You know how some health advice is taken more seriously than others? Take, for example, wearing sunscreen. Not only is the ritual of wearing daily SPF a beauty-conscious one, it’s endorsed by all manner of medical professionals: GPs, skin cancer doctors and dermatologists included. And we listen, because who wants cancer and wrinkles?
But some advice can really fall by the wayside, including this latest tidbit by Eric Rimm, a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard, who has suggested we only eat six French fries per portion in order to have optimal health.
Dr Rimm, who was interviewed by The New York Times about America’s love of fries, not only called the delicious side (or main meal, if you’re anything like this writer) “starch bombs” but he had the audacity to suggest limiting our portions.
“There aren’t a lot of people who are sending back three-quarters of an order of French fries,” Dr Rimm said. “I think it would be nice if your meal came with a side salad and six French fries.” Six fries? Six!?
But wait, there’s more.
Elaine Magee, author and dietician, goes on to say you can eat 10 fries — which might feel the same as a whole bowl — if eaten with your eyes closed and with a mindful attitude.
“Anything can be eaten healthfully if it’s eaten mindfully,” she said. “If you eat French fries that way, you will probably be satisfied with 10.”
Now, don’t get us wrong, we’re all about health. We love our kombucha, our adaptogenic tea, Pilates and F45, but there are some things in life not worth limiting. Fries, particularly those topped with cheese or eaten with aioli (a condiment Dr Rimm says to steer clear of thanks to hidden calories) are such an item. Perhaps one of the greatest inventions by the modern cook, a perfectly deep fried chip is up there as humanity’s best vices.
Take away our salami (a Group 1 carcinogen) and our strawberries (needles!) but please, don’t make us eat just six fries.