Fried Potatoes Are Linked To Death, So We Can All Just Give Up Now
Get out the tissues, you're going to need to sit down for this one.
A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has revealed that people who eat fried potatoes two or more times a week, double their risk of an early death compared to those who avoid them.
I guess I should go ahead and start digging a hole now.
Fortunately, the researchers left us a silver lining -- potatoes that have not been fried are totally okay to eat. So, at least we have that.
"Fried potatoes consumption is increasing worldwide," lead author Dr. Nicola Veronese warned.
According to the National Potato Council, Americans alone consumed 112.1 pounds of potatoes per person in 2014. Of that 112.1 pounds, 33.5 pounds were fresh potatoes, while the remaining 78.5 pounds were processed. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that Americans consume French fries more than any other processed potato.
For the past eight years, Dr. Veronese and his team of researchers have been tracking 4,440 people (aged 45 to 79) to study osteoarthritis -- meaning each member was an arthritis patient. And, instead of researching something relatively normal, this team decided to focus on participants' weekly potato consumption.
While it's pretty obvious that McDonald's French fries are the least healthy option on the menu, Dr. Veronese claims there's "very limited" scientific data on potato consumption as a whole.
So, in hopes of figuring just how unhealthy fried potatoes are, the researchers divided participants into subgroups based on how often they ate potatoes each week. Within eight years, 236 participants died.
After analyzing the data, Dr. Veronese found that those who ate fried potatoes two to three times per week doubled their chance of dying early compared to those who didn't eat fried potatoes at all.
In this study, French fries, hash browns, and potato chips were considered "fried potatoes."
Although the age or sex of participants didn't have an influence on the results, the data showed that men were more likely than women to enjoy fried food.
Because this was an observational study, Dr. Veronese noted that it would require more research to confirm that eating more fried potatoes causes an early death.
"Even if it is an observational study, we believe that the cooking oil, rich in trans-fat, is an important factor in explaining mortality in those eating more potatoes," Dr. Veronese added.
Thankfully, National Potato Council CEO John Keeling stood up for potato-lovers everywhere.
"It is very much a stretch to brand fried potatoes, or any other form of potato, as unhealthy," Keeling said, noting that potatoes "are inherently a very healthy vegetable."
A medium-sized potato, Keeling explained, is around 110 calories, has no fat, no sodium, no cholesterol, and provides nearly one-third of our daily vitamin C requirement.
The CEO of the National Potato Council CEO wouldn't lie, would he?