Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

The French Fry: Weapon of Mass Destruction?


Americans have their French fries, the British have their chips, Latin America has its papas fritas, and the French have their pommes-frites.

We love them. The potato, that most ubiquitous and perennially popular vegetable, is simply sliced into strips and deep fried. The fast food chains have managed to create total consistency so that fries at a McDonalds in Kalamazoo are identical with those offered in San Francisco, Atlanta, Moscow, or Madrid. They are the ultimate finger food, easily consumed behind the wheel, standing in the subway, or walking down the street. Some of us choose to add ketchup, or vinegar, or salsa, but they also taste great just as they are.

The civilized world has a giant addiction to the lowly tuber. It is hard to conceive of the centuries of eating that took place before potatoes were brought back to Europe from the New World and became a staple of every country's cuisine. What did the poor eat before potatoes made their appearance? Bread? Grains? Vegetables?

The advent of the potato changed our diets forever. It was easy to grow, plentiful, and cheap. The flavor was mild, marrying well with almost anything we chose to eat with it. Its texture changed depending upon how it was prepared. And how many ways we invented to cut it, cook it, and use it with every meal imaginable!

We baked it in its skin or roasted it in bite-sized pieces. We boiled it whole or mashed it into a creamy mush. We grated it and fried it for breakfast. We made soup of it and made it a key ingredient in stews. We made pancakes out of it. We sliced it, riced, it, and diced it. We put it into bread, rolled it into dough, and created America's favorite snack, the potato chip.

But the masterpiece that captured us all was deep frying it. Thick, country-style chips, shoe strings, curly and spicy -we loved them all: golden and crisp and perfect.

French fries now make up 25% of our children's intake of vegetables. Fast food nutritionists attempted to substitute healthier alternatives which were peremptorily dismissed by the majority of their customers. Fries remain the accompaniment of choice for all fast food: burgers, hot dogs, chicken, fish, roast beef, and ribs. We simply cannot get enough and never, ever, seem to tire of the little crunches of pleasure.

The innocuous potato, relatively low in calories and packing its fair share of vitamins and minerals, has been transformed into a culinary weapon of mass destruction. Disfigured by saturated fat into a caloric and artery-hardening horror, the French fry may be the deadliest peril we face on a daily basis.

Just a few orders of fries a week can increase our weight by ten pounds a year! Over a decade, that's a hundred pounds, over a lifetime, an awe-inspiring figure. With 60% of us overweight, half of that figure actually obese, we must look to our dietary intake to find the cause. As diabetes and other weight-related conditions mushroom, we know in our hearts that lifestyle changes are needed.

We go on diet regimens, drink liquid meals, fast, cut out sauces, and have our stomachs stapled. We join gyms, buy home exercise equipment, and follow along with television fitness shows. We blame the additives in our food, the hormones in our meat, and the fat in our salad dressings. We forsake the carbohydrates and sugars that our bodies can't process and opt for high fiber breads and low fat milk.

We refuse to believe, because we don't want to believe, that a seemingly harmless, crisp little addition to our meal can pack such a lethal wallop.

"But I just nibble a few," you wail, "And not every day." It's not the single meal intake that leads to an explosion. It's the cumulative total, day after day, year after year, that plants the time bomb within our system. It is the additive effect of repetitive use that eventually reaches critical mass and our physiology implodes.

Imagine, if you will, that not one fry was sold or eaten over the course of a year, anywhere in the United States. With just that change alone, the collective national weight loss could exceed a billion pounds!

The poor potato is ill-equipped to perform as a deadly weapon. It offers us enjoyment and variety and taste and health. But we have taken its honest goodness and distorted it into a slow killer. With every bend of our elbow to pop its sweet flavor into our mouths, we lay down fat on our hips, our stomachs, our arteries, and our pancreas.

Let's save ourselves and save the potato. Much as we hate to admit it, the French fry is something that has to go, before we do.

Virginia Bola is a licensed psychologist and an admitted diet fanatic. She specializes in therapeutic reframing and the effects of attitudes and motivation on individual goals. The author of The Wolf at the Door: An Unemployment Survival Manual, and a free ezine, The Worker's Edge, she recently published a psychologically-based weight control e-workbook, "Diet with an Attitude" which develops mental skills towards the goal of permanent weight control. She can be reached at http://www.DietWithAnAttitude.com. She provides support and guidance in use of the workbook through her regular blog, http://dietwithanattitude.blogspot.com


MORE RESOURCES:

E! Online

Kelly Rowland Talks Son Titan and Post-Pregnancy Weight Loss, Plus Is She ...
E! Online
So what's her weight loss secret? Well, she's got her personal trainer, for starters. "Jeanette Jenkins is amazing," she told E! News. "I go to Soul Cycle with Angela Davis, who is a goddess but Jeanette really taught me about eating. I learned all ...

and more »


Medical News Today

New obesity drug gives 6 kg extra weight loss in trial
Medical News Today
"The mean differential weight loss of 5.6 kg between the liraglutide group and the placebo group is more than what was observed in previous studies of GLP-1 mimetics," says an editorial article about the findings in the same issue of the medical journal.
Diabetes drug's happy side effect: Weight lossThe News Journal
Liraglutide: Diabetes Drug Significantly Helps Weight Loss, Study FindsReliaWire
New England Journal of Medicine Reports New Weight Loss Drug WorkseMaxHealth
KTRH -Pioneer News
all 44 news articles »


Latinos Health

Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery Better for Type 2 Diabetes Patients Than ...
Latinos Health
A new published research suggests that people who have type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) experience better treatment outcomes when bariatric weight loss surgery is combined with lifestyle changes than those who only do the latter program alone.
Weight-Loss Surgery Edges Out Lifestyle Changes For Type 2 DiabetesMedical Daily
Pitt Study Claims Weight-Loss Surgery Better Than Diet And Exercise In ...STGIST
Weight-Loss Surgery Better for Type 2 Diabetes Than Lifestyle ChangesClapway
The Market Business -Gazette Review
all 142 news articles »


Better Business Bureau: Weight-loss supplements often make unsubstantiated ...
Topeka Capital Journal
Market strategies for dietary supplements have too often included claims in advertisements and on product labels that are unsubstantiated, especially in field of weight-loss supplements. The popularity of Internet advertisements has led to a growing ...

and more »


The Small Diet Changes That Can Add Up to Big Weight Loss
Yahoo Health
How to lose weight weight by eliminating some foods, and adding a few also. (Photo: Getty Images). There's no one-size-fits all approach to eating better. As a nutritionist, some clients I meet with are ready and willing to dive head first into a ...



Resveratrol Induces Fat Browning, Weight Loss in Mice
MedPage Today
Resveratrol Induces Fat Browning, Weight Loss in Mice. The polyphenol resveratrol appears to induce the browning of white fat by activating AMPK alpha 1. savesaved. register today. Earn Free CME Credits by reading the latest medical news in your ...



Local man celebrates weight loss with long-distance running
Laramie Boomerang (press release) (subscription)
In the pre-dawn hours of June 21, Gary Stotler, his wife Nikki and sons Cameron, 6, and Carter, 3, drove west from Laramie into the Snowy Range. By the light of a headlamp and car headlights, Gary ran through the mountains for hours, circling lakes ...



E! Online

The Biggest Loser Contestant Tara Costa Gets Married, Shows Off Weight Loss ...
E! Online
She may not have been The Biggest Loser, but Tara Costa was definitely the biggest winner on her wedding day. E! News can confirm the season seven contender, who finished in third place behind winner Helen Phillips, said "I Do" to fianc√© John ...
Tara Costa, John Baranowski Wed: 'Biggest Loser' Weight Loss Winner's ...The Inquisitr
Biggest Loser Tara Costa Marries Fiance John Baronowski in Weight-Loss ...Celebrity Dirty Laundry

all 8 news articles »


The Independent

Weight-loss surgery can 'ruin patients' quality of life', warns leading doctor
The Independent
The benefits of weight loss procedures, says Mr Shidrawi, only outweigh the risks for people who would otherwise die because they are morbidly obese (BMI 40). “This isn't about pointing the finger at surgeons but these are serious complications that ...
Obese patients risk trauma for Gastric bands that aren't a weight loss 'panacea'Daily Mail

all 2 news articles »


Stanger Health Care Centers Encourages Weight Loss as Part of Accident ...
GlobeNewswire (press release)
DELRAY BEACH, Fla., July 5, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dr. Stanger of Stanger Health Care Centers in Delray Beach, Florida, wants people recovering from accidents to know that incorporating weight loss into accident treatment plans can speed up the ...

and more »

Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.