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NewsBites September 2017 Issue

Fried Potatoes: A Strike Against Longevity?

Eating fried potatoes (such as French fries, potato chips and hash browns) two or more times a week was associated with twice the risk of dying prematurely, compared to eating fried spuds no more than once a month, showed a new observational study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. But, eating non-fried potatoes (such as boiled, baked, mashed or potato salad) was not associated with increased mortality risk.

Researchers looked at mortality rates for eight years in a group of 4,440 US men and women ages 45 to 79 and self-reported potato intake at the start of the study. Because the study was observational, it can't show that fried potatoes were directly responsible for the increased mortality rates. It could be that other factors associated with eating fried potatoes, such as frequent visits to fast-food chains and the other items purchased with French fries - such as sugar-sweetened beverages and items high in salt and/or calories - may have contributed to the observed increase in premature death rates. For longevity we should follow a healthy dietary pattern and lifestyle overall, not just limit fried potatoes.

To learn more: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 2017

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