You probably know that fried foods are unhealthy. But you probably don’t know exactly how much damage they do to your body.
A major study quantifies the health damage caused by eating fried foods regularly.
Studies have long shown that fried foods trigger heart disease and type 2 diabetes. But researchers at the University of Iowa also found a clear link between fried foods and premature death.[i]
The scientists analyzed more than 20 years of medical data from 106,966 women. They ranged in age from 50 to 79. The women had been subjects of a study called the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI).
The participants answered questions about their diets. It included detailed information about their consumption of different types of fried foods.
The researchers divided this information into three categories:
- Fried chicken.
- Fried fish, fish sandwiches, and fried shellfish.
- Other fried foods, including French fries and tortilla chips.
The scientists found that eating fried foods was linked not just to heart-disease and diabetes, but a higher risk of death from ALL causes.
Participants who ate at one or more servings of fried food per day had an 8% higher risk of death than those who didn’t eat fried foods.
Specific foods broke down like this:
- Fried chicken. One or more daily servings was linked to a 13% higher risk of death from all causes and 12% higher risk of dying from heart disease.
- Fried fish or shellfish. One or more daily servings was linked to a 7% higher risk of death from all causes and a 13% higher risk of heart-related death.
Other fried foods didn’t carry as strong a mortality link.
The researchers concluded that reducing consumption of fried foods, “especially fried chicken and fried fish/shellfish” could have a “meaningful impact across the public health spectrum.”[ii]
A recent review published in the journal Heart backs up the findings. Scientists pooled the findings of 17 studies on fried foods and problems like heart attacks, clogged coronary arteries, heart failure, and stroke. The studies included more than half a million people.[iii]
The review found that people who ate the most fried food were 28% more likely to have heart problems than people who ate the least. The data showed it doesn’t take much fried food to put your heart in jeopardy: Each small serving (4 ounces) of fried foods a week bumps up your heart risk by 3%.
The authors believe that fried foods do their damage by causing inflammation. This, in turn, triggers artery blockages.
Healthier Fried Food Alternatives
Chicken and fish are an important part of a healthy diet. But it’s best to avoid fried versions.
Instead of frying, use another cooking method such as roasting, grilling, broiling, braising, or steaming. Air fryers are another healthier alternative.
The results can be just as delicious as traditional deep frying…and you’ll be doing your health a big favor.
Editor’s Note: Unlike much of the mainstream media, we don’t accept advertising from Big Pharma. That’s why you can count on us for unbiased medical information. Our only motivation is your good health.
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