonald's french fries
Per large size: 490 calories, 23 g fat (3 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 400 mg sodium, 66 g carbs (6 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 7 g protein

We're just going to go ahead and say it: McDonald's fries are arguably the most well-known fast-food French fry out there. If you were blindfolded and took a bite of these spuds, you would know it's a Mickey D fry! And these iconic fries really aren't as bad as you may think. If you went with a small order, it could cost you 180 milligrams of sodium. So if you are going to treat yourself, just remember to go for the smaller size instead of the large.

Looking for more helpful tips? Your ultimate restaurant and supermarket survival guide is here!


Wendy's Chili Cheese Fries

wendy's menu chili cheese fries
Courtesy of Wendy's
Per order: 530 calories, 28 g fat (10 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 1,060 mg sodium, 53 g carbs (7 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 17 g protein

If you're in the mood to spice up your Wendy's fries, choosing the option that is topped with the chain's iconic hearty chili and a creamy cheese sauce sounds like the perfect way to go. Sorry, but it's a no, as these fries have more than 1,000 milligrams of sodium and more calories than an order of 10 chicken nuggets.


Arby's Loaded Curly Fries

arbys curly fries
Courtesy of Arby's
Per order: 670 calories, 44 g fat (8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 1,950 mg sodium, 57 g carbs (5 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 12 g protein

Arby's signature curly fries get the "loaded" treatment, which is always a menu word that is a total red flag. The fries are covered with pepper bacon, Parmesan peppercorn ranch sauce, and cheddar sauce for a highly caloric and sodium-filled side dish. If you go with ordering a snack size of the plain Curly Fries, that will save you 1,380 milligrams of sodium.


White Castle Fries

French fries
Courtesy of White Castle
Per sack size: 770 calories, 49 g fat (9 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 115 mg sodium, 76 g carbs (8 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 8 g protein

At White Castle, there is the option for a "sack" size, which actually feeds three people. It's very easy to mindlessly eat a bag of fries if they're sitting in front of you, so we advise you to actually split this with two friends. More than 700 calories on a side dish is just insane!


Popeyes Cajun Fries

popeyes cajun fries
Popeyes/ Facebook
Per large size: 804 calories, 42 g fat (15 g saturated fat, 2 g trans fat), 1,761 mg sodium, 97 g carbs (9 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 10 g protein

These seasoned fries from Popeyes might be a tasty staple of the chain, but a large comes in at more than 800 calories. And that's without factoring in the rest of the meal! Instead, it's better to pair that popcorn shrimp or chicken sandwich with green beans or coleslaw.


Jack In The Box Sauced & Loaded Jalapeño Ranch Tots

jack in the box tots
Courtesy of Jack in the Box
Per order: 750 calories, 49 g fat (13 g saturated fat, 0.5 g trans fat), 1,770 mg sodium, 66 g carbs (6 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 12 g protein

At Jack In The Box, the concept of loaded up spuds goes to another level. The chain's tater tots are smothered in melty cheese sauce, topped with shredded cheddar cheese, jalapeño slices, and buttermilk ranch, resulting in a side dish that has as much sodium as 18 full pretzel rods


Checkers Fully Loaded Fries

checkers fully loaded fries
Courtesy of Checkers
Per large size: 870 calories, 56 g fat (16 g saturated fat, 1.5 g trans fat), 2,190 mg sodium, 72 g carbs (7 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 19 g protein

Checkers' famous seasoned fries get the "fully loaded" treatment, as they are topped with cheese, ranch, and crispy bacon. It makes for a side dish that has more sodium than 193 Lay's potato chips!


Sonic Chili Cheese Tots

chili cheese tater tots from sonic
Courtesy of Sonic
Per large size: 960 calories, 57 g fat (17 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 2,960 mg sodium, 92 g carbs (9 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 19 g protein

The concept of adding chili and cheese to potatoes might be oh so delicious, but these tots from Sonic will have you thinking twice about this combination. A large order comes in at nearly 1,000 calories and has more sodium than The American Heart Association recommends you consume in an entire day.


Five Guys Fries

five guys large fries
Per large size: 1,314 calories, 57 g fat (10 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 1,327 mg sodium, 181 g carbs (21 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 20 g protein

The burgers from Five Guys are what they're best known for, but the fries often steal the show. If you order a large for yourself, you're then going to have a side dish that has more calories than your burger. Be sure to stick with the "Little" size. And don't forget to share!


Wienerschnitzel Thousand Island Chili Cheese Fries

wienerschnitzel thousand island chili cheese fries
Courtesy of Wienerschnitzel
Per large size: 1,510 calories, 95 g fat (22 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 3,500 mg sodium, 131 g carbs (13 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 33 g protein

Leave it to Wienerschnitzel to take the concept of chili cheese fries up a notch by adding Thousand Island dressing. Sadly, the large size is downright scary, earning the title of the most toxic fast-food fries. It has more calories than any of the hot dogs or burgers on the menu and has nearly a day and a half's worth of sodium. Big yikes.

Jennifer Maldonado
Jennifer Maldonado is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and health content. Read more about Jennifer