Do you like french fries the way American schoolchildren love it? Even if the answer is no, we are almost sure that you cannot deny yourself the pleasure of picking up small potatoes - fries or in a rustic way - by placing an order at McDonald's. Guessed?
We all know that there is a lot of fat in fried potatoes, which certainly will not benefit our body. And if we talk about dishes from fast-food restaurants, then the risks only increase, since we can’t say for sure what quality was the oil in which our potatoes had just been “bathed”.
But more recently, scientists have found another serious flaw in french fries. It turns out that regular consumption of a popular snack doubles the likelihood of premature death.
In a study that collected data for 8 years, it was concluded that those who continually replace (or supplement) a regular lunch with french fries have a twice as high risk of death than those who allow themselves hot slices from time to time . A large-scale scientific experiment was attended by 4440 people aged 45 to 79 years, 236 of whom died during the study period. An analysis of the nutrition of the latter revealed that almost all of them ate too much chips.
The results, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, also show that not only french fries carries a similar danger. The list of foods to be careful with includes potato sticks, chips, potato balls and hash brown (fried potato pancakes in oil are similar to our pancakes). In other words, any form of potato that interacts with boiling oil during cooking.
Thus, the amount of chips in the diet is most likely to be limited. But the problem, of course, is not only in it. Researchers warn that while there is a direct link between fatty potato slices and your health, the risk of increased mortality may be due to a number of related factors. For example, the study did not check how mobile the lifestyle of 236 people allegedly suffered from french fries was, and whether their diet as a whole was sufficiently balanced.
In the course of the study, however, it was possible to establish that a small portion of fried potatoes 1-2 times a week is absolutely safe if you try to eat correctly, exercise and sleep enough. That is, the whole thing, again, is moderation. And this, as we know, is the best option for a healthy diet.
What is potato good for?
Nutritionists consider potatoes a valuable vegetable containing potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamins B6 and C, carbohydrates and starch. One of the reasons why potatoes become harmful to children is the way they are cooked. Carcinogenic substances are mainly formed during heat treatment above 120 degrees during frying, and they also appear in potato pancakes. Carcinogen indicator - dark color of the finished product. A light golden hue, on the contrary, proves the absence of carcinogens. However, eating it every day is not recommended.
The key to health is a varied diet, and if you consume only this vegetable twice a day and seven days a week, there may be a problem with a lack of a whole set of vitamins and minerals. When a child prefers only potatoes, there is only one way out - to diversify the menu with other vegetables. However, the recommended intake is 2-3 times a week with 1 g of salt per 100 g of the finished product, with fresh vegetables, lean meat or fish. In addition to carcinogens, there is another harm, high-calorie potatoes, and a large number of unspent calories turns into excess weight. The exception is children athletes, they spend enough energy and this vegetable is on the menu before the competition.
Harm french fries for kids
Now let's move on to the main issue - the harm of french fries. Carcinogenic substances even in the case when the frozen product is subjected to heat treatment, and as you know, the technology of cooking french fries implies initial freezing to obtain the necessary crust. It also does not contain any nutrients, since they are lost during storage (how many frozen vegetables are stored in fast food restaurants, we do not know for sure) and heat treatment. And the last harmful factor - children receive much more salt than is necessary by age.
Some manufacturers of deep-fried frozen potatoes add palm oil, which becomes harmful when cooked above 110 degrees. Thus, the harm of french fries to children becomes very high.
How often can a child eat french fries? We cannot talk about a strict ban when it comes to a student. Unfortunately, children over ten years old at least sometimes, but they try unhealthy food with their friends secretly from their parents. The formation of healthy eating habits from an early age will help to minimize this phenomenon. If we talk about small children, then the answer is obvious - this product should not be offered at all, and it is better to bypass establishments with such dishes as long as possible.
The assumption that french fries cooked at home is more wholesome is a mistake, if you stick to the correct cooking - first freeze, and then apply deep fat. A dish will be useful when baking below 100 degrees with oregano, rosemary, a moderate amount of salt and olive oil, without preliminary freezing.
What's worse - chips or french fries? Both options cause irreparable harm to the children's body. Chips with food chemical additives do not bring any benefit. Do not be surprised if, after meeting with the first package, the child refuses his favorite broccoli or carrots.