Is Friend Food heart healthy?
According to a recent long-term study, Fried Foods are bad for your Heart Health; increasing your likelihood of getting heart disease, stroke, heart failure and premature death.
Led by Leah Cahill of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and An Pan of the National University of Singapore's Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, the team found these increases are occurring in people that eat fried foods at least once a week. And these increases are incremental per every four ounces of friend food you consume.
This study analyzed nineteen previously published studies. They pooled data from 17 studies that included over 560,000 patients and approximately 37,000 serious cardiovascular events like heart attacks and strokes.
The researchers also used data from six studies that included over 750,000 people and over 86,000 deaths over a ten-year period. Altogether, they had data from more than 100,000 men and women spanning across a 25 year time span.
Negative effects from fried foods
At this point, you must be asking yourself, “Why is friend food so bad for me? What are the negative effects from fried foods?”
According to the findings, people who ate the most fried food each week had a 28 percent higher risk of major cardiovascular events, a 22 percent higher risk of heart disease, a 37 percent higher risk of stroke, and a 37 percent higher chance of heart failure than those who ate the least amount of fried food. With each extra 4-ounce weekly serving, these hazards increased by 3 percent, 2 percent, and 12 percent, respectively.
The greatest risk comes from eating fried foods away from home, because the frying oil may not be fresh. Oil degrades with each reuse, and more is absorbed into meals, contributing to weight gain, elevated cholesterol, and elevated blood pressure, all of which are risk factors for type 2 diabetes and negative heart health. Trans fat-free cooking oils, which is seeing an increase in restaurants, may pose less risk. But according to Cahill in a Times.com article, there is not enough data to determine which oils are the healthiest for your heart health.
“Because there is not enough research to date to clearly confirm that one type of oil is best to use for frying, it is probably wisest to alternate a variety of oils to provide you with a mix of fatty acids—much the way you would eat a variety of vegetables or fruits rather than just choosing one.”
It's unclear how fried foods contribute to the development
of cardiovascular disease, but the study authors highlighted in a journal news release that numerous reasons are likely.
So as a heart health conscious individual, what should you do with this information?
How can you mitigate heart disease risk after friend foods?
The best way you can do that is by limiting the amount of fried food that you consume. The oil used in the frying process still provides a mix of fatty acids that are good for the rest of your body.
But moderation is key when it comes to consuming fried foods.