A recent survey on America's favorite comfort foods found that French fries clock in at number five. Let's be honest, who doesn't salivate at the smell of warm, crispy fries dusted with salt? But the beloved fast-food side is notoriously high in unhealthy fat and calories, meaning anyone still clinging to the healthy diet they adopted in the new year has put them on the "forbidden foods" list.
But before you ban French fries from the menu forever, take a deep (fried) breath.
First of all, potatoes aren't the problem. In fact, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating them boiled, baked or mashed doesn't pose the same health risks as eating them fried. We all know that hitting the drive-thru comes with a side of saturated fat and sodium. So if you're craving fries, baking up a batch in the oven is still very much on the table as a part of a healthy diet.
Secondly, there are so many ways to elevate fries from a fast-food indulgence to a healthy (and surprisingly impressive looking) side dish — from playing with different herbs and spices to getting creative with veggies.