Food, Health

How Eating Fried Foods Raises The Risk Of Heart Disease

Medical Daily

A meta-analysis that was completed recently has reported that eating fried foods is linked to an elevated risk of major cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks and strokes. The evaluation explored the results from 19 studies, 17 of which involved major cardiovascular issues or events, and 6 scrutinized every form of mortality.

Researchers found that with every additional weekly serving that weighed at least 4 ounces (114 grams) ups one’s risk for cardiovascular events or problems. These particular results were published in the journal, Heart.

Customarily, the Western diet is normally composed of high processed meats, refined sugars, saturated fats, and carbohydrates while lacking in vegetables, whole grains, fruit and seafood. Another study explains that this particular diet is also considered a worrisome risk factor for Type 2 diabetes and obesity.

In the meta-analysis study, researchers focused explicitly on fried foods since they are the ones most commonplace in a Western diet, as well as how these particular types of food impact one’s cardiovascular health and overall well-being.


What Are the Effects of Frying?

Often times, fried food tends to be coated in a layer of flour before putting them in the oil to fry, and this equates to being very high in calories. Researchers also point out that fried food is normally quite tasty, which tends to make people overeat as well. Moreover, fried food, especially those from popular fast-good chains, are overloaded with trans fats. These types of fats are known to raise the levels of low-density lipoprotein, otherwise known as “bad” cholesterol. And at the same time, they also reduce the levels of helpful high-density lipoprotein, otherwise known as “good” cholesterol.Notably, researchers also call attention to the fact that frying food also ups the production of certain chemical byproducts. These can affect the inflammatory response of the body. Scientists have also associated eating fried with a ton of developing health problems like hypertension, type 2 diabetes, obesity and coronary artery disease.

The study authors have also found that the link between fried food and cardiovascular disease and mortality is not always consistent. But this has just pushed them into finding stronger evidence to link fried food to cardiovascular health problems which doctors can use when giving their patients dietary advice.


Fried Food Intake and Disease Study

Researchers took data from 17 different studies. These included data from a staggering 562,445 participants and 36,727 major cardiovascular events in order to assess the link between fried food and cardiovascular disease risk.

The study authors also took data from another six studies that involved a whopping 754,873 participants and 85,906 deaths to search for links between fried food and mortality.

After comparing respondents with those that ate less amounts of fried foods, what the researchers found was that those that ate the most friend food ‘had a 28% increased risk of major cardiovascular events, a 22% increased risk of coronary heart disease, and a 37% increased risk of heart failure.’

The meta-analysis study also revealed that every additional 4-ounce weekly serving of fried foods managed to increase one’s ‘risk for heart failure by 12%, heart attacks and strokes by 3%, and heart disease by 2%.’

However, the research team did not find any association ‘between fried food and death from cardiovascular disease or any cause.’ Although, they also shared that this could be a result of previous findings that were inconsistent, as well as limited evidence available too. The study authors believe that should future researchers follow participants for longer periods of time, they may find an association between the two.

Although he was not a part of the research team or study, University College London professor of cardiology and consultant cardiologist in the United Kingdom, Professor Riyaz Patel, explained that the outcome of the study concluded with the current understanding of biology.

He shared, “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.”


More Research is Still Needed

The researchers warn that many of the studies that were included in the analysis only managed to look at the effects of one type of fried food, like potatoes or fried fish, instead of looking at the participants’ complete fried food consumption. This could mean that the associations in the research were underestimated.

Professor Patel also said that these studies were reliant on the participants’ memories, rather than actual consumption. This could have resulted in the respondents overestimating the amount of fried food that they actually ate.

He shared, “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,” he added.

In the end, the research authors of this meta-analysis are in agreement that being able to identify ‘the exact relationships between fried food and the risk of cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular mortality, and all-cause mortality’ still demands much more research.