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The No. 1 Danger of Eating French Fries

The No. 1 Danger of Eating French Fries

If, like me, you love French fries, here’s some essential information you should munch on.

We know that health experts are not exactly fond of fries, because, well, they’re deep fried potatoes with oozing artery-clogging fat. I delved a bit deeper, and realized they can do worse damage: if eaten often, fries can cause cancer.

Here is the reason: when a starchy food such as a potato is cooked to a temperature above 248 degrees, it produces a cancer-causing chemical called acrylamide.

Does this mean you should turn away from your favorite snack forever? Perish the thought! All you need to do is learn some easy tricks, so you can have your fries without any worries. Here they are:

Forget the fast-food counter: When you buy your fries at a fast food restaurant, there is no way you can control the amount of acrylamide released. But cook them at home, and you can drastically reduce the risk, simply by rinsing the potatoes in running water. Soak them for a couple of hours before making your fries, and the amount of acrylamide produced is even lower.

Change your cooking technique: Better still, bake your fries! Use heart-healthy olive oil to bake your potato or sweet potato fries, sprinkle some rosemary sprigs and coarse sea salt on them, and you have an aromatic, delicious treat without any fear whatsoever!

Control your portions: Of course, there are times when you simply cannot resist the unmistakable aroma of those golden sticks, and you find yourself drifting toward the fast food counter, nodding vigorously when asked “Would you like fries with that?” Guess what: there’s a simple way to reduce your guilt—and risk—levels. Share your fries! Nutritionists say that upto 11 fries are safe to have at any given time. But a typical restaurant serving is at least 65 potato sticks! About 50 years ago, restaurant portions used to be half of this.

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Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman's book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).


+ add your own
3:44PM PDT on Aug 22, 2015


2:18AM PDT on May 29, 2015

According to the internet, everything causes cancer.

2:16AM PDT on May 29, 2015

According to the internet everything causes cancer.

4:09AM PDT on May 20, 2015

Try make them yourself with nice fresh herbs, rosemary is my favourite too ;) and in the oven in stead of fried. They have more of a bite and your house doesn't smell like a fry pan for days after ;)

4:50AM PST on Dec 25, 2014

'FF' was the name of a fabric softener that was once popular in Poland. :-)

4:32AM PST on Dec 25, 2014

*fries, it isn't a proper name

4:31AM PST on Dec 25, 2014

I don't eat French Fries.

11:09AM PST on Nov 21, 2014


3:17PM PST on Nov 6, 2014

Thank you :)

3:17PM PST on Nov 6, 2014

Thank you :)

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