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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).


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9:34PM PDT on Sep 12, 2014

i LOVE sweet potato french fries! If you've not tried them, oh my, you're in for a treat. They're sold at grocery stores: if the store has an organic foo section of cereals, granola bars, juices - all sorts of products - they are usually in that mixture of items. Otherwise, they are in the same aisle as potato chips, pretzels, popcorn, and other bagged snack items. They're crunchy, healthier, and have a wee bit of sea salt on them. If interested, you can make them at home, too. But try them first: they are quite "addicting" - and you can't each just one :) Happy snacking!

10:44AM PDT on Jul 27, 2014

Good information

2:06AM PDT on Jul 22, 2014

thank you

2:28AM PDT on Jul 13, 2014

home fries are better anyway!!!!

1:21AM PDT on Jul 10, 2014

I cook mine with very little oil in the air fryer. Supposed to be healthier .... hope it is!

11:46AM PDT on Jul 5, 2014

Soon there will be nothing left for health addicts to eat.

5:41PM PDT on Jun 6, 2014

So much advice but will we live longer.Probably not.

6:34AM PDT on Jun 2, 2014

Thank you for the information.

3:51PM PDT on May 27, 2014

More importantly, in most restaurants, they don't change their deep-frying oil after each batch. In fact, in certain fast-food restaurants, you have to ask when they do the change, which can be as seldom as once a week. Heating and re-heating the oil over and over just makes the problems with cancer-inducing chemicals 200 times worse!

7:36AM PDT on May 24, 2014


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