Bag of chips raises stroke danger - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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Bag of chips raises stroke danger


Katie Gibbons, writing in the Times yesterday:

Just one bag of chips a week (114g) every week is enough to raise your chance of stroke by 28%, coronary heart disease by 22% and heart failure by 37%.

Each additional bag increases these risks by 3%, 2% and 12%.

The data came from Shenzen University pooled data from six studies, involving 754,873 participants and 85,906 deaths.

So if you have a bag of chips , 5 days a week every week:

your stroke risk will rise to 28% +(4*3%) = 40%,

CHD to 22% + 4*2% = 30%

and heart failure to 37% + 4*12% = 85%.

79 Replies

And if you cross the road without looking there is a high chance you will get run over.

We all know the importance of watching our diet but going extreme is not for me. If you are careful I am sure you could afford a bag of chips occasionally. And in the middle of a world wide pandemic there is a lot more to worry about.


Have you a link to the article?

Is this because of the saturated fat? Do oven chips and deep fried chips carry the same risk?

Lezzers in reply to TRST

We were told by cardiac re-hab that oven chips are by far healthier than deep fat fried chips but not crinkle cut chips as the fat sits in the grooves. Over all home made oven chips are the healthiest.

TRST in reply to Lezzers

Yeah that makes perfect sense, so you can't generalise really. I don't know what 'chip shop' chips are fried in these days. Since potatoes haven't been mentioned as a source of causing a stroke, I would assume the secret lies in the oil, and that hasn't been mentioned!

Lezzers in reply to TRST

No idea what chip shop chips are cooked in these days but even if (big if!) they're cooked in a healthy oil aren't they triple cooked these days?

Prada47 in reply to Lezzers

Only comment I can make is they are a hell of a good taste . Once a month approx, I share a medium Cod and Chips with my OH well half the chips and a Pukka Steak Pie. roll on a week tomorrow yeah

Hands Face Space Vaccinate to Stay Safe

😄😄 Thank you, you've just reminded me I've only a few weeks to go until I have my yearly bacon baguette, with brown sauce, after my fasting blood test is completed. Roll on the next few weeks.........😄😄


Your very welcome for the reminder, but I don't accept the consequences for you eating a Bacon Buttie lol Enjoy

Hands Face Space Vaccinate to stay safe


cowgurl in reply to Lezzers

it is confusing as to what healthy oil is, nowadays. There are ideas that the vegetable oils (including rapeseed oil, sunflower etc) are not healthy because of the chemical processes these oils are put through during their manufacture; so leaving only the cold-pressed seed oils to be healthy for consumption.

So, what our chips are fried in nowadays is totally up in the air - it's anybody's guess as to what oil is healthy for frying food now. And not many cold-pressed seed oils will heat well up to the high temperatures required for deep frying - they burn easily!

Lezzers in reply to cowgurl

Stick with extra virgin olive oil as recommended by BHF, etc. Why fry foods? Why not dry fry or use a couple of squirts of fry lite? You can get that in olive oil as well

Kimkat in reply to Lezzers

A lot of chip shops use vegetable oil now because of vegans I’m assuming but triple cooked chips are usually stated as such. Most chips are delivered pre cut but not pre cooked.

Lezzers in reply to Kimkat

Do you mean frozen chips from a supermarket are delivered pre cut ? Are they not part cooked? Much nicer though to invest in a gadget that cuts your potato into chips and make them yourself, toss in a bit of oregano for flavour, very tasty

Kimkat in reply to Lezzers

My son works for a large fish and chip chain as brand standards manager, their chips are rumbled on site and cut prior to frying, however shop bought bagged chips are pre cooked, so when you cook them at home in a fryer, in effect you are double cooking them. If you are going to have chips at all, I have been led to believe that the thicker cut the potato the better prior to cooking but at the end the day as long as you have them on the odd occasion I can’t see that it hurts, like the docs say everything in moderation 😊

Sunnie2day in reply to Lezzers

I love mine, I call it my personal home chipper. Bit of a beast to clean but makes the loveliest cuts on a nice maris piper!

Ianc2 in reply to TRST

Haven't got a link but it was in the Times Tuesday January 19 2021 written by Katie Gibbons. The article doesn't comment on the type of fats

TRST in reply to Ianc2

I would have thought the type of fat was a bit crucial 🙂

cowgurl in reply to TRST

it is confusing as to what healthy oil is, nowadays. There are ideas that the vegetable oils (including rapeseed oil, sunflower etc) are not healthy because of the chemical processes these oils are put through during their manufacture; so leaving only the cold-pressed seed oils to be healthy for consumption.

So, what our chips are fried in nowadays is totally up in the air - it's anybody's guess as to what oil is healthy for frying food now. And not many cold-pressed seed oils will heat well up to the high temperatures required for deep frying - they burn easily!

TRST in reply to cowgurl

Health advice is forever changing. It keeps the columnists happy at least!

The article in question states 114g of chips. If I cook mine at home, in wedges, with olive oil or coconut oil, it's going to be quite different from chip shop fat (whatever that is). So a bit of an open-ended question.

And what about that fish, or sausage, deep fried in batter? Singling out the poor old chip seems a bit harsh 😀

cowgurl in reply to TRST

Agreed. What about the battered fish - that too is fried in some kind of oil (probably the same oil that fried the chips)

But frying your chips at home with olive oil - does the olive oil heat up enough and not smoke & burn when trying to deep fry chips? Or are you just shallow frying the potato wedges, like a saute, and therefore you're not actually turning out the traditional potato chips that we all know & love?

TRST in reply to cowgurl

I always do them in the oven!

FeetheBookworm in reply to TRST

Me too. I do slimming world ones but dry fry them with paprika sprinkled on.

They're nice with oregano as well

Sunnie2day in reply to cowgurl

OK, here is where I confess I now own a deep fryer and love it. But when I'm making chips for myself I usually boil the potatoes for a few minutes (usually around 7 minutes to avoid them becoming too mushy), run them through the chipper (purpose built cutting machine) then...

I toss the cut chips in a shallow bowl of extra virgin olive oil and some Schwartz's Seasoning for chicken then 'dry fry' in a hot skillet until golden brown.

Oh heck. I'm drooling on the keyboard!

TRST in reply to Sunnie2day

They sound AMAZING!!

Sunnie2day in reply to TRST

They are, if I may say so myself. So much so my husband usually tries to get me to make enough to share with him - on top of his gluten-free battered meats (chicken, fish, sausage) and 'regular' chips I'm using the deep fryer for, lol!

My Nan died at 96, never had any real health issues up to last couple of years, she ate everything you are now told not to, including tripe etc, smoked till her early 80’s..... maybe if she hadn’t she’d have made it to 100!!!!

Lezzers in reply to Gaz_chops

That was the same with my mother in law, she lived till she was 91 and, even though she had 7 children, she had never spent any time in hospital until she had a stroke when she was 89. Up until she was 89 she used to push the old girls (as she called them) to church every week & she use to call the bingo numbers at the church hall. When she couldn't get out to exercise in the winter she used to walk up & down her stairs for her exercise. Yet one of her son's had a mild stroke aged 26 and my husband had a massive heart attack at 42!

We asked the consultant and he said years ago they didn't have cars to get into!!

Ianc2 in reply to Lezzers

Yup. No cars, no washing machine, no tumble dryers, no freezers, no TV, no vacuum cleaners, no NHS, no central heating, no double glazing , shopping depended on the corner shop and a bag to get it home, unless you were rich enough to get delivered by a lad on a bike. Different world.

Lezzers in reply to Ianc2

When we moved home 20+ years ago our new home didn't have central heating and we decided we'd see how we would manage without it, we lasted 1 winter!! What wimps we are these day's, though I don't miss the ice on the windows... inside and outside when I was a child!🥶

Gela64 in reply to Lezzers

Yep - my Dad died at age 94 (and basically of a broken heart because my Mum died when he was 92) the only fruit he ever ate were bananas and he never touched a vegetable in his adult life - much to my mother's disgust. I dare say genetics do play a part in all of this

Lezzers in reply to Gaz_chops

Can I ask why she gave up smoking at 80, that's a real achievement. Having smoked all his life my dad gave up at the age of 60 after having his 2nd heart attack. He died 3 years later from a non heart related condition, in hindsight we always felt he should have carried on smoking, he did enjoy a cigarette.

Gaz_chops in reply to Lezzers

It was purely for financial reasons, as they got more expensive. What kept her motivated was putting the money away everyday and saving.

Yes its good to know what is healthy i did still had heart attack stress can kill more than a bag of chips but saying that I still try to avoid chips maybe every so often but in a air fryer there's more worry in the world so enjoy the time we have in it

TRST in reply to Yass_123

Wouldn't crisps be just as bad? Fat, oil, potatoes ...

Yass_123 in reply to TRST

Everything g is bad like my gp says eat what u like but in limit

Good post. But it gets worse.

Strokes come in a wide range of severity. However simply by virtue of having a history of heart issues many of us are at heightened risk of the very worst sort of strokes, the ones that can leave us wheelchair bound or unable to speak intelligibly.

I'm not trying to scare monger, I'm saying it'll pay back to implement those New Year resolution life style changes.

Quitting smoking, exercise, sensible diet, weight loss, etc aren't fun projects, but if that's what it takes to keep us healthy and active then they're projects well worth embracing.

Prada47 in reply to Chappychap

How many Healthy, Active, Thin people die of Something long before their time ?? It's just a lottery and You didn't buy the ticket, someone a long time before You did that and It's called Genes. And not a lot you can do about it !!! Personal View

Hands Face space Vaccinate to Stay Safe

Chappychap in reply to Prada47

Of course genes play a part. But they're a long way from being our destiny.

Heart disease, diabetes and strokes have mushroomed over the past 50 years despite our genes remaining unchanged. Why is that?

Firstly it was the huge increase in smoking in the 50's, 60's and 70's. Then just as smoking started to decline we were hit by an equally huge increase in obesity.

No change in genes, but an explosion in heart disease, strokes and type 2 diabetes.

Quit smoking, get our weight under control, stop snacking on highly processed foods, exercise more. Make these simple changes and yes, some unfortunate people will still die before their time, but many more won't. With a better lifestyle the majority won't fall victim to these eminently preventable scourges of modern life.

Kimkat in reply to Chappychap

Yes I agree, lifestyle is the biggest problem. I was born in 1954, in my childhood we didn’t necessarily exercise, even though we did a lot more sport at schools than they seem to now, we walked everywhere and certainly my diet was very varied, based on meat and vegetables with every meal. Mum was a lovely cook and would regularly do a weekly bake but we would burn off calories by walking and playing outside. I dread to think how my grandchildren will fare by the time they get to their 40/50s especially my 12 year old grandson who rarely moves far from his computer games console or phone. It doesn’t bare thinking about.

Agree entirely. Have been based abroad for about 15 years with regular trips to UK and the one thing that really stands out is the amount of obesity, especially in younger people. I have cut down on dairy, sugar and lost about 10% body weight, plus increasing exercise levels. This has helped reduce episodes of arrhythmias from several times a week to once every 30 - 40 days


'Not surprisingly, diet can affect the health of your DNA. A diet high in refined carbohydrates that promotes high blood glucose attacks your DNA. On the other hand, compounds like sulforaphane (found in broccoli), curcumin (turmeric), epigallocatechin gallate (green tea), and resveratrol (wine) can slow or potentially reverse DNA damage.'

As the old saying goes 'You are what you eat' Good old sugar has a lot to answer for. Have a look on

Prada47 in reply to Ianc2

You are what you Eat mmmmm be it Happy or Unhappy every ones Choice as long as your Happy with it B***0CKS to any one else who after all only have an opinion on what You are doing !!

Hands Face Space Vaccinate to stay safe

Killerblue in reply to Ianc2

Resveratrol (wine) interesting 👍🤔

The research, which was presented Wednesday at an American Heart Association conference in New Orleans, found that plant-based monounsaturated fats — like those found in vegetable oils, avocados, nuts and seeds — are associated with a lower risk of dying from heart disease and other causes. Animal-based monounsaturated fats — like those in meat, dairy and eggs — are associated with a higher risk, according to the research.

“We have observed a beneficial role of monounsaturated fats for the prevention of cardiovascular and total mortality when plant-based foods are the primary sources,” says Marta Guasch-Ferre, a research associate in the department of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who co-authored the paper with Dr. Geng Zong and Dr. Qi Sun.

Though the researchers could not prove cause-and-effect, they looked for patterns in the dietary data of almost 100,000 people. They followed the people for about 22 years, and people completed food questionnaires every four years. During those decades of follow-up, more than 20,600 people died, roughly 4,500 from heart disease.

People who ate lots of plant fats had a 16% lower risk of dying compared to those with lower intakes, while those who ate lots of animal fats had a 21% higher risk, compared to those who didn’t eat many of these foods. Replacing even a relatively small number of calories from trans fats, saturated fats and refined carbohydrates with an equal number from plant fats also seemed to cut a person’s risk of dying by 10 to 15%, the researchers found.

The difference between plant versus animal fat sources, Guasch-Ferre says, is likely due to the other nutrients found in those foods. Plant sources of monounsaturated fats are typically also rich in vitamins, polyphenols and polyunsaturated fats — longer-chain fats which are known to be heart-healthy. Sources of animal fats, on the other hand, tend to contain lots of saturated fat and cholesterol, which can contribute to heart disease.

All sat fats are not the same..

Wooodsie in reply to mrpenguin

Well they cook chips in vegetable oil 🤷‍♂️ I'm cooking my rare treat in olive oil these days. 😂😂

I rarely eat chips, but I would be interested to know what the data actually showed rather than just the bit that made the most printable headline!! How many of those people were obese, smoked, lacked exercise etc. All of which seem to be the most important factors in our health. I am really fed up of useless headlines!!

Jaws66 in reply to benjijen

You would need to find the original paper, which appears to be a review of other research, rather than relying on newspaper headlines. Here's the Daily Mail's take on it, which is not behind a paywall:

A point to note - 114g is a very small portion of chips in the UK

benjijen in reply to Jaws66

Thanks, even in the limited info on Daily Mail site it's quite clear they are not saying don't eat chips but it's overall diet that matters.

My uncle lived to 96 and ate what he wished! My aunt is still alive at 95! It’s genetic!

When you say chips I take it its American which would be crisps in uk so would agree

HenryB in reply to Biketrip

No, it’s chips. A bag of crisps these days is not much over 20g.

What is causing the risk? The salt in the chips? The cholesterol in the chips? Did the study say?

And it's a very true saying that everything you like is either illegal, immoral or fattening! Stay safe and have a good day x

gladliz in reply to nursenancy53

Or it's all three!😊

nursenancy53 in reply to gladliz

That's the really good stuff 😆😆

gladliz in reply to nursenancy53


So basically a bag of crisps now and again and you've had it.

It's a bit like saying "It's oxygen that kills us but takes about 70 years to do so"


I do think it’s how they’re cooked. If cooked properly with very hot fat/oil I feel the potato would not absorb so much, but sadly a lot of chip shops don’t. I remember my mum making them and she got to pan hot, put chips in then took out as the fat had cooled. Waited for it to heat up and the dipped again. These days I have oven chips and straight cut chunky because they’re supposed to be better.

I live with and control heart disease with a healthy saturated fat free diet.oily fish chicken,lots of veg chips chips favourite food is chips cooked in once pressed rapeseed oil .healthy and delicious .I even make cakes and pies with it .and crispy battered fish .try it and eat happy .😋

CysgaisI have HF coupled with hypoplastic coronary artery disease and eat fish & chips every Friday. We use an Actifry (sorry about the advert) with a teaspoon of oil - ready in 30 minutes. As good if not better that any deep fried chips. The fish is cooked in a number of different ways but these days not battered.

Does anyone use oven chips?

Lezzers in reply to Ianc2

We make our own

I use an Air fryer mainly using my own all I cook them is 1 tablespoon of olive oil

If you go on the dark web and Search assiduously you can find, for a price, something called Lard...

Peony4575 in reply to Ianc2

Essential for shortcrust pastry

TRST in reply to Ianc2

You make it sound like that thing most us have a bit more of due to lockdown 😱

I doubt that relationship is linear.... it the impact of bag 1 will not be the same as bag 10....

Who would have thought the humble chip could cause so much debate🍟🤣

Doesn't it depend on what your chips are fried in? I am going to have chips about once a fortnight, and hang the consequences.

The 1st Friday of every month is chip shop day. Goodness we do live dangerously....but we won't get out alive anyway hey ho!

My mum lived till almost a hundred years old, we always had chips fried in dripping (called mucky fat in Yorkshire) when we were kids, her diet was appalling in todays standards, but everything was cooked from scratch all the cheaper cuts, no additives or preservatives could these be the reason everything is bad for us.

And people moved and everyone did manual labour as in your best domestic appliance was a brush , push lawnmowers and walked everywhere and kids played outside and roamed for miles burning it off . Scrapings from the chippy yum

Conned again! After returning from a brisk and frosty walk we have just had sweet potato chips, 5 each, cooked in an airfryer, along with a cracking salad and a venison grill steak as a bit of a treat. Now venison usually has a distinctive taste.

This one was quite bland. Strange - I thought. Had a good look at the packet I expected a fair amount of onion or similar but was a bit surprised it contained 56% venison and 24% pork. Must be a new breed of Veniorks. The chips were good though.

Hi lanc2 Have you never seen a Veniork they are lovely creatures they have short noses fat bodies and antlers and make an oinking noise, they make nice house pets. Ha HaRuth xx

That sounds like me but without the antlers!! I blame lockdown 🤣

Lockdown as a lot to answer to

All chips in moderation.boil a chipped potato or microwave it, till just soft then ,fry in cold pressed rapeseed oil smeared in frying pan till brown .sprinkle with salt ,pepper.chip spice.mixed spice ,or whatever .that's a heart friendly snack.delicous with poached egg running over too.😋

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