Fried Potatoes

A recent study published in the american journal of clinical nutrition stated that people who ate fried potatoes more than once a week increased their risk of early death compared to those who avoided them. The researchers however pointed out that eating boiled, grilled or baked potatoes did not portend such a high mortality risk.

Fried Potatoes

This study was led by Dr. Nicola Veronese, lead author and a scientist at the National Research Council at Padova, Italy.

The study tracked 4440 people aged 49 to 70 over a period of eight years to study osteoarthritis. This research team decided to momentarily set aside the main issue of osteoarthritis and look at the participants consumption of potatoes. The researchers therefore divided the study participants into eight subgroups based on how frequentlynthey ate fried potatoes each week. Over the eight year study period a total of 236 of the study participants died.

Fried Potatoes

Analyzing the data for each group, Veronese and his team discovered that those who ate fried potatoes twice or thrice each week doubled their chance of dying early compared to those who ate no fried potatoes at all. French fries, hash browns, potato chips and any other preparation requiring a fryer and oil are included under the umbrella of  “fried potatoes”.

Age or sex of participants did not influence the result but the data showed that men were more likely than women and younger participants were more likely than older participants to enjoy fried foods.

Possible Causes?

This high mortality rate associated with fried potatoes could be related to the high calorie nature of the food, combining a high carbohydrate, low fiber food with the high calorie oil. Obesity is most likely and cardiovascular diseases are also a high risk.

When oil is fried, it is hydrogenated and saturated. This bears specific danger to the arteries and heart of consumers, resulting in clogged arteries and heart episodes. Most oils used in frying foods contain a high amount of LDL which is a major culprit in causing heart problems.

How to Avoid Risk Associated with Fried Potato Consumption

Reduce intake of Fried Potatoes and Fried Foods in General to at most once a week. The process of frying encourages the incorporation of an unhealthy amount of oil into foods. In a long term, this can cause heart diseases, stroke, obesity and diabetes. It is much healthier to indulge in boiled or grilled versions of these foods.

Also eat them whole. Although this may raise an eyebrow or two, it is actually healthier to eat foods such as potatoes with their skin. Most of their micronutrient and fiber content are packed in the skin, therefore, deskinning them leaves only empty calories for you.

Personally I advocate the consumption of fried foods with lots of vegetables. These vegetables “soak” up the oil and possible toxins, reduce the glycemic index of the food, add to micronutrient content of the meal and  increase satiety.

Granted, fried foods taste way better than the others, but Nigerians say that “the things that taste the best kill the most”. Be wise.

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