New study: A small amount of fried foods can increase the risk of heart disease


Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – A new analysis of existing research shows that eating fried foods may increase the risk of major heart disease and stroke.

Compared to those who ate less food, people who ate more fried foods weekly had a 28% more risk of major cardiovascular disease, 22% risk of coronary heart disease, and 37% risk of heart failure. According to a study published in the journal Heart.

The study found that each additional weekly meal consisting of 114 grams or 4 ounces (half a cup) of fried food increased the risk of heart attack and stroke by 3%, heart disease by 2%, and heart failure by 12%. A portion of medium-sized fried “McDonald’s”, for example, is 117 grams.

Fried foods and trans fats

When the food is fried, it absorbs some of the fat from the oil, which may increase the calories. Additionally, fried and commercially processed foods often contain trans fats, created by an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid.

The food industry loves trans fats because they are cheap to produce, last a long time and give foods great taste and texture.

Besides fried foods, you’ll find trans fats in coffee whiteners, cakes, pies, frozen pizza, biscuits and dozens of other processed foods.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned trans fats in 2015, but extended timeframes for the industry.

However, there remains a loophole. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows companies to classify a food as “0 grams” of trans fat if one serving of the food contains less than 0.5 grams.

And if people eat multiple servings of these foods, small doses can build up quickly, experts say, contributing to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other conditions, such as dementia.

And according to the American Heart Association, trans fats raise levels of bad cholesterol and lower levels of good cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends replacing trans fats from fried and processed foods with monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats, such as olive oil and canola oil.

Only thread

Despite the evidence behind the health effect of trans fats, this meta-analysis of studies can only show an association between fried food consumption and cardiovascular risk.

Alon Hughes, professor of cardiovascular physiology and pharmacology at University College London, who was not involved in the study, said, “The results of this study are consistent with current guidelines to reduce the intake of fried foods, but cannot be considered to provide conclusive evidence of the role of fried food consumption in Cardiovascular health. ”

Most studies of this type rely on study participants’ recollection of the amount and type of fried foods eaten, which is subject to error. In addition, high consumption of fried foods is likely linked to overeating and obesity, lack of exercise, and other unhealthy behaviors that can contribute to heart disease.

Registered dietitian Duane Millor explained, “If the relationship is causal, we cannot assume that this association is definitely due to the fat content of foods, as many of these foods are highly processed, and often contain both fats and carbohydrates together.”

Mellor, who was not involved in the study, added, “So when considering this type of study, it is important to keep in mind that although reducing fat intake is a logical part of a healthy diet, it is also important to consider which foods are being eaten in place.”


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