A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has linked the consumption of fried potatoes to an increased risk of early death.
In the research involving 4,440 people between ages 45-79, it was found that over eight years, those who ate fried potatoes such as French fries, hash browns and potato chips two or more times a week had double the risk of early death than those who did not.
According to the study, the risk factor is associated with the cooking oil which is rich in trans-fat.
Trans-fat has been shown to boost levels of bad LDL cholesterol in the blood, which can lead to heart disease.
“But we believe that the cooking oil, rich in trans-fat, is an important factor in explaining mortality in those eating more potatoes,” said lead author Nicola Veronese, a scientist at the National Research Council in Padova, Italy.
He said he hopes the study will alert people that consuming fried potatoes “could be an important risk factor for mortality. Thus, their consumption should be strongly limited”.
Stephanie Schiff, a registered dietitian at Northwell Health’s Huntington Hospital in Huntington, New York, told CNN that the threat from eating fried potatoes and other starchy foods is a potential cancer-causing chemical called acrylamide.
Acrylamide is “a chemical produced when starchy foods such as potatoes are fried, roasted or baked at a high temperature,” Schiff said.
“You can reduce your intake of acrylamide by boiling or steaming starchy foods, rather than frying them. If you do fry foods, do it quickly,” she advised.