French Fries

Do french fries send anyone else's numbers sky high? They do to my son and I am not sure if I just am way undercounting them or if they just affect him that way.

We rarely serve french fries at home, so we are out at restaurants or eating on the road when we have them - so weighing or accurately measuring is not practical. I probably do better with take-out friends (from Culver's or McDonald's) than when at a sit-down restaurant and there is just a pile of fries on his plate.

Does anyone have any tricks for carb-counting fries or how do you handle them or do you avoid them?

You can weigh them if the weight is given on the package at home. For example it probably says 1 oz = 15g or something. If you have a kitchen scale that's a practical way to go about it.

My 3 yr old daughter eats mcdonalds french fries, I buy her the kids meal and it has all the carbs for each item on the box. We do a 60/40 bolus.

The best way to figure out how to carb count when you arent home is to measure a cup of fries at home and then dump them onto a plate you will then have a visual of about the size,  Then you can go to a site like to get the exact carb count based on a cup of fries or measurments. You can pretty much to that for everything. Measure it out and put it on a plate, the more you do it the better you will get at carb counting and estimating.

I run into the same problem sometimes :/

But like your son, I rarely eat them unless I am "forced" at a restaurant (haha).  I find that since most fries (unlike, for example, bake-at-home fries, or sweet potato fries) are saturated with fat, they tend to be very hard to bolus for.  

I'm not sure if you're aware of the book or website calorie king?  ( I have the latest edition of the book (it's pretty cheap online) and most sit-down restaurants are in there (Applebees, etc.) compared to just fast food fries, which also happen to be in the book.  They actually have a whole section dedicated to restaurants, cafes, and different brands of foods.  

As for carb-counting and bolusing, I treat fries like any other greasy fast food, and do either a square-wave or dual-wave bolus, but it really depends on how much I'm eating.  If it's just a normal amount of fries from a restaurant, I'd probably do a square-wave and set my bolus for about an hour.  But, like everything else, you've gotta just play around with numbers until you find a reliable pattern.

Good luck to you!


If it were just the carbs you might have an easy time managing fries. However, fries and the potatoes that are used for fries have a very high glycemic index. They breakdown into glucose quickly into glucose. So eating a small amount is no big deal. Eating a large amount is nearly impossible to cover with insulin alone. The GI for fries is about the same as fruit loops. 

sjwprod - I should have thought to look up the GI for fries. Fruit loops. yikes. Though it does explain why I can give him the small fries from McDonalds and I can usually cover it fine, but if he gets more than that out at a diner or something, where half a plate is covered in fries, there is not much I can do to prevent a huge spike.

All - thanks for your input. Since I hardly ever serve fries at home, I'll just have to figure out some ways to carb count better when we do go out. Maybe bring my measuring cup along. ;p

I suspect though that at many restaurants I will end up having to take away half the fries on his plate to get to a manageable serving. Which to a 5 yr old who love fries will be quite upsetting. Kind of takes the fun out of going out.  :(

It is too bad most kids menu items are just chock full of carbs! And served with NO veggies. :(

Also, some restaurants bread the fries before frying them (when they're a little crunchier on the outside). That would add carbs.

Wow, luckily, I'm okay w/ fries! That would be quite upsetting to have to limit them. (;

[quote user="JDVsMom"]

It is too bad most kids menu items are just chock full of carbs! And served with NO veggies. :(


I AGREE and my son doesn't have T1. When we go out to eat, I have to pack my own veggies to add it his meals because kids meals are always just meat and fries. So gross, as if kids can't eat normal foods. Please!

Good question. My CDE said that it's called the "pizza effect". Higher fat foods can cause that. They cause numbers to get high and linger around that amount for a longer time. Generally about 15 french fries is one carb choice....but that depends on the thickness of the fry, etc. I have the same problem. I think fats just cause that lag time once glucose peaks, at least that's what I got out of it. Has anyone else heard of the "pizza effect"? I seriously just learned that last night at my group meeting.


[quote user="Kelly"]

Has anyone else heard of the "pizza effect"? I seriously just learned that last night at my group meeting.


If you do a search on here for "pizza", you'll find whole threads about it. Sad, but true! (:

I always count small fries as 30 carbs. I don't eat many of them due to the fat content, but can understand why your son would. Potatos and rice are very tough to count carbs. I would definitely familiarize yourself with all the usual restaraunts you frequent through the Calorie King. That would make your decisions easier. Good luck we all fight the carb monster. :)

when i was first diagnosed, we brought measuring cups with. now, i thought that was stupid and embarrassing but i was in 2nd grade. this sounds bad, but i'm a pretty good guesser. i basically guess on everything...but i used to count fries as 30 grams or 2 carbs... 

[quote user="Kelly"]Has anyone else heard of the "pizza effect"?[/quote]

Oh yes. No matter what I do, I still cannot accurately bolus for pizza. I've got the carb count down for the most part, but I can't ever get the insulin to peak at the same time as the pizza, even with a dual wave bolus on my pump. Very frustrating. I WILL figure it out, though, or I will continue to crash and rebound trying. ;)