Regularly eating french fries doubles your risk of dying early
06/08/2021 / By Brocky Wilson / Comments
Regularly eating french fries doubles your risk of dying early

Do you eat french fries frequently? Stop eating these junk foods to save your life.

This what European researchers suggest in their study, which shows that heavy french fry eaters are twice more likely to die early compared to those who don’t eat them.

Eating french fries frequently may raise your risk of premature death

French fries are known to be unhealthy, but they’re hard to resist because they are tasty and crunchy. These foods are especially popular in the United States, where they are commonly eaten as part of fast-food meals. Such a meal includes other junk foods like a burger and a large cup of soda.

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Many studies link regular consumption of french fries and other fried foods to a host of health problems, including heart disease. But few studies have explored whether eating french fries all the time is also associated with an increased risk of premature death.

To that end, the researchers analyzed the potato eating habits of more than 4,400 Americans between the age of 45 and 79. The diets of these participants were tracked over the course of eight years, during which 236 of them passed away.

After controlling for other risk factors, the researchers found that those who ate french fries two or more times a week are twice more likely to die prematurely compared to those who did not eat french fries. This finding also applied to other fried, processed potato products, such as hash browns and potato gems.

This led the researchers to conclude that the frequent consumption of fried potatoes is associated with an increased risk of premature death. The researchers recommended more studies that would examine whether overall potato consumption is also associated with higher mortality risk.

Why are french fries unhealthy?

French fries may come from a vegetable, but they are still bad for your health since they are loaded with unhealthy fats and have poor nutritional value. Eric Rimm, a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, calls potatoes “starch bombs” because they lack many of the nutrients found in green leafy vegetables.

Potatoes also have a high glycemic index, meaning they are broken down easily by your body and cause your blood sugar levels to rise rapidly. Studies link excessive consumption of high-glycemic foods to an increased risk of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

But ultimately, what makes french fries unhealthy is how potatoes are processed to make those crispy, crunchy finger foods: You remove a potato’s skin, cut it, deep-fry the pieces in searing oil and then top the fries with salt, cheese, chili or gravy.

That cooking process not only strips some of the nutrients in potatoes but also creates or increases the amount of saturated fats and sodium in them. So when you eat french fries, you ingest great amounts of fats and minerals that can put you at risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

Moreover, heating cooking oil at very high temperatures or reusing it many times can cause trans fats to form. Trans fats are known as the worst type of dietary fat because they are linked to a wide range of diseases, from cancer to heart disease and inflammation. They have no known health benefits and are harmful regardless of the amount you consume.

Is there a way to add french fries to a healthy diet?

Giving up french fries can seem like a tall order. So if you’re not ready to go turkey, consider eating healthier versions than the ones you buy at fast-food chains. Here are some tips on how to eat fried potatoes as part of a healthy diet:

  1. Exercise control – Nutritionists say that the amount of french fries you eat matters more than things like the type of oil used. This is because a serving of french fries contains nearly the same amount as a burger. Split your order, get the smallest available portion or substitute with a side salad to limit your consumption.
  2. Limit toppings and condiments – Add-ons like salt, cheese and ketchup increase the calories in a serving of fries. Either avoid toppings and condiments or limit the amount that you eat.
  3. Make your own fries – Nutritionists recommend cooking your own fries so you can supervise how they’re made. Fast food chains typically deep-fry at high temperatures. But at home, you can choose to fry in a skillet over low heat using a healthy cooking oil of your choice.
  4. Opt for baked potatoes – Baking is healthier than frying because it requires little to no added oil.

Regular consumption of french fries can put you at risk of various diseases and doubles your risk of premature death. Refraining from eating these junk foods is recommended, but you can also employ the tips listed here if you’re not ready to stop eating french fries.

Sources:

News.com.eu

Academic.OUP.com

NYTimes.com

LinkingHub.Elsevier.com

HSPH.Harvard.edu

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