Healthy portion of fries should only contain six pieces, says Harvard professor

A Harvard professor has declared that a portion of fries should only contain six for it to be called a healthy portion.

Introduced in the 1700s, fried sticks of potato have been an indulgence and a staple ever since.

However, Professor Eric Rimm, of Harvard University’s nutrition department, says they are ‘starch bombs’ and half a dozen should be our limit.

He adds that a person should sate his appetite with salad if they want to avoid life-threatening heart conditions.

The comments, appearing in New York Times prompted quite a furor online, but medical community says that he has a point.

In the last 25 years, the average serving size in any given establishment has doubled or tripled. Bagels are now six inches wide, not three; a medium bag of popcorn is 11 cups, not five; and a soda is 20 ounces not 6.5.

A serving of fries is meant to be capped at around 15. These days, most restaurants serve around 55.

Dr Rimm’s advice is partly based on a recent study by Italian researchers, who found people who avoided fries altogether lived six months longer than those who indulged.

People who ate fries two or three times a week had (unsurprisingly) higher risks of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

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