Healthier Option “Satisfries” Arrive at Burger King
The latest fast food attempt at “healthier” eating has arrived at Burger King, and it has come in the form of the all-new Satisfries! Satisfries are an alternative to the traditional French Fries that Burger King still offers, and are crinkle-cut to help differentiate between the two products. This new item is advertised as having “40% less fat and 30% fewer calories than McDonald’s French Fries” (note: they were smart enough to realize that comparing them to their own regular fries would be just as bad). However, before you go enjoying this new snack guilt-free you need to keep in mind that they still pack 11g of fat and 270 calories into a small serving. The large Satisfries that you can substitute into your combo meal will set you back 410 calories and 17 grams of fat – AND an extra thirty cents! So, while you may be able to file these fries into the “less guilty” category of fast food snacks, they are far from “guilt free”.
The big question that arises when a company comes out with a healthier alternative to an existing item is, “How did they do it?” Burger King hasn’t revealed all of their secrets, but they did let us know that these fries are still made with “real whole potatoes” and they use a special recipe that allows them to absorb less oil while cooking. Lessening the oil needed to cook the Satisfries is what keeps the calories down and the fat level lower.
I’m personally a big fan of crinkle cut fries, and because they are scarcely found in the fast food realm I was pretty excited to give these new Satisfries a taste (if you know of any other fast food joints that offer crinkle cut fries leave a comment). I headed down to my local Burger King and ordered myself some Satisfries and some original BK French Fries for comparison. I also grabbed a frozen Coca-Cola ICEE (which is easily one of the most underrated fast food beverages on the market, but that is another story). Like most “healthy” alternatives out there, the Satisfries came in a little more expensive than the regular fries. Apparently 40% less fat and 30% fewer calories means you need to pay 10-20% more! The regular fries were $1.89 for a small and the small Satisfries sold for $2.09, though prices will vary depending on your location. Regardless, apparently you can put a price on fatness.
After my first taste of the Satisfries, I quickly realized that they didn’t have much of a chance to challenge their original predecessor. The outer layer of the fries, which is usually crispy, seemed to be cooked inconsistently. I’m not sure if this was due to absorbing less oil, but some sections of the fries had a softer texture than I would have liked. I would compare this texture to the fries that you can buy frozen and cook in your oven, except instead of cooking the fries for the recommended time you decided to take them out a few minutes early, leaving them just a little undercooked. I didn’t want to write this negative review without giving Burger King another shot, so I did try Satisfries one more time at a different location. My second batch was better, but they still couldn’t rival the crispiness of BK’s regular fries.
In the end, Satisfries came up short. I want my fries to be crispy on the outside and I am willing take in the extra fat and calories to make that possible. If I am making the conscious decision to get lunch at a fast food restaurant I realize that I am subjecting my body to a meal that doesn’t exactly fit into the food pyramid. I don’t feel the need to lessen that blow by getting a slightly less unhealthy version of the food I really want. Getting Satisfries with your Double Whopper combo meal reminds me of people that think they are being healthy because they get Diet Coke instead of regular. Sure, you are slightly lessening the blow of your meal, but you are still staring over 1300 calories and 70 grams of fat in the face! If you are going to eat fast food you should enjoy it, and with Satisfries as part of your meal I’m not sure that is going to happen. So stay on the treadmill for an extra 10 or 15 minutes and treat yourself to a regular order of Burger King French Fries.