Diabetes Complications

Fried food consumption linked to heart disease and stroke

Fried food has always been associated with poor diet, but now a collection of research papers have indicated just how they can impact the health negatively.

The research analysis looked at 19 studies which involved thousands of people. Of those studies, 17 involved major cardiovascular events and six had investigated all forms of mortality.

When all the study outcomes were combined, the researchers said each additional 114g serving per week increased the risk of experiencing a stroke or heart disease.

They discovered a pattern which suggested the highest consumption of fried food was linked to a 28% heightened risk of experiencing a major cardiovascular event, a 22% risk of coronary heart disease and a 37% higher chance of heart failure.

Professor Riyaz Patel, a professor of cardiology and consultant cardiologist at University College London, who was not involved in the study, said: “We know that frying food can degrade its nutritional value, generate trans fats, which are known to be harmful, as well as increasing the calorie content of the food, all of which eventually lead to processes that can cause heart disease.

“Moreover, we also don’t eat foods in isolation, so it is hard to fully capture the complexity of what we eat and how, especially over many years.

“Importantly, other factors that go with eating fried food could also be contributing to risk, like a tendency to drink more sugary drinks, added salt use, eating other unhealthy foods, less exercise, smoking, and deprivation levels. Much of this data may not have been captured in prior studies so cannot be fully accounted for.”

The researchers are not entirely clear why fried foods have such a negative impact on the health. They have suggested it might be because they are high in fat and they generate harmful trans fatty acids or the fat that fried foods are normally high in salt might play a part.

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