Harvard professor claims you should only eat six fries in one sitting if you want to avoid heart disease

Harvard professor claims you should only eat six fries in one sitting if you want to avoid heart disease

Where would our meals be without fries? They'd be a lot worse, right? I sure think so. Whether you like them thick-cut, Cajun-flavoured, or extra-skinny, there's no denying that they make or break your lunch, and are probably the most moreish item on your average menu.

The one downside of them, of course, is that they're not particularly healthy. Yes, eating nothing but fries will mean that your weight will sadly balloon over time, and plenty of people could lay the blame of the rising obesity epidemic in the western world at the feet of high-car, high-fat, fried food like chips.

They're so bad in fact that an expert Harvard nutritionist has cautioned us all to abandon eating large piles of fries, and instead opt for much smaller portions. 'How small?' I hear you ask. Well, apparently the safest thing to do is consume no more than six fries per meal. Yeah, you heard that right: not sixteen, not sixty either. Just six fries and no more.

The unfortunately-named Eric Rimm, professor in the departments of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, who called potatoes "starch bombs." In an interview with The New York Times, Rimm stated went on to say: "I think it would be nice if your meal came with a side salad and six French fries."

However, when Rimm's comments hit social media, readers of the article were very much outraged at the 'six-fries-per-meal' suggestion. One person commented: "What kind of MADMAN would want six french fries? I get it, they are bad for you, but eating SIX sounds like torture. I’d rather not have them at all. But we all know that’s not going to happen [sic]," while another person concurred by stating: "The New York Times has an article every other week about French fries I don’t want to hear how bad fries are for you I work in a restaurant I eat them every day I don’t need that negativity."

However, perhaps we should be a bit more concerned about our collective chip consumption. A study published last year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition made it clear that potatoes have a high glycemic index, which has been linked to conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and that participants who ate fried potatoes more than two to three times per week had a higher mortality rate than those who ate unfried spuds.

So, are we all going to give up fries, and start rationing them in a bid to stay trim and healthy? Somehow I doubt it. Okay, so maybe we do all go overboard with our portion sizes, particularly when it comes to high-carb sides. But seriously: six fries per meal is just borderline totalitarian. Maybe we should all just eat less of them in general, instead of counting out six chips each.