There's no denying the addictive nature of sugar, fat, and salt—but out of all the evil (delicious) junk foods in the world, science says that our favorite one might just be the deadliest. (Not to freak you out or anything.)
This week, Bustle reported a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, associating frequent french fry consumption with increased mortality risk. Conducted over the course of eight years, the study analyzed the diets of 4440 North American participants, ages 45 to 79 (236 of whom died at some point during that eight-year period). From their data, the researchers found that participants who consumed fried potatoes twice a week or more (that means french fries, tater tots, home fries, hash browns, etc.) more than doubled their death risk when compared to those who weren't fried potato fans.
Of course, eating lots of potatoes does not give you an automatic death sentence. Keep scrolling to learn more about this highly unfortunate (but not totally doomed) study.
All is not lost for potato lovers, though. While the study did connect regular indulgence in fried potatoes to a higher mortality rate, it also found that not all potatoes are equally unhealthy. The study did not associate such a risk with boiled, mashed, or baked potatoes—in fact, with these preparation methods, potatoes actually boast a number of health benefits, including fiber, vitamins, and a little bit of protein.
It's also critical to note that the study only determined a correlation between french fries and death—not a cause and effect. In other words, while fried potatoes might not be kind to your fitness goals, it won't necessarily kill you. (Phew.)
Of course, more research must be done to learn more about why french fries are so deadly—could it be that eating them more than twice a week is a sign of an overall poor diet? Or is there something specific about fried potatoes that leads to mortality?
In the meantime, enjoy some other ways to eat potatoes with the clever cookbook below.