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You Won't Believe How Many Ingredients Are In McDonald's French Fries

Just what are McDonald's French fries made of? The good news: there are real potatoes in there. Now here's the bad news: there's also a whopping 18 other ingredients in every fry.

A PhD in food chemistry might come in handy in deciphering the list, which includes a variety of oils including hydrogenated soybean oil (hello, trans fats), dextrose (a natural sugar that gives the fries their golden color) sodium acid pyrophosphate (to keep them from turning gray – yum!), hydrolyzed wheat, hydrolyzed milk, "natural beef flavor" and several other ingredients you'd undoubtedly have trouble pronouncing.

That's a whole lot of chemicals that add up to 340 calories and 16 grams of fat and 11 grams of sat fat for a medium serving of fries at the golden arches.

In a video released last week, McDonald's tapped engineer Grant Imahara from the Discovery show "Mythbusters" to outline the company's production process, explain the ingredients and "reverse engineer" their famous fries back to the source–a spud taken straight from the ground.

We appreciate the honesty, but rather than reassure us, we found it a little disconcerting to follow a process that seemed more than a little sci-fry.

Image: MaraZe / Shutterstock.com

Eat This, Not That! Editors
Inspired by The New York Times best-selling book series, Eat This, Not That! is a brand that's comprised of an award-winning team of journalists and board-certified experts, doctors, nutritionists, chefs, personal trainers, and dietitians who work together to bring you accurate, timely, informative, and actionable content on food, nutrition, dieting, weight loss, health, wellness, and more. Read more