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6 french fries?! Harvard professor's recommended portion sparks outrage

Would you like fries with that? How about just six?
French Fry Study
/ Source: TODAY

If the day ever comes when a small order of french fries includes six fries total, the nation would have a collective meltdown.

Eric Rimm, a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, called the french fry a "weapon of dietary destruction" in a Nov. 29 article in The New York Times. He suggested that if individuals must indulge in these "starch bombs" that can increase the risk of diabetes and obesity, they should limit the portion to six.

Let us repeat: Six! Six french fries!

History has proven that people get upset about their french fries. One small restaurant in Maine even got violent threats after changing its crinkle-cut fries to regular-shaped ones.

Needles to say, Rimm's public denouncement of the gloriously greasy, hot and crispy snack has sparked a fuselage of comebacks across the Twitterverse.

Some tweeters think only a "mad man" could commit to eating such a limited portion.

Others agree with six being the magic number ... well, six whole orders.

Only some kind of tyrannical monster could serve six fries, right?

And many folks think it would be a recipe for disaster for any restaurant who adopted Rimm's suggestion.

A select few tweeters could get on board with such a small portion, as long as there's a milkshake nearby for dipping. (Savannah Guthrie, we think, would agree with that!)

Bonnie Taub-Dix, a registered dietician and nutritionist, creator of and author of "Read It Before You Eat It - Taking You from Label to Table," told TODAY Food says it's the frying that makes potatoes so bad, but that limiting a portion to just six is a drastic measure aligns with a lot of "carb-phobic" diets.

Baked Carrot Fries with Rosemary

Instead, Taub-Dix advises considering what else you have eaten or will eat that day, choose other healthier options and fresh, not fried meals to balance out that greasy treat.

"A white potato happens to have twice the amount of potassium than a banana, it’s a good source of fiber and it contains vitamin C. Granted, a baked potato would [have] more value and less calories ... but let’s not act like fries are void of value," Taub-Dix told TODAY Food.

While adding some other starches and vegetables to the mix (try zucchini, jicama and sweet potato), Taub-Dix said it's really the frying that "provides the least value and most calories."

For those who enjoy fries but want to cut out some of the calories from fatty oils, there are some other techniques, such as grilling or baking fries, instead.

Grilled French Fries

We'll have at least ten. At the very least.