French Fries
Freshly cooked fries are seen in the Maison Antoine frites stand in Brussels December 4, 2014. Reuters/Yves Herman

If you want to die early, eat fried potatoes. A recent study has discovered scientific evidence that connects eating fried potatoes to higher risk of death.

It is commonly accepted that consuming starchy foods dipped in high-temperature oil is not the best for the human heart. Now, the study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, has proven that such is indeed harmful.

The study was led by researchers from University of Padua in Italy. They studied the connection between mortality and consuming fried and non-fried potatoes. It involved 4,400 men and women with an average age of 45 to 79.

The study states that people who eat fried potatoes twice or thrice a week are at double the risk of an early death compared to those who don’t. Fried potatoes include French fries, hash browns and potato chips. Frequent consumption of fried potatoes appears to be associated with increased mortality risk. More studies with bigger sample sizes should be conducted to confirm these findings.

Boiled and steamed potatoes, however, do not carry the same risks as fried ones. It could be the cooking oil that causes death due to high presence of trans fat, which are extremely harmful for the heart and may lead to diseases such as atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes. Other factors apart from trans fats also contribute to the high mortality rate. Lack of exercise, obesity and being overweight are some of these factors. These can bring death closer for regular friend potato consumers. However, according to News Medical, the National Potato Council wants people to believe that potatoes are not the dietary culprits, regardless of how they are consumed.

Potatoes are rich in Vitamin C and have lesser calories. Thus, experts are of the opinion that consumers should not chuck out potatoes from their daily diet based solely on the study findings. They want larger studies to conclude successfully the cause-effect relationship between death and overall fried potato consumption. Hence, it is advisable that people consume non-fried potatoes but have fried potatoes in moderation. Every participant involved in the study was provided a Block Brief 2000 food-frequency questionnaire.

Participants had to indicate food consumption frequency. The frequencies included less than or equal to one time per month, two to three times a month, once per week, twice per week and more than or equal to thrice per week. What is your thought on the findings? Share below.