Ah, potatoes! They are freaking delicious, any way you cook them. Fried potatoes can be especially tempting. And that, it appears, could cause a problem of mortality genre. Perhaps the answer to the question, “Do you want fries with that?” should be a simple no, according to a recent study.
Potatoes are a simple yet complex food. Depending on certain variables, they are either healthy or unhealthy. Though considered generally healthy, the way you cook your spuds could tip the needle in the other direction.
There is also the matter of potato types. The fading low-carb craze has led many to believe that potatoes, especially white potatoes, are bad for you. Other potato types include red potatoes, golden potatoes, and russet potatoes. In many countries, they’re simply known as potatoes. And they are typically white.
Now, according to the study, how you cook your spuds is especially important and could even have bearing to your mortality. People who eat fried potatoes two or more a week double their risk of an early death compared to those who avoid them. Eating potatoes that have not been fried was not linked to similar mortality risk.
Eating Fried Potatoes Could Shorten Your Life
Not surprisingly, Americans are huge potato eaters. In 2014 they consumed 112.1 pounds per person, according to the National Potato Council. Of that total, 33.5 pounds were fresh, while the remaining 78.5 pounds were processed. The majority of the processed potatoes were in the form of French fries, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
The researchers tracked 4,400 people between the ages of 45 and 79, over a period of eight years. The study was originally for osteoarthritis, but the team decided to look at participant’s consumption of potatoes.
Participants were divided into subgroups based on how frequently they ate potatoes each week. Over the eight years, 236 of the participants died. Analyzing the data for each group, the research team found that those who ate fried potatoes two to three times a week doubled their chance of dying early compared to those who ate no fried potatoes.
French fries (chips in some countries), chips (crisps in some countries), hash browns and any other preparation requiring a fryer are all included under the umbrella of “fried potatoes”. We would assume so would be pan-fried potatoes.
May we point out that the study was observational. The researchers simply tracked the behavior of a group of people and found association between the behavior – eating fried potatoes – and another factor; early death.
Does this mean you should avoid French fries at all costs?
No, but limiting their consumption may be a good thing, whether or not you take this study seriously. I know I will continue to eat French fries and other fried potatoes occasionally, because I love them. I’ll just watch frequency and quantity to avoid deposits in the first bank of the mid-section.
The study is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.