Eating fried food before pregnancy increases gestational diabetes risk, research suggests

Thu, 09 Oct 2014
A new study suggests that women who regularly consume fried food increase their risk of gestational diabetes when pregnant.

The research, published in Diabetologia, involved a survey of women's dietary habits using a food frequency questionnaire. Beginning in 1991, the data was collected at four-year intervals.

Led by Wei Bao, MD, PhD, of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, researchers discovered that women who ate fried foods seven or more times per week were at the greatest risk of gestational diabetes, while women who ate fried food less than once per week were at the lowest.

"The potential detrimental effects of fried food consumption on gestational diabetes risk may result from the modification of foods and frying medium and generation of harmful by-products during the frying process," the researchers wrote. "Frying also results in significantly higher levels of dietary advanced glycation end products, the derivatives of glucose-protein or glucose-lipid interactions … implicated in insulin resistance, pancreatic beta-cell damage and diabetes, partly because they promote oxidative stress and inflammation."

The research also revealed that, while gestational diabetes was significantly linked to food consumption away from home, the same did not apply to food fried at home.

"Deterioration of oils during frying is more profound when the oils are reused, a practice more common away from home than at home," the researchers wrote. "This may partly explain why we observed a stronger association of gestational diabetes risk with fried foods consumed away from home than fried foods consumed at home."
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