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portion control

We LOVE chips – gimme them with ketchup, mayo or salt and vinegar. 

And for all the vegans out there, you know how chips are your trusty back-up when restaurants do not cater for us.

Have them skinny or chunky – dip, drench or dunk them, they're just potato perfection. 

That's why we are having none of this new Harvard study.

Supposedly no more than SIX, yes six measly chips, should be eaten at one time, to avoid the negative health consequences associated with over-consumption.

The guideline comes from nutrition scientist, Professor Eric Rimm, and the news just goes from bad to worse.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition last year, found that those who consumed fried potato such as chips, crisps or the divine hash brown more than two or three times each week were cutting their life short.

In fact, they doubled their chances of an early death in an eight-year period. 

However, we must point out before you ditch potatoes entirely, that the study DIDN'T include whole, mashed or boiled potato – only deep fried.

The wholefoods don't pose a risk because it doesn't have the same fats as the fried potatoes said the researchers.

These unhealthy fats have been linked to heart disease risk factors and pro-inflammatory processes in your bod – so basically, you need to avoid them.

But the Professor didn't stop there – he introduced the phrase "starch bombs" – which honestly sounds delicious.

Nevertheless, he explained that fried potatoes are made up of processed potato that impacts the blood glucose levels and are combined with artery-damaging processed fats that are heated to extremely high-temperatures many times over – and voila, this is a starch bomb. 

And one of the main issues when it comes to fried potato habit is our growing portion sizes.

The recommended serving of fries is just 15 individual chips – 15?!

If the local chippy gave me that I'd hand it back – and don't get me started if someone dared to serve me 15 chips after a night out.

But the research means we probably have to re-evaluate our addiction to fried potato foods. 



Let's face it, when given a plate piled high with delicious food, we're going to make pigs of ourselves. But if you're finding that you feel uncomfortable full after every meal, not just the indulgent ones, you may need to reassess your portion control.

Knowing what the right amount of food is for your weight, height and activity level is key if you want to maintain a healthy weight and body.

Here are a few signs that you might be overeating at mealtimes…

1. You feel bloated straight away
If your stomach feels swollen and bloated immediately after eating, it's a sure sign that your body is struggling with the amount of food you've just eaten. This is fine every once in a while, but it shouldn't be happening after every meal.

2. You're satisifed… but you keep eating
If you find yourself picking at leftovers even after you've put your fork down and pushed your plate away, you're probably on the way to overeating without realising. Experts recommend that we stop eating when we feel around 80% full, to ensure we stay satisfied but not stuffed.

3. You stop enjoying the food
The first few mouthfuls of a meal are generally the ones we enjoy the most – after that, it can become automatic. Try to focus on each bite you take, and when you stop fully enjoying each one, put your fork down.

4. You need a physical break during the meal
If you're eating so fast that you need to stop for a breather halfway through, it's a sign that your body's well on the way to being full. Next time you take a break, spend a moment assessing whether you really need or want to eat any more. You may find that's the perfect moment to push your plate away, rather than leaving it in front of you and mindlessly eating until it's wiped clean.

5. You're going back for seconds
Sometimes seconds (and thirds) are just too much to resist, but again it shouldn't happen at every meal. If you really don't feel satisfied, by all means eat another helping, but try to restrict yourself to vegetables or healthy sides this time around.

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