Could Your Love of French Fries Be Killing You?

Article posted in: Diet & Nutrition
French Fries

File this one under “yet another reason to reconsider that side of fries”: A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has linked eating fried potatoes at least twice a week with an increased risk of death. That includes spuds fried in every shape and size: Regular French fries, shoestring and curly versions; waffle and steak cuts; hash browns and tater tots.

Scientists tracked the potato-eating habits of 4,400 adults between the ages of 45 and 79 over the course of eight years. They found that those who ate fried potatoes two to three times each week doubled their chance of dying early, compared to those who ate no fried potatoes. Eating spuds that are not fried, however—such as those that are boiled, baked or mashed—did not pose the same risks, according to the observational study. More research is needed to confirm the link.
Here’s what we do know: Potatoes are a relatively healthy food. A medium baked potato, for example, is only about 160 calories and packed with vitamins, fiber and potassium. Also, most of the carbohydrates it contains are complex—meaning they are digested more slowly, so you feel full for longer. That’s why, on Nutrisystem, you can count half of a medium potato (or a half cup of mashed or cooked potato) as one SmartCarb.

But, since we also know that sometimes, you just crave something salty and crispy, we’ve got you covered with this run-down of 5 Veggies That Make Awesome Fries >

And, just to whet your whistle…

Here are three healthier versions of French fries you don’t have to limit:

1. Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Fries hearty vegetables

With a little olive oil and your favorite seasonings, you get that crisp on the outside, pillowy-soft center and tons of flavor in each bite. Think of it like a cheat food—minus the cheating. Also, if you like to dunk your fries in ketchup, go right ahead: one tablespoon counts as one Extra on Nutrisystem. Click here to get the recipe! >

2. Carrot Fries

veggie french fries

They’re almost the right shape already—just cut them a little thinner into fry-size; coat them with an olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper blend and bake for about 25 minutes for a delicious spin on your standard side. For some extra crisp, stick them under the broiler for a few minutes before digging in. Click here to get the recipe! >

3. 3-Ingredient Eggplant Fries

eggplant fries

All you need is curry, cumin and zero-calorie cooking spray to transform eggplant into an inspired version of fries. It’s a tasty way to get all the health-boosting nutrients in eggplant—like folate, potassium and fiber—into your diet. Click here to get the recipe! >