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Doctors are studying the effects of eating fried potatoes
Many fried potato products have long had a reputation for being harmful to health. Researchers found that eating fried potatoes, potato chips, and French fries, for example, actually reduced life expectancy.
The National Research Council scientists found that eating fried potatoes increased the risk of mortality. The doctors published the results of the study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
There is no increased risk of mortality in boiled and steamed potatoes
Potatoes can generally be prepared in completely different ways. Experts found that eating fried potatoes reduced human life expectancy. This increased risk is not seen in boiled and steamed potatoes. So far, there have been little or no studies on the effects of fried potato consumption on mortality, the authors explain.
Doctors examine the data of 4,400 subjects for their study
For their new study, the scientists analyzed the data from 4,400 participants between the ages of 45 and 79. The subjects were medically monitored for a total of eight years, the experts say. The current study made it clear that eating fried potatoes two or three times a week leads to a double risk of mortality compared to people who do not eat fried potatoes.
The risk is greatest when people eat fried potatoes twice a week
During the examination, the test subjects had to answer a questionnaire. This recorded the frequency of consumption of potatoes or potato products. A total of 236 participants died during the eight years of follow-up. The subjects were divided into different groups based on their consumption of potato products. The analysis made it clear that the risk of premature death was highest among the participants who ate fried potatoes twice a week, the scientists explain.
The cooking oil used contains many trans fatty acids
The researchers suspect that the cause of an association between fried potatoes and early death could arise from the cooking oil used, which contains many trans-fatty acids. These trans fats are usually bad for the heart, doctors say. Consumption can lead to heart diseases such as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis in turn leads to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, the experts add.
These factors also affect mortality
Aside from trans fats, there are other factors that affect mortality such as lack of exercise, obesity, and being overweight. Such factors could also be the cause of early deaths among fried potato consumers, the researchers speculate.
Potatoes are generally healthy
However, given the results of the study, it should not be concluded that potatoes are generally unhealthy, the scientists emphasize. Rather, it depends on the preparation of the potatoes whether they harm our health or lead to premature mortality, say the authors of the study. Potatoes are actually a healthy vegetable that is rich in vitamin C and low in calories.
More research is needed
The study should by no means be the reason why people no longer eat potatoes, the experts explain. Further research is now needed to finally determine the cause-effect relationship between the consumption of fried potatoes and premature death. Potatoes that are not fried are safe and can be consumed, the scientists emphasize. Fried potatoes can also be consumed in moderation, the doctors add. (as)