Is Frying Foods Bad for the Health?

February 16, 2012

Almost a resounding YES! Until recently the British Medical Journal 2012 published an article that looked at frying and the risk of heart disease. The data will otherwise give us a smile for most who love frying as a way to cook and enjoy food!

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Abstract

Objective To assess the association between consumption of fried foods and risk of coronary heart disease.
Design Prospective cohort study.
Setting Spanish cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition.
Participants 40,757 adults aged 29-69 and free of coronary heart disease at baseline (1992-6), followed up until 2004.
Main outcome measures Coronary heart disease events and vital status identified by record linkage with hospital discharge registers, population based registers of myocardial infarction, and mortality registers.
Results During a median follow-up of 11 years, 606 coronary heart disease events and 1,135 deaths from all causes occurred. Compared with being in the first (lowest) quarter of fried food consumption, the multivariate hazard ratio of coronary heart disease in the second quarter was 1.15 (95% confidence interval 0.91 to 1.45), in the third quarter was 1.07 (0.83 to 1.38), and in the fourth quarter was 1.08 (0.82 to 1.43; P for trend 0.74). The results did not vary between those who used olive oil for frying and those who used sunflower oil. Likewise, no association was observed between fried food consumption and all cause mortality: multivariate hazard ratio for the highest versus the lowest quarter of fried food consumption was 0.93 (95% confidence interval 0.77 to 1.14; P for trend 0.98).
Conclusion In Spain, a Mediterranean country where olive or sunflower oil is used for frying, the consumption of fried foods was not associated with coronary heart disease or with all cause mortality.

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It is always our notion that frying is really bad. Foods that are fried lose water and instead take up fat and increase the caloric density of the food that is fried.  Worst is when the oil is reused as one loses the healthier unsaturated fat and instead increases the amount of the unhealthiest fat which is the trans fat!  What is known is that the risk of obesity and overweight strongly correlated with eating fried foods but this is the only study so far that has evaluated prospectively the relationship between fried foods and cardiovascular disease.

In this study Olive oil or Sunflower oil were used.  Of the total amount of fried food consumed, 24% (34 g/day) was fish, 22% (31 g/day) meat, 21% (30 g/day) potatoes, and 11% (15 g/day) eggs.

In this study population, the detailed analysis of the Spanish cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition significantly found no association between consumption of fried food and risk of coronary heart disease or all cause mortality.

Some explanations can be made:

1. The oil used in the study was mainly olive and sunflower rather than solid fat.  Olive oils is less prone to oxidation than other edible oils or fat.

2. We are not talking here of fried food in Fast food Burger joints where oils used in deep frying are reused several times and therefore unhealthy!

3. The analysis should not be made to say that fried chips or snacks therefore are safe because the study population here has low consumption of fried snacks that are usually loaded with salt.

This is indeed an exciting development in the field of FRYING!

Just the same..choose foods wisely ….

Choose Healthy!

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6 Responses to “Is Frying Foods Bad for the Health?”

  1. Maxim Says:

    frying is frightening! let’s eat healthy…Regards Doc

  2. Mala Says:

    Hello, I am studying low carb diets for my food technology class and I was wondering if you could give me any useful information. It would be great, and maybe ca suggestion on what recipe to make for low carb.


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