The idea of moderation in all things is believed to have come from an ancient Greek poet. But when it comes to fried food, even moderation may need some rethinking.
New research finds each four-ounce serving of fried food per week boosts the risk of stroke and major heart disease. That risk grows relatively slowly at first, rising by 3% and 2% with respective four-ounce portions. But by the third weekly portion of fried food, the risk of heart and vascular complications jumps by 12%. The findings by university researchers in China were published in the journal BMJ.
The researchers analyzed a number of studies involving more than 750,000 people, nearly 37,000 of whom were heart attack and stroke patients. About 85,000 of the cases involved deaths. Over a decade, those who reported eating the most fried food had a 28% higher risk of heart attack or stroke and a 37% greater risk of heart failure when compared with those who ate smaller amounts of fried food.
Several of the studies only looked at certain kinds of fried foods, such as fish or potatoes, meaning the link between all fried foods and health problems could actually be even higher.
What still isn’t known is how fried food influences cardiovascular problems, but the researchers have some ideas. Frying produces chemical byproducts that trigger an inflammatory response in the body. That, along with the salt that often accompanies fried food, is less than ideal. Also, fried foods tend to be high in calories and contain unhealthy trans-fats.
If you want to avoid super-sizing potential cardiovascular problems, limit the amount of fried food you eat. Those guilty pleasure fries can be dangerous.