The internet was less than pleased when a study came out claiming that eating french fries increases your risk of dying.
The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,looked at the eating habits of 4,400 participants between the ages of 45 and 79. The study authors determined that, among their subjects, french fry eating was a serious no-no.
“Those who ate fried potatoes two to three times per week were twice as likely to die early compared to those who didn’t eat fried potatoes,” the study claims.
Hold up. What does this mean? Are potatoes killing us? Is vegetable oil poisonous? ARE WE ALL GOING TO DIE?
According to several nutrition experts, including NYU public health and food studies professor Marion Nestle, we all need to take a deep breath before we start freaking out.
“First, this is an association,” Nestle told the Chicago Tribune in an e-mail. “Fried potatoes are associated with somewhat higher mortality, but this does not mean that they cause death. People who eat a lot of fried potatoes might have other unhealthy lifestyle practices — they might have worse diets in general, not exercise, smoke more or drink more.”
In other words: Yes, common sense would dictate that eating fried foods regularly IS bad for you, but that doesn’t mean one specific type of fried food will kill you.
“The association is not strictly dose-related. At lower levels of intake, the association is not statistically significant,” Nestle added. “The most significant associations are at the highest levels of intake of fried potatoes – three times a week or more. The moral here is moderation. If you love french fries, make them a once-in-a-while treat.”
Hear that, folks? Moderation is key to staying healthy without giving up the fries you love.