In a new study, researchers found that daily consumption of French fries could be as healthy as almonds. The results show that there are no significant differences in metabolic health when consuming the two foods. Daily servings of fries with 300 calories in the diet did not lead to weight gain compared to equivalent amounts of almonds. There were also no significant changes in biomarkers associated with impaired blood glucose regulation.
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Why fries also have a healthy effect on the body
The research team revealed that the health risks previously thought by nutritionists depend on the amount of fries consumed. When it comes to weight gain or risk factors for type 2 diabetes, the study authors found no evidence of unhealthy effects from regular fried potato intake. Accordingly, dietary recommendations that focus primarily on isolated foods may miss their target. Therefore, the more effective approach to dietary advice would likely be to consider overall diet, lifestyle, individual needs, and risk factors, researchers said.
In the study, the team compared changes in body composition : body fat mass, body weight, fasting blood glucose, and insulin levels. 180 adults consumed chips or almonds during the one-month study in the intervention groups. Given the difference in carbohydrate content between French fries and almonds, blood glucose and insulin levels were higher after eating the former, as expected. However, these levels were not elevated above a normal range. Furthermore, the difference had no apparent effect on other biomarkers related to blood glucose.
Correlation between almonds and potatoes
At the end of the studies, the changes in the bodies of participants from the two intervention groups were comparable and not clinically significant. The study results show that two foods previously linked for opposite associations with health risks showed no difference in effects. The study authors studied a subgroup of five people after eating. In this way, they wanted to find out if French fries had a healthy effect on their blood sugar levels.
Nevertheless, such a study design allows for the collection of real-world data. Those with type 2 diabetes were also omitted. This limited the applicability of the results to people who do not have the disease. In the research literature, regular consumption of French fries is associated with an increased risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity. However, researchers say there is little evidence to support this assumption. Research leader David Allison and his team therefore wanted to conduct research that would provide a clear answer to the link between physical health and regular consumption of fried potatoes.
The health potential of fries and almonds
According to a global meta-analysis, eating fried foods is associated with an increased risk of serious heart disease and stroke. However, experts caution that conclusions cannot be drawn due to wide research dispersion and other confounding factors. Other research suggests that eating baked or boiled potatoes reduces sodium storage more effectively than supplementation, as well as lowers systolic hypertension.
Meanwhile, Canadian researchers found that calorie labeling on almonds may not accurately reflect the number of calories consumed. This led the authors of the present study to conclude that the results may allay concerns about almonds’ contribution to weight gain.