October 22, 2010

Is this the deadliest food
in your pantry?

As you may know, I've been telling you to avoid processed foods for years. They're killing you. But if there's one food that is perhaps worse than just about all others, it's the potato chip.

Sugar may get more attention. But most people don't realize that potato chips act like sugar in your body. When you eat high-carb foods like chips, they rapidly turn to glucose in your blood. And chips have an added problem.

A small study on 14 human volunteers showed just how toxic potato chips are. The researchers gave each of the participants 5 ounces of chips per day. The scientists measured the toxic compound acrylamide in each serving. It was 157 mg.

After four weeks, the group had significantly higher oxidized LDL, higher inflammatory interleukin-6, higher CRP (another marker of inflammation), higher liver enzymes (GGT), higher reactive oxygen species (free radicals) in blood cells, and a major expression of inflammation in macrophages. This marker specifically is a major cause of atherosclerosis progression. Of course, they also had increases in acrylamide-hemoglobin products. That means that the toxin became dangerously bound to hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying molecule of your blood.

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However, that's not all. We can't blame acrylamide for all the damage potato chips cause. Potato chips are boiled in oil. That oil automatically oxidizes (it becomes rancid). Rancid oils are the real culprit in promoting the inflammation of atherosclerosis. If you do anything at all regarding your diet, start with eliminating fried foods and foods containing heated oil. These are the "foods" that will kill you first.

Ref: Am J Clin Nutr, 2009; 89(3): 773-777.

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