by: Melissa A. Kay
We all know those late night trips to the McDonald's drive-thru window don't count as exercise, but who would have thought eating French fries could kill you? Anyone with even a smidge of knowledge about eating well knows that fries are far from health food, but moderation is key, no?
Not according to the findings of a study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which claims that eating fried potatoes at least twice a week was associated with an increased risk of death. An increased risk of needing a larger pair of pants, sure. But death? Mr. Potato Head is shaking his, well, everything.
An 8-year study of 4,440 participants ranging in age from 45-79 was carefully assessed, investigating the association between potato consumption and mortality. While eating potatoes in general didn't up the risk of death, "Participants who consumed fried potatoes 2–3 times/week were at an increased risk of mortality." As Time reports, "By the end of the (8-year) study, 236 people had died." Can we suppose at least they were satisfied?
And it's not just French fries causing this death-by-potato scare. Hash browns and other fried potato dishes are just as bad. All the added fat and salt used in these fried preparations turn the innocent spud into a serial killer.
Go for a baked potato and you'll get Vitamin C and B6 as well as, "the carbohydrates, potassium, and energy that we need to perform at our best. (Potatoes) are more energy-packed than any other popular vegetable, potatoes have even more potassium than a banana," as per Potato Goodness. So you needn't pooh pooh the potato completely, just kick the French fry habit, as delicious as they may be.
If you must have your fry fix, limit the indulgence as much as possible… if you want to live a long and healthy life. You'll surely find another use for all that unused ketchup.