Registered dietitian and nutritionist Emily Field has an idea for fans of the very American burger-and-fries lunch or dinner: Instead of adding fries to that order, you might want to consider a second burger. While conventional wisdom might tell you that eating a second anything is a bad choice from a nutritional perspective, there’s something more important to consider: balance.
… She encourages people to think about three components of a food — fat, carbohydrates, and proteins. Protein fuels your muscles and keeps you feeling full, carbohydrates provide energy, and fat helps us absorb vitamins and minerals while keeping cells healthy. Think about a typical fast-food burger. Two small pieces of bread (the bun) plus a slab of meat. Without cheese or sauce, most burgers like this have about 300 to 400 calories. Those calories come from carbs in the bread (roughly 40 grams), protein in the meat (around 17 grams) and fat (around 10 grams). An order of fries, on the other hand, is just a tray of fried potato. It has a lot of fat and carbs — which give it about the same number of calories as a burger — but very little protein.
… By swapping the fries for a second burger, then, you’re nearly doubling your protein intake while reducing the amount of fat and carbs you’re eating.