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One day it’s chocolate, the next red wine. These studies purporting the health-giving benefits of adding some improbable food to your diet to prolong your life have a way of coming out often enough to keep food lovers in a perpetual state of optimism.

Which brings us to the latest: potatoes, and specifically fries. From the website Study Finds:

Potatoes tend to be a dieting no-no for people laying off of starchy foods and carbohydrates. In that same light, French fries often fall into the “junk food” category as eaters cover them in ketchup and salt. Now, a new study finds this popular vegetable may be getting a bum rap. Researchers from Purdue University say eating more potatoes can actually help keep blood pressure under control better than taking certain supplements.

The key to the potato’s nutritional goodness comes from potassium. Study authors explain that increasing dietary potassium from foods like baked and boiled potatoes helps to reduce sodium retention in eaters consuming a typical American diet. Eating more potatoes also results in a greater drop in systolic blood pressure than taking potassium supplements, according to the study. The research, conducted by scientists at Purdue University, was funded by the Alliance for Potato Research and Education.

If you’re a devotee of the spud, you’d better hurry up and make a huge batch for tonight’s dinner. Tomorrow the researchers may change their minds. Here, in case you need one, is a good recipe for oven fries.

Oven Fries


  • 4 medium russet potatoes, skin on
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • Pepper
  • Salt to taste (see note)


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Cut each potato into ¼-inch wide slabs. Then cut each slab into ¼-inch wide sticks.
  2. Combine potatoes and oil, and pepper in a large bowl, and toss to coat.
  3. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on a half sheet pan.
  4. Bake on middle rack for about 15 minutes. Turn potatoes over to brown on second side, and bake another 15 minutes.
  5. Remove potatoes from oven. Salt generously, and serve at once.

Note: If you are suffering from high blood pressure, use a salt substitute or check with your doctor.

Yield: 3 to 5 servings