The Case Against Asking For Extra Salt On McDonald's Fries

The option of adding extra salt to McDonald's fries is almost too good an opportunity to miss — just like if you were offered a once-in-a-lifetime trip around the Moon. Although requesting something as simple as more salt may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things, it could make a big difference to your fries.

TikToker @juniepurr carried out this experiment. They shared a video that show them placing an order on the McDonald's website for fries with extra salt. McDonald's readily accepted the request, producing a bag of fries that were completely smothered.

TikTok commenters are surprisingly split on whether or not they approve of the massively salty fries. One warns of a month-long dehydration as a result of eating them, and the creator does admit that too much salt ruined the fries. Others, though, only crave more sodium, with one saying: "I like my fries like my attitude in the morning: salty." However, as laughable as the salt mountain may be, ordering too much salt is likely to hamper your enjoyment of McDonald's fries — and even harm your health in the long run.

McDonald's fries already contain salt

Overloading your McDonald's fries with salt doesn't just create the potential for receiving judgemental comments online. In moderate doses, salt boosts umami flavors released by savory items like fries, making them taste more desirable than they otherwise would. However, one obvious downside of overloading fries with salt (as seems to have happened in the TikTok video) is that it completely overwhelms all other flavors.

It's also important to consider that McDonald's fries already contain salt. Kids' portions contain 90 milligrams of sodium, which rises to 190 milligrams for small, and 260 milligrams for medium. It will be of little surprise that large cartons hold the most salt, packing 400 milligrams. For comparison, the tiny salt packets you can pick up from restaurants come out to 290 milligrams, or approximately 12% of your sodium for the day.

With those figures in mind, it's generally a good idea to hold back on adding salt to McDonald's fries. The CDC recommends not exceeding 2,300 milligrams of salt daily due to the long-term risks associated with high blood pressure, and Harvard School of Public Health estimates that the human body only needs a mere 500 milligrams per day. A 2010 study published in National Academies Press suggests ordering French fries without salt and garnishing to taste rather than letting someone else crush them beneath a wave of sodium.