A study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition observed 4,400 men and women ages 45 to 79 for eight years. They were assessed based upon their weekly fried potato consumption. After eight years, 236 participants had passed away. Within this group were the highest consumers of French fries and other similar fried food.
French fries and other fried foods are high in acrylamide, a known carcinogen
Based on the study results, it was determined that persons who ate any type of fried potatoes more than once per week raised their risk of premature death by more than double. The offending foods included fried tater tots, hash browns and potato chips as well as French fries.
This increased risk did not apply to non-fried versions of potatoes such as potato salad, baked potatoes or mashed potatoes. The increased risk of mortality seemed relevant only to potatoes that were cooked or browned in oil.
Researchers believe this is due to the higher acrylamide content in fried food. Acrylamide forms in foods cooked at high temperatures and it is considered a carcinogen. By contrast, non-fried potatoes eaten in moderation contain healthy vitamins, micronutrients and fiber that balance out their high starch content and glycemic index number.
French fries and potato chips top the list of unhealthiest foods
While the current American Journal of Clinical Nutrition research has identified a trend, it is not a laboratory study; additional research will be required to add depth to the findings. However, it’s still a good idea to have French fries and other fried food only in moderation to reduce their health risks.
Foods high in acrylamide should be avoided generally. In addition to French fries, some of the other foods highest in acrylamide include potato chips, packaged cookies, processed cereals, dark-crusted breads, peanut butter, toasted nuts, prune juice, cocoa from roasted cocoa beans and canned black olives.
Favor healthy snacks instead of French fries and other fried foods
Again, while this research identified a trend rather than lab-based scientific proof, it’s still a wise idea to regulate the amount of fried potatoes you eat. French fries, potato chips and other fried potatoes are also some of the worst foods you can consume in terms of their elevated levels of toxic fat and denatured salt.
So, consider these foods an occasional ‘treat,’ not a regular indulgence. Better yet, find low-carb, low-fat alternatives to potato-based fried snacks. For example, try making homemade baked turnip fries at home, and use shredded cauliflower instead of potatoes for hash browns.
Finding healthy ways to snack can go a long way in improving your health, your BMI and your overall quality of life. Be sure to get at least five servings of organic vegetables and fruits each day as well.