nutrition, The Nutrition Edge

Are fried potatoes bad for you?

Say it ain’t so. That’s what millions may be wondering after a recent study pointed to the dangers of eating some of their favorite foods.

French fries and other types of fried potatoes could lead to an early death, the study found.

Potatoes cooked other ways, such as boiled and steamed, did not seem to pose the same health risks, according to the research, cited in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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The lead researcher in the potato study was Dr. Nicola Veronese, with Italy’s National Research Council. Dr. Veronese used to work at the school of medicine at Washington University in St. Louis.

Veronese and his team followed 4,400 people between the ages of 45 and 79 for eight years.

They found that those who ate fried potatoes two to three times a week had twice the chance of an early death compared with those who did not eat fried potatoes.

Fried potatoes include french fries, hash browns and potato chips.

“We believe that the cooking oil, rich in trans fat, is an important factor in explaining mortality in those eating more potatoes,” Veronese told CNN.

Trans fats have been linked to heart disease, but Veronese said factors such as obesity and lack of exercise could also contribute to an early death in those eating fried potatoes two to three times a week.

For its part, the National Potato Council maintains that potatoes, regardless of how they’re prepared, are a healthy vegetable, rich in vitamin C and potassium and low in calories.

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