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View Full Version : Why are fries bad for you ?



ZeroBurn
07-04-2003, 03:50 AM
went home this weekend. my mom was making fries by peeling potatoes and dropping them in some boiling extra virgin olive oil.

i mean, i can't imagine french fries being healthy (well, unless maybe baked) but i wasn't sure why. potatoes, good. olive oil, good. is it the frying process that makes it unhealthy, and why ?

p_t
07-04-2003, 04:05 AM
Yep it's the frying process. Changes the structure of it from a complex carb to a simple carp. Baked is all right. But baked zuchini strips are better.

J450n
07-04-2003, 04:17 AM
I avoid frying everything if i can help it...

ZeroBurn
07-04-2003, 06:45 AM
so it changes the structure of the potato, not the oil? that doesn't matter ? i was worried about changing it to trans-fat or something instead of clean fat.

what about if you dipped it in oil and then baked it ?

Frankster
07-04-2003, 10:30 AM
Originally posted by p_t
Yep it's the frying process. Changes the structure of it from a complex carb to a simple carp. Baked is all right. But baked zuchini strips are better.

I didn't think that you could change carbs from complex to simple by frying :/ , you sure that's right? Not doubting, just that I don't wanna take in wrong info.

I do know however that the frying changes the structure of the oil --- basically it turns the good cholesterol into bad and also turns some into trans-fatty acids which is the worst. Am I correct on this, experts?

GonePostal
07-04-2003, 10:40 AM
Stuff like olive oil once raised beyond a certain temperature changes it molecular structure... Don't know the specifics of what happens but if my memory serves me right it's not good :(
Frankster: Cooking something can change the GI of the food. In potatoes it makes the potatoe more easily digested. The starch is partially broken down by the cooking proccess.

Bruise Brubaker
07-04-2003, 10:45 AM
There is no cholesterol in oil.

I think that heat contributes to the process of oxydation, so the fat of the oil becomes saturated (and trans fats? i dunno).

ZeroBurn
07-04-2003, 11:40 AM
heh, seems everyone's as confused about this one as i am.

where's bradley to clear it up dammit ;)

Ironman8
07-04-2003, 11:58 AM
Does anyone know any restaurants that bake french-fries?! I would love to go to one.

PowerManDL
07-04-2003, 12:20 PM
Five words:

Trans-fatty acids.

Heating up the oil hot enough to fry makes trans-fatty acids, and these are Bad.

Frankster
07-04-2003, 12:52 PM
Originally posted by GonePostal
Frankster: Cooking something can change the GI of the food. In potatoes it makes the potatoe more easily digested. The starch is partially broken down by the cooking proccess.

Cool, didn't know that.

Manveet
07-04-2003, 12:55 PM
Originally posted by PowerManDL
Five words:

Trans-fatty acids.

:scratch:

Frankster
07-04-2003, 12:56 PM
Originally posted by Magnus Musculus
There is no cholesterol in oil.

I think that heat contributes to the process of oxydation, so the fat of the oil becomes saturated (and trans fats? i dunno).

Didn't know that either, good to know; but it made me realize that it's not cholesterol I was meaning to say, it was unsaturated fat into saturated.
Is this what happens, the frying turns what unsaturated fat there is into saturated fat and some of those to trans-fatty acids?

bradley
07-04-2003, 01:47 PM
I found this interesting. Taken from the site below:

http://vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/acryplan.html



On April 24, 2002, researchers at the Swedish National Food Administration and Stockholm University reported finding the chemical acrylamide in a variety of fried and oven-baked foods. The initial Swedish research indicates that acrylamide formation is particularly associated with traditional high temperature cooking processes for certain carbohydrate-rich foods. Since the Swedish report, similar findings have been reported by Norway, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland. Preliminary analysis by the FDA suggests that U.S. results will be in basic agreement with these findings. The discovery of acrylamide in foods is a concern because acrylamide is a potential human carcinogen and genotoxicant.

Mechanism
Acrylamide appears to form as a byproduct of high-temperature cooking processes (greater than 120C or 248F). It does not appear to be present in food before cooking. Research to date suggests that acrylamide formation is particularly likely in carbohydrate-rich foods. However, tests on carbohydrate-rich foods cooked at lower temperatures (e.g., by boiling) have shown much lower acrylamide levels. At this time, not enough is known about acrylamide formation to identify safe modifications to food processing techniques that will clearly prevent or reduce formation. Identifying mechanisms of formation will ultimately be an important step in identifying ways to reduce or prevent acrylamide formation during cooking.

Toxicology
There are uncertainties about the impact of acrylamide on public health. People have been eating some of the foods now reported to contain acrylamide for many years. To better assess the risk of acrylamide, more information is needed regarding which foods acrylamide is formed in, levels of acrylamide in foods, dietary exposure to acrylamide, the bioavailability of acrylamide in food, the potential of acrylamide to cause cancer when consumed in food, acrylamide's potential to cause germ cell mutations, and biomarkers of acrylamide exposure.

Acrylamide causes cancer in laboratory animals. As a result, acrylamide is considered a potential human carcinogen. However, it is not clear whether acrylamide causes cancer in humans. Scientists have conducted epidemiological studies of people exposed to acrylamide in the workplace. The studies did not show increased cancer risk with acrylamide exposure. However, these studies do not rule out the possibility that acrylamide in food can cause cancer, both because of the limited number of people in the studies and because the route of exposure for the workers was not through food.

restless
07-04-2003, 02:17 PM
It's a amazing how the acrylamide "scandal" got silenced so easily. To many foods that are a staple of modern diets are involved and the blow to the food industry would be so significant that there would probably be a huge crisis derived from these findings alone.

One thing, frying won't turn complex into simple carbs, in fact, the frying would if anything lower the GI because fat would delay the digestive process.

The real problems are trans fatty acids and acrylamid. Trans fatty acids will wreck havoc with your cells membranes and change celular metabolism, particulary in the brain and will also lower your HDL while increasing your LDL, thus putting you at a greater risk of CVD and of cancer. If you have to fry, then use something like coconut oil or even other saturated fats and try to keep the temperature as low as you can.

bradley
07-04-2003, 02:28 PM
Originally posted by Frankster

Is this what happens, the frying turns what unsaturated fat there is into saturated fat and some of those to trans-fatty acids?

Heating oils past their smoke point can cause the oil to breakdown and lose it's nutritional value. This can also cause trans-fatty acids to be formed which are physically similar to saturated fats.

Choosing oils based on your cooking needs will help in assuring that you do not heat the oil past it's smoking point.

GonePostal
07-04-2003, 02:49 PM
Originally posted by restless
It's a amazing how the acrylamide "scandal" got silenced so easily.

That is because there is too many "ifs" "buts" and inconclusive results to put any real weight behind those studies.

Ferdo
07-04-2003, 02:58 PM
WOow i didnt know that olive oil changed to trans fatty acids when cooked. I was sauteing with olive oil for a while now thought it was ok to do. LKearn something all the time.

PowerManDL
07-04-2003, 03:17 PM
Sauteeing should be fine, since olive oil (IIRC) has a high flash point. Just watch the really high temps.

restless
07-04-2003, 03:23 PM
Originally posted by GonePostal


That is because there is too many "ifs" "buts" and inconclusive results to put any real weight behind those studies.

I disagree. Any decent study will have "may's", "if's" and "but's". The problem is that there's not much you can do, nor any real insterest in solving problems from their root. Cancer has been rising stronger every year and you probably could find a link between acrylamid and cancer rates but who's interested in this? The people putting the real money into the research are after something that will make them more money, not after guidelines about the avoidance of possible causes. Just go learn a bit about acrylamid, the thing is no joke.

bradley
07-04-2003, 04:34 PM
The site below has some of the smoke points listed for oils that are commonly used in cooking:)

http://missvickie.com/howto/spices/oils.html

p_t
07-04-2003, 05:23 PM
Originally posted by restless

One thing, frying won't turn complex into simple carbs, in fact, the frying would if anything lower the GI because fat would delay the digestive process.


I learned that during the frying process you strip some of the nutrients that make it a complex leaving only the negative parts making it a simple. May have gotten this confused with something else, but if anyone knows where I can find out more info please let me know.

GonePostal
07-04-2003, 08:31 PM
Originally posted by restless


I disagree. Any decent study will have "may's", "if's" and "but's". The problem is that there's not much you can do, nor any real insterest in solving problems from their root. Cancer has been rising stronger every year and you probably could find a link between acrylamid and cancer rates but who's interested in this? The people putting the real money into the research are after something that will make them more money, not after guidelines about the avoidance of possible causes. Just go learn a bit about acrylamid, the thing is no joke.

I said too many unanswered questions. The only conclusion that study comes up with is that fried carbs tend to have greater then trace amounts of Acrylamides. The rest of that stuff is based on inferences or assumptions.
No you can't find a creditable study on Acrylamides being linked to cancer rates on humans. They are working on such studies now. The only studies to date have been on animals. There is significant evidence to support high levels of Acrylamide will cause trouble for the human nervous system. There is a study that showed that air born or surface contact with Acrylamide show no significant link to increased cancer rates. Though in this case the method of contact is through ingestion so the results can not be transfered over.
Even the WHO agrees there is not enough information to conclusively link Acrylamide with increased cancer rates. They state the research is incomplete and only the potential for Acrylamide to be a carcinogen is valid at this point.

All these studies are being done by various governments (Swiss, British and norwegian) and international orgainizations. So your "trace the money" line is moot.

Here is the real info. Unbiased (well very little bias if any) and truthful:
http://www.acrylamide-food.org/

Reinier
07-05-2003, 02:47 AM
Originally posted by PowerManDL
Sauteeing should be fine, since olive oil (IIRC) has a high flash point. Just watch the really high temps.

According to Bradleys website olive oil is actually one of the oils with the lower heat limit

bradley
07-05-2003, 04:27 AM
Originally posted by Reinier


According to Bradleys website olive oil is actually one of the oils with the lower heat limit

That is the reason he stated that olive oil would be fine for sauteeing but not for frying. For example if you were looking for an oil to use in a high temperature stir fry then olive oil might not be the best choice, but for sauteeing it would be fine.:)

restless
07-05-2003, 05:20 AM
Originally posted by GonePostal


I said too many unanswered questions. The only conclusion that study comes up with is that fried carbs tend to have greater then trace amounts of Acrylamides. The rest of that stuff is based on inferences or assumptions.
No you can't find a creditable study on Acrylamides being linked to cancer rates on humans. They are working on such studies now. The only studies to date have been on animals. There is significant evidence to support high levels of Acrylamide will cause trouble for the human nervous system. There is a study that showed that air born or surface contact with Acrylamide show no significant link to increased cancer rates. Though in this case the method of contact is through ingestion so the results can not be transfered over.
Even the WHO agrees there is not enough information to conclusively link Acrylamide with increased cancer rates. They state the research is incomplete and only the potential for Acrylamide to be a carcinogen is valid at this point.

All these studies are being done by various governments (Swiss, British and norwegian) and international orgainizations. So your "trace the money" line is moot.

Here is the real info. Unbiased (well very little bias if any) and truthful:
http://www.acrylamide-food.org/

Now now, it's not nice of you to go around destroying my conspiracy theories. :D :mad:


I must admit that after having gone trough the available research it seems like the case against dietary acrylamide doesn't seem to be as solid as the press led me to believe. Lets wait for more conclusive research and then we'll come back to this....

ZeroBurn
07-06-2003, 03:12 AM
the site doesn't list the smoking point of vegetable oil, but mentions it's designed to have a high smoke point. i guess we can assume this to mean in excess of 450 or even 500 F.

interesting, so while olive oil is healthier than vegetable oil, while used for frying olive oil's actually worse?

so should i take this to mean it's ok to fry foods as long as you stay under the smoking point?

and for example, if i take baked fries and put olive oil on them, it's healthy if i set the oven to 340, but bad if i set it to 360 (since the smoking point is 350) ?

restless
07-06-2003, 04:27 AM
Coconut oil people, coconut oil.....

bradley
07-06-2003, 04:43 AM
Originally posted by ZeroBurn
the site doesn't list the smoking point of vegetable oil, but mentions it's designed to have a high smoke point. i guess we can assume this to mean in excess of 450 or even 500 F.


Well vegetable oil is a blend of oils, so the smoking point would vary depending on the blend of oil that you were using. Most have been refined and have a smoking point of at least 450 degrees.



interesting, so while olive oil is healthier than vegetable oil, while used for frying olive oil's actually worse?


Yes, if you go over olive oils smoking point, but I am not saying vegetable oil is the best choice for frying.



so should i take this to mean it's ok to fry foods as long as you stay under the smoking point?


Frying foods is okay but it would not be the best way to prepare your food IMO.



and for example, if i take baked fries and put olive oil on them, it's healthy if i set the oven to 340, but bad if i set it to 360 (since the smoking point is 350) ?

Yes

Reinier
07-06-2003, 02:46 PM
Interesting thread guys.

Now what exactly are trans-fatty acids (well obviously fatty acids changing their makeup but some more please)

and why exactly are they so bad for you

bradley
07-06-2003, 04:58 PM
Originally posted by Reinier
Now what exactly are trans-fatty acids (well obviously fatty acids changing their makeup but some more please)

Well trans fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that have had their structure altered. Polyunsaturated fatty acids contain double bonds between some of the carbon atoms in the fatty acid, and this arrangement is called a cis arrangement. A cis arrangement means that the hydrogen atoms are positioned on the same side of the carbon atoms that are sharing the double bond. When the oil is heated to too high of a temperature then this could cause some of the double bonds between the carbon atoms to become single bonds and also cause some of the bonds arranged in cis arrangement to be converted to a trans fatty acid. The fatty acid is still the same so to speak but the arrangement is different. The hydrogen atoms will be on opposite sides of the carbon atoms that share the double bond.

http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/C/cis,trans.gif




and why exactly are they so bad for you

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/reviews/transfats.html

SoulOfKoRea
07-06-2003, 08:45 PM
Originally posted by Manveet


:scratch:

:)

Berserker
07-06-2003, 08:58 PM
Haven't read the thread yet. But how much of the oil really gets absorbed in the fries? If you make them at home in afry daddy you notice the level doesn't go down much. I am not saying there good for you. But how bad is the oil really?

ZeroBurn
07-08-2003, 02:15 PM
I've been looking up smoke points and some charts such as this one: http://www.goodeatsfanpage.com/CollectedInfo/OilSmokePoints.htm seem to dispute the smoke points. would smoke points between different companies of the same oil have that much variance? for example, Extra Virgin Olive Oil is listed with a smoke point of 406 F. this site seems to say 420 F: http://www.oliveoilsource.com/olivechemistry.htm

on another note, In-N-Out cooks their fries in cottonseed oil (smoke point in excess of 400 F) at about 350-375 F. Would this mean their fries have no trans fat and are healthier to eat?

raniali
07-08-2003, 02:26 PM
Originally posted by restless
Coconut oil people, coconut oil.....

:withstupi

HOWEVER, being the reported smoke pt is 350F, how can this oil tolerate high heat at 450F, as suggested?

There are several expeller-extracted oils that can handle high-heat cooking like sizzling stir-frying and deep-frying. Though refined, they're preferable to solvent-extracted oils. Refined peanut and high-oleic safflower and sunflower oils are other good alternatives. Never fry at high heats with corn oil, it's notorious for foaming and smoking. Some experts claim that the finest extra-virgin olive oils with exceedingly low acidity surpass other vegetable oils in heat resistance.

Some oils can tolerate high heat without causing carcinogenic compounds. Avocado 520 F Almond 495 F Coconut 450 F

bradley
07-08-2003, 02:29 PM
Originally posted by ZeroBurn
I've been looking up smoke points and some charts such as this one: http://www.goodeatsfanpage.com/CollectedInfo/OilSmokePoints.htm seem to dispute the smoke points. would smoke points between different companies of the same oil have that much variance? for example, Extra Virgin Olive Oil is listed with a smoke point of 406 F. this site seems to say 420 F: http://www.oliveoilsource.com/olivechemistry.htm

Yes the smoke point can be different between the same types of oils, and this is due to the amount of processing the different brands have undergone.



on another note, In-N-Out cooks their fries in cottonseed oil (smoke point in excess of 400 F) at about 350-375 F. Would this mean their fries have no trans fat and are healthier to eat?

I would say they would be healthier than fries that have been cooked in oils heated past their smoke points. You also have to keep in mind that the more an oil is used the more susceptible it is to break down. Fast food places are more than likely not changing that oil enough. Just think how long that oil stays heated up over the course of one day.

I really don't consider fried foods to be healthy, and probably your best bet is looking for the lesser of the evils:D

ZeroBurn
07-08-2003, 06:18 PM
I really don't consider fried foods to be healthy, and probably your best bet is looking for the lesser of the evils

heh i think that's exactly what i'm trying to do. i don't think anyone can reasonably expect anything fried to be healthy, but there are just some things in life most of us aren't ready to let go of completely. fortunately my guilty pleasure doesn't seem to be loaded with trans fats :)

Berserker
07-09-2003, 05:44 PM
If your really craving potatoes make hash brown or american frys. No oil.