Eating Chips Everyday – Are French Fries Bad?

Eating Chips Everyday - Are French Fries Bad?

Running a health blog that remains interesting to the public, month after month, is a pretty hard job (believe me!). When I first launched this site I was determined to stay away from the ‘health fluff’ most of my predecessors had relied upon.

Let’s be honest here – how many times have you read a rehashed article on low carbohydrate dieting or the benefits of a Paleo lifestyle?

It sometimes seems as though one person publishes an excellent health article…only for the rest of the crowd to completely plagiarise it…time and time again.

So a lot of my time is spent searching out new and INTERESTING health topics – I try and think outside the box to keep this site as fresh (and popular) as possible.

A recent visit to a reasonably popular forum highlighted a really interesting post on eating chips everyday, and this post led me to an even more interesting article in The Independent newspaper…

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So, Are French Fries Bad For You?

Okay, before we go any further I should point out that ‘chips’ in the UK are what the Americans refer to as ‘french fries’ – we are not talking about the crispy bags of potato chips here – we are talking about the deep fried babies that go with your burger from McDonald’s.

Now that we’ve managed to clear that up…

The article of interest from The Independent carried the shocking news that ‘Eating chips (or ‘french fries’ if you are in the US) more than twice a week can double your risk of dying’.

With a headline like that I just had to dive in deeper….


The Fried Potato Problem

We all know that the good old fried potato can hurt our waistline but the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition’s latest report goes one step further.

Their studies highlighted the fact that over a period of eight years – people who regularly ate fried potatoes were twice as likely to die.

The tests were carried out on a group of individuals aged between 45 and 79, there were 4,440 of them in all. When the eight year period was up, 236 of the participants had died.

Now I don’t want to cause a panic here – this test was only taken out on the FRIED POTATO choices available – I’m not saying potatoes as a whole are bad for you. Think of french fries, hash browns, crisps (chips in the US), and wedges.

Various Forms of Chips or French Fries

The group of scientists involved in this eight year study claim that the age and sex of the participants had nothing to do with outcome of the fatalities.

They also pointed out that other factors including obesity, avoiding exercise and high salt consumption may also have contributed to the deaths.


Why Are French Fries So Bad For You?

Well the most obvious answer to this question is the bad fats that chips/french fries contain.

There’s no getting away from the fact that frying your foods is super-tasty – way more tasty than every other form of cooking (come on – be honest with yourself here!).

Unfortunately, bad fat or saturated fat is what turns a potato into a time bomb for cancer, heart disease and diabetes… and how many take away joints do you know that fry their chips in healthy olive oil???

None!

Chips (or french fries) are also full of the worst kind of carbohydrates for your body. Now, as I pointed out above in the previous section – potatoes in their natural form are not necessarily bad for you…it’s the way we choose to cook them that turns them into a health nightmare.

Are French Fries really That Bad?

And how many of you reading this like your fries plain and boring?

The cooking process is bad enough…but we then pile on a load of salt for taste purposes – fries without salt are just not fries in my book!

Most of the ‘big boy’ fast food joints, like McDonald’s or Burger King etc, actually add the salt before handing the carton of fries over – you have no choice in the matter!

Diets that are high in salt increase the risk of developing high blood pressure, which can lead to heart and kidney disease and stroke.

A regular portion of fast food fries usually contains about 600 milligrams of sodium – nearly 1/3 of the recommended daily intake.


Eating Chips Everyday

So what are your views on this new study and it’s results – do you really think that eating fries/chips twice a week ‘doubles your chance of death’?

I would be really interested to hear your views on this subject, please leave them in the comment section below.

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14 thoughts on “Eating Chips Everyday – Are French Fries Bad?

  1. I don’t know about doubling your chances of dying. That sounds a bit extreme and there are so many other factors out there that could be playing a part (i.e. exercise, job, culture, and just lifestyle).

    That being said, eating fries twice a week can’t be helping your body and I definitely couldn’t recommend that sort of routine.

    I’ve found that eating well is less about finding the most restrictive diet possible and more about finding foods you enjoy because they make you feel good.

    Thanks for the good read!

    xx

    Helen

    1. Not my words Helen – researchers and scientists (I ain’t that clever!!!!). 

      I was shocked to read it the first time myself. I haven’t included all the details in this article because I didn’t want to appear like a content thief. 

      But….

      Simply Google the subject and see what they have to say themselves – it’s quite an eye-opener really!

      Great to see you back here by the way, supporting our work, thanks for the interaction once again! 🙂

      Stay Healthy! 

  2. Hey Chris,

    I knew that eating fries/chips was bad for your health, but I didn’t know it was THAT bad 🙂

    Anyway, there are so many ways to cook a potato, that you can avoid chips for as long as you can, if you want to. What is your favorite one, and which is the healthier?

    Marios

    1. To be honest Marios, I like simple boiled potatoes. Just cook a decent sauce to go with them and a meat/fish choice and bang – a tidy meal! 🙂

  3. Hi there,

    Can i start by saying well done because truly you thought out side the box on this one and you have created something that is far more interesting and worthy of sharing.

    I like my fries no doubt but like you said, the cooking method is mostly gotten way wrong and some of the big players do same too. All we want is a great taste and a little sodium here and there can not go wrong. I like the way you highlighted different types of fries and what amount of salt are recommended.

    I will surely come back here for more fresh thinking and ideas.

    1. Well thank you Richard, that’s nice to hear, and I’m glad you enjoyed the article and it’s contents. Look forward to your return! 🙂

  4. Well I think doubling your chances of dying is more of a figurative language since french fries are a small fraction of what actually causes deaths. That said, eating french fries more than twice a week is unhealthy. Too much fat goes into making this fries which in turn adds more calories than needed in your body. 

    Am a victim, though am petite my body fats had once shot up as I was living on a french fry and chicken diet more than three times a week. I had to discipline myself and start making my own meals at home now my body fat levels are in check though I do get fries cravings, I try my best to avoid them and substitute with healthy foods especially vegetables.

    1. Well it sounds as if you’ve got a control over those fatty meals now and are on the right track. Well done for realising the problem and rectifying it Anita. 

  5. This leaves a lot in my mind to think about. I wouldn’t recommend eating French fries frequently in a week but the death part makes me wonder how dangerous it could be. So, if too much salt and frying with a bad oil could make it harmful then it could as well be very healthy if a healthy oil is used and salt minimized. That’s how I see it. 

  6. Hello there,

    I will be first to admit that I am a huge french fries lover, they are so yummy! As far as their effect on our health goes, well… I could see it coming, haha! I was totally aware of them containing lots of harmful fats and salt, but I was bit shocked to discover that chips are ”full of the worst kind of carbohydrates for your body.”- oh-oh, that’s no good… I’ve also learned from your article that big amounts of salt can lead to high blood pressure which further leads to terrible diseases, that’s very valuable information. I do work out a lot, almost daily to be exact- does working out help you get rid of salt from your system? All in all, thanks fur such informative article, I found it to be very helpful, keep up the great work! 

    1. Working out helps get all types of crap out of your system Evald – especially the more intense cardio. I’m no angel as I eat all the wrong types of foods more often than not, but I do run every day in an attempt to rid my body of the ‘bad stuff’. 

  7. Your headline is attention grabbing – eating chips everyday and will eating fries twice a week double your chances of death – this really intrigued me to read more as I admit I love chips and indulge often when eating out maybe 1-2 times a month and even the oven baked ones at home. oh doozy, you quote the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition’s latest report that supports your sub heading.From my understanding the crisps (chips in the US) are probably the worst as they contain the most amount of oil per surface size.  Do you agree that these are the worst fried potatoes in your post for your health?As you say “Unfortunately, bad fat or saturated fat is what turns a potato into a time bomb for cancer, heart disease and diabetes” – oh so they’re really bad then and I’ve really got to watch my heart health.

    Thank you for your post, it will make me think twice, maybe three times before ordering french fries again.  It was a great wake-up call for me to read this and I hope many others do too.

    1. Yeah I do agree with you John, unfortunately crisps (or chips in America) are probably the worst for you, which is a shame, because I love ’em (and prefer them to french fries!). 

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