Everyone knows that eating French fries isn’t exactly the same as green juice, but shocking news - a new study says that eating them twice a day will increase your odds of dying younger.

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A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at potato consumption and the effects the food had on one’s health. The study looked at the diets of 4,400 participants between 45 and 79 years old in North America. Potato eating was tracked by questionnaire and frequency was documented by either less than once a month, two to three times per month, once per week, two times per week and more than three times a week. During the eight years that researchers followed up with study participants, 236 died.

The study authors wrote that people who ate the most potatoes overall didn't have an increased risk of mortality, however, the results did show that those who ate fried potatoes two to three times a week and more than three times a week had a higher risk of death. They’re clear that unfried potatoes did not increase mortality risk.

Of course, this study doesn’t actually say that French fries WILL kill you, just that there is a link between the two events. So you may wonder if a fried potato is really that different from its baked or boiled counterparts, and the answer is yes.

“They involve frying, salting, and removing one of the healthiest parts of the potato: the skin, where many of the nutrients and fiber are found,” Jonathan Bonnet, MD, told Time “The fry you eat is much different than the potato from which it came." Basically the fry is really not even a potato anymore by the time you eat it.

Not only is it nutritionally deficient, but frying potatoes could add a harmful chemical known as acrylamide. Time explains it’s made when a food is cooked at very high temperatures either by frying, roasting or baking. In order for the chemical to be produced, the food also needs to contain sugar and the amino acid asparagine. French fries and potato chips are the most common foods with acrylamide, the magazine reports.

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White potatoes do offer some actual health benefits, despite popular opinion. According to the Cleveland Clinic they are a good source of fiber, vitamins A, C and b6, the food is good for your eyes, metabolism and immune system. Rich in antioxidants, they can protect the body against toxins and carcinogens. The best way to cook your spuds is by boiling, baking or zapping in the microwave.

See Also:

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Why Drastically Cutting Calories Won't Help You Lose Weight; Neurons May Block Dieting Efforts