This Harvard Professor Says You Should Only Eat 6 French Fries

We’re formally becoming a member of the throngs of fired-up on-line commenters: Six French fries is simply not sufficient.

Last week, a Harvard professor instructed the New York Times that six–six!–measly fries is likely to be a extra affordable serving measurement of everybody’s favourite starchy delights. “I think it would be nice if your meal came with a side salad and six French fries,” mentioned Eric Rimm, ScD, a professor within the departments of epidemiology and vitamin on the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.

Naturally, Twitter misplaced its thoughts.

The backlash even prompted Rimm himself to enter the fray and defend his assertion.

Here at Health, we will see the place he is coming from. Restaurant portion sizes are big, and fries are definitely not the healthiest factor you could possibly be ordering. We’re not about to provide the inexperienced mild to eat a mound of fries day by day (as a lot as we want we might). But six simply appears like a joke, would not it? We have questions.

Is six fries actually a portion?

Whether you organize them in a restaurant or defrost the frozen type at house, you in all probability find yourself with far more than six fires in your plate. As one fries fan on Twitter identified, a few of us might simply put down six fries in a single chunk.

But what formally constitutes a portion measurement? There’s excellent news and unhealthy information right here. While you may safely eat greater than six fries in a sitting (yay!), you actually cannot go a lot increased than that (boo!). The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines a French fries serving at a measly 10 strips, which clocks in at round 200 energy. That’s a far fry–I imply, cry–from a big order at McDonald’s, with its 497 energy.

Can you eat extra candy potato fries?

So they’re making an attempt to remove our common fries—however no less than we now have candy potato fries, proper? The orange selection is consistently praised for having vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and a decrease calorie rely. And whereas all that could be true of the nice ol’ candy potater, it’s not sufficient to make up for the processing, frying, and added salt (and typically even sugar). Sidenote: Does something?!

However, these nutritional vitamins and minerals do earn you no less than a pair further bites: The USDA’s commonplace reference for candy potato fries serving measurement? Twelve. Win!

What should you air-fry or bake your “fries”?

There are loads of methods to take pleasure in potatoes with out dousing them in oil and frying them to a crisp. In truth, one in all this yr’s trendiest cooking strategies—air-frying—can be top-of-the-line methods to duplicate that fry texture all of us love whereas chopping again on energy and fats.

“Air-frying saves calories because rather than submerging foods in oil, the machine produces a crisp, crunchy texture by circulating hot air that contains fine oil droplets,” Health contributing vitamin editor Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, instructed us in a earlier interview.

While there’s no official USDA stance on air-frying but, this air-fryer French fries recipe we love from Pickled Plum serves up a half a potato’s value of sticks for 239 energy.

Baking and grilling your spuds additionally significantly cuts down on the oil that may in any other case be used to fry ‘em. Try our Grilled Sweet Potato Fries or Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges for a more-satisfying-than-six repair.

Are potatoes even wholesome?

Sass instructed us she eats potatoes as soon as every week, and there’s no denying that when cooked and ready mindfully, taters may be a part of a nutritious diet. Even the white varieties include potassium, B nutritional vitamins, and fiber. But cooking strategies matter, even should you’re staying distant from the deep fryer.

Remember the final time the web received all upset about somebody making an attempt to take our fries away from us? They instructed us fries trigger most cancers.

The reality is a lot extra nuanced than the headlines. Roasting starchy meals like potatoes at excessive temperatures can produce a chemical known as acrylamide, which is considered a “probable human carcinogen.” (Acrylamide can be shaped in the course of the coffee-roasting course of.) This is an effective argument to make roasted potatoes and French fries (sigh) occasional facet dishes in favor of more healthy day by day cooking strategies like boiling and poaching.

Of course, should you’re actually involved about starchy potatoes, you could possibly swap them out completely. Whip up our Baked Zucchini Fries or Crunchy Avocado Fries and be part of us for no less than, properly, 10?

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