This is how many French fries you should be eat­ing

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES NATION - — — — —

AHar­vard pro­fes­sor said it would be “nice” if an or­der of fries only con­tained six to which peo­ple have re­acted with out­rage and dis­be­lief.

De­spite be­ing one of the most de­li­cious foods, French fries are un­der­stand­ably frowned upon by doc­tors and nutri­tion­ists - who are keen to make peo­ple aware of the health risks as­so­ci­ated with con­sum­ing sliced, fried pota­toes.

And in a re­cent New York Times ar­ti­cle, Pro­fes­sor Eric Rimm, a nutri­tion pro­fes­sor in Har­vard Univer­sity’s School of Pub­lic Health, who de­scribed pota­toes as “starch bombs,” sug­gested it would be bet­ter if peo­ple ate them in six-fry in­cre­ments as higher con­sump­tion is as­so­ci­ated with an in­creased risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, obe­sity, and di­a­betes.

Apart from heart dis­ease, obe­sity and di­a­betes, the study ref­er­enced by the New York Times also found peo­ple who ate fries didn’t live as long as peo­ple who didn’t in­dulge.

Cur­rently, Amer­i­cans are con­sum­ing pota­toes more than any other veg­etable, with two-thirds in the form of French fries, chips, or other pro­cessed pota­toes, ac­cord­ing to the Agri­cul­ture Depart­ment.

The ever-in­creas­ing por­tions of food are also the prob­lem with an or­der of French fries now av­er­ag­ing just un­der 200 grams, ac­cord­ing to Beth Fon­tenot, MS, RD, LDN.

Ac­cord­ing to Dr Rimm, por­tion con­trol could help.

“There aren’t a lot of peo­ple who are send­ing back three-quar­ters of an or­der of French fries,” he said in the ar­ti­cle, which de­scribes the coun­try’s vo­ra­cious ap­petite for pota­toes, es­pe­cially fried ones, and the health risks as­so­ci­ated. “I think it would be nice if your meal came with a side salad and six French fries.”

The ad­vice, if re­al­is­tic, would be ben­e­fi­cial but on so­cial me­dia, Dr Rimm’s sug­ges­tion was jok­ingly ridiculed.

“Who is this hos­tile alien they are in­ter­view­ing?” one per­son asked.

An­other said: “What kind of MAD MAN would want six French fries? I get it, they are bad for you, but eat­ing SIX sounds like tor­ture. I’d rather not have them at all. But we all know that’s not go­ing to hap­pen.”

If you are go­ing to ex­er­cise con­trol when it comes to French fries, Tracy Lock­wood Beck­er­man, a reg­is­tered di­eti­cian in New York City, told The In­de­pen­dent that you should avoid “french fries that are doused in top­pings like gravies, cheese, aio­lis or heavy, salty sea­son­ing” in favour of baked fries, and “as a rule of thumb, re­gard­less of the type of potato, ask for the fries with­out salt and if you wish, salt them your­self at the ta­ble.”

She ad­vises pour­ing the salt in your hand “be­fore sprin­kling them onto your fries to pre­vent over­sat­u­rat­ing your meal with salt.”

And while Beck­er­man “gen­er­ally rec­om­mends con­sum­ing fried foods as sel­dom as pos­si­ble,” if you do eat the fries, “Try ex­tra hard at your next meal to eat an ar­range­ment of an­ti­in­flam­ma­tory foods like lean pro­teins, cru­cif­er­ous veg­eta­bles and beans.”

Getty Im­ages

SMALL FRY: Pro­fes­sor Eric Rimm was mocked on so­cial me­dia for sug­gest­ing a healthy serv­ing should only con­tain six fries

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