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What’s Really In Potato Chips?

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Beware: Baked Chips May Be WORSE than Fried!

If you think you can avoid the health risks of potato chips by choosing baked varieties, which are typically advertised as being “healthier,” think again. Remember that acrylamide is formed not only when foods are fried or broiled, but also when they are baked. And according to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) data on acrylamide levels in foods, baked chips may contain more than three times the level of acrylamide as regular chips!

Interestingly, the same trend holds true for other foods, too, which suggests that baking processed potatoes at high temperature may be one of the worst ways to cook them. For instance, according to the FDA’s data, Ore Ida Golden Fries contained 107 ppb of acrylamide in the regular fried version and 1,098 when baked. So remember, ALL potato chips contain acrylamide, regardless of whether they are natural or not; baked or fried. Likewise, they will ALL influence your insulin levels in a very negative way.

Acrylamide is Not the Only Danger

Acrylamide is not the only dangerous genotoxic compound formed when food is heated to high temperatures.

A three-year long EU project, known as Heat-Generated Food Toxicants (HEATOX), whose findings were published at the end of 2007, found there are more than 800 heat-induced compounds, of which 52 are potential carcinogens. In addition to their finding that acrylamide does pose a public health threat, the HEATOX scientists also discovered that you’re far less likely to ingest dangerous levels of the toxin when you eat home-cooked foods compared to industrially or restaurant-prepared foods.

Additionally, the HEATOX findings also suggest that although there are ways to decrease exposure to acrylamide, it cannot be eliminated completely.

According to their calculations, successful application of all presently known methods would reduce the acrylamide intake by 40 percent at the most—which makes me wonder whether chip manufacturers have really succeeded at this point in reducing acrylamide levels to within legal limits. There’s no updated data as of yet, so there’s no telling whether they’ve been able to comply with the 2005 settlement.

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Read more: Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, Health, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Photo Courtesy Of: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

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Dr. Mercola

Dr. Mercola has been passionate about health and technology for most of his life. As a doctor of osteopathic medicine, he treated many thousands of patients for over 20 years. In the mid 90’s he integrated his passion for natural health with modern technology via the internet and developed a website, Mercola.com to spread the word about natural ways to achieve optimal health.

115 comments

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6:11AM PST on Feb 12, 2014

very good article,thank you

2:22PM PST on Dec 11, 2012

too many pages to read, yes chips are bad, but there's more to life than quantity.....there has to be a balance and if someone wants to include a respectable amount of potato chips for quality I won't lecture them.........now if they are way overweight, diabetic, hyperlipidemic, atherosclerotic I will discuss with them better choices.....

3:07AM PDT on May 31, 2012

"I am an ignorant potato chip eater and refuse to pay attention to this article."

This. Also, I don't eat Pringles anymore, only chips made of actual potatoes.

7:02AM PST on Feb 5, 2012

Is this just for the pringles types? or our regular, tasty type?

12:20PM PST on Jan 23, 2012

Thanks.

11:58PM PST on Jan 8, 2012

Interesting artilce!

9:44AM PST on Dec 28, 2011

Hmm. Isn't basically everything bad for you? I'll try to cut back on potato chips and French fries, but that's mainly because I want to eat healthier.

6:18AM PST on Dec 18, 2011

Basically, anything cooked contains carcinogens, as do a number of raw foods, such as peanuts with aflatoxin. You CANNOT live on our planet and not be exposed to carcinogens.

1:40AM PST on Dec 14, 2011

I am an ignorant potato chip eater and refuse to pay attention to this article.

9:51AM PST on Dec 11, 2011

hmmmm, think i have to stop eating these "potato chips"

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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