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.
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.
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???
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.
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.