Is your diet chipping away at your heart health?

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One in four of all potatoes eaten are in the form of chips and over 277 million portions of chips are sold in fish and chip shops across the UK each year.

Chips are such a big part of the British diet that there is an annual ‘National Chip Week’, which this year runs from February 20 to 26.

But expert at Heart Research UK say: “Unfortunately, most people use unhealthy fats to cook their chips and add lashings of salt which is bad news for the heart.

“It’s also sad news for the spud that started life as a nutritious complement to a heart healthy diet.

“Potatoes are high in potassium, crucial for the transmission of nerve impulses and muscle contraction, including the beating of the heart. Potassium also plays an important role in maintaining healthy blood pressure.

“However, much of the potassium and B vitamins are lost by boiling or frying your potatoes. Follow these handy hints to make chips an occasional part of a heart healthy and balanced diet:”

> Choose thick cut fries instead of thin or crinkle cut or cut them larger so less fat is absorbed and your fat intake is reduced.

> Bake instead of deep frying. Drizzle with rapeseed oil which is higher in mono-unsaturated fats than sunflower oil and cheaper than olive oil. Rapeseed oil also maintains its heart health benefits when heated at high temperatures.

> Use herbs and spices instead of salt on your potato wedges for a great taste without driving up your blood pressure.

> Why not treat yourself to some home-made sweet potato chips which, unlike your traditional British spud, do count as part of your five-a-day.

So, if you intend to indulge during National Chip Week, discover the art of healthier chips by making them at home with just a little heart-healthier rapeseed or olive oil.

For more information and advice about healthy living, contact Heart Research UK on or email lifestyle@heartresearch.org.uk