It’s not like we didn’t know this already. I mean, they’re deep-fried and salty – obviously not the most healthy choice. However, a study has linked eating french fries at least twice a week with an increased risk of death (does not bode well for me).
The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, looked at potato consumption in 4,400 older people (okay, I think I’m safe) between ages 45 and 79 over the course of eight years. By the end of the study, 236 people had died.
However, they did discover, after adjusting for several factors, eating potatoes overall (even a lot of them) did not increase a person’s risk for death. Unfortunately, looking closer at the types of potatoes people were eating, they found that eating fried potatoes—including French fries, fried potatoes and hash browns—at least two times per week was linked to a more than doubled risk of death.
Eating unfried potatoes, such as potato salad and boiled, baked and mashed potatoes (oh praise the Lord) was not linked to an increased risk of death. Unfried white potatoes are a relatively healthy food because they contain a good amount of fiber, vitamins and micronutrients, the study authors write, which “could have counterbalanced the detrimental effects of their high glycemic index.”
Fried potatoes, however, typically have lots of fat and added salt. For now, the link is merely an association, and more research with larger groups of people is needed to investigate the link before saying that overeating french fries causes an increased risk of death.
So, although it may be common sense that fried potatoes aren’t healthy maybe you’ll think twice before substituting your mash for fries the next time you eat out!