This is bad news for fried potato lovers out there. Yes you all know that French fries are not great for your health, but a recent study has linked eating fried potatoes at least twice a week with an increased risk of death.
People who consume fried potatoes two or more times a week, double their risk of an early death compared to those who avoid them, a recent study, which was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found.
Consuming potatoes that have not been fried was not associated to a similar early mortality risk, the researchers noted.
Dr. Nicola Veronese, the lad author of the study, stated that “Fried potatoes consumption is increasing worldwide”.
The study involved tracking 4,440 people aged 45-79 over a period of 8 years. The researchers divided study participants into subgroups and these were based on how frequently they ate potatoes each week.
Over the period of eight years, a total of 236 of the participants died. Analyzing the data for each group, the researchers found that those who ate fried potatoes at least 2 to 3 times each week doubled their chance of dying early, as compared to those who ate no fried potatoes.
Potato chips, French fries, hash browns — and any other preparation of potatoes, requiring a fryer, are all included under “fried potatoes. The age or sex of the participants did not influence the result, but the data showed men were more likely as compared to women and younger participants were more likely than older participants to enjoy the fried food.
The study is observational, which means the researchers simply tracked the behavior of a group of individuals and found a linked between one behavior, which is eating fried potatoes and another factor, early death.
Due to the fact this is an observational study, the researchers noted that it cannot be said that eating fried potatoes directly causes an early mortality. Thus, it would require more research to draw such a firm conclusion.
What is Acrylamide?
The researchers believed that the cooking oil, which is rich in trans-fat, is an important factor in explaining mortality in those eating more potatoes. Trans fat has been reported to raise the “bad,” or LDL, cholesterol in the blood, which can therefore lead to cardiovascular disease.
Also other important factors, which includes a sedentary lifestyle, obesity and use of high quantities of salt can also play a role in the early death of those consuming two or more portions of fried potatoes each week.
Should You Eat Fried Potatoes?
White potatoes are a healthy food because they contain a good amount of vitamins, fiber and micronutrients, which could have counterbalanced the detrimental effects of their high glycemic index. But fried potatoes, typically contain lots of fat and added salt.
As of now, the link is merely an association, and more research with larger groups of participants is needed to investigate the link before saying that over-eating fries causes an increased risk of death.
The Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion recommends 3–5 servings of vegetables per day. While starchy vegetables like potatoes count towards that goal, the center’s food pyramid recommends individuals to choose preparations of vegetables that are low in fat and which is not fried.