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If you have been worried about packing on the pounds now that the nice, summer weather is here, you'll want to stay away from potatoes -- or rather, potato chips.  While potatoes are certified by the American Heart Association as a "heart healthy" food, too many spuds on a daily basis has been found to cause weight gain.

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According to Harvard University researchers, whether they are "french fried, sliced into crispy chips, mashed with butter and garlic, or simply boiled or baked," potatoes were found to cause more weight gain than if you ate an additional 12-ounce can of a sugary drink.  While they are a "good source of vitamin C, several B vitamins, and minerals, including iron, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium," potatoes contain a lot of calories for such a small piece of food (TimesUnion.com).

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Americans typically consume around 117 pounds of potatoes each year, says the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  That's a lot of spuds!    They also said 41 pounds are in the form of previously frozen french fries while 28 percent are in the form of "fresh" potatoes.  However, the problem with the American diet really doesn't come down to eating potatoes as it does eating potatoes in the form of potato chips or french fries.  How many barbeques or restaurants have you gone to so far this summer, where there weren't either chips or fries to accompany your entree.

So the question, now, is, "do you want fries with that?"  You might think twice before getting a side order of fries or baked potato.  Instead, a better choice would be to get the veggies or salad with your dinner.