TAMPA (FOX 13) - When it comes to French fries, six is the magic number, according to a Harvard professor.
Eric Rimm, who works for the university's departments of epidemiology and nutrition, told The New York Times that six fries are a proper portion, calling the American side meal, "starch bombs." He explained that potatoes rank near the bottom of healthy vegetables, and do not have the nutrients found in green, leafy vegetables.
He tells the Times that if you remove the potato skin - where some nutrients are - cut it, deep fry it in oil, and add salt, cheese, chili or gravy, then it could become a "weapon of dietary destruction."
According to a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, potatoes have been linked to an increased risk of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease due to its high glycemic index. Participants who ate fried potatoes two to three times a week were at a higher risk of mortality compared to those who ate unfried potatoes during the study.
Doctors suggest splitting those orders of French fries, getting the smallest portion, or just eating a healthier vegetable to eat.
"There aren't a lot of people who are sending back three-quarters of an order of French fries," Dr. Rimm said to the Times. "I think it would be nice if your meal came with a side salad and six French fries."
He also added, "It's too bad in this country you'll pry them from my cold dead hand."