It hardly comes as a surprise that fried food is bad for your health. Everybody knows that deep-fried chicken, onion rings or potatoes lead to obesity, strokes, heart disease and even cancer. What people don’t know is how high the risk of suffering from these conditions is if they consume such food.
This is why a team of American researchers carried out a study that involved about 17,000 people in the U.S. and monitored them for six years. They were all either 45 or older than that and none of them had suffered from heart disease when they enrolled in the study. Both white people and African-American people were included in the study.
These people were surveyed over the phone, then had a physical exam and answered questions related to the food they ate.
They were split into five different categories, according to the food they ate: those who had a Southern diet, the ones who mostly ate convenience food such as pizza, Chinese or Mexican food and mixed dishes, those who were mostly vegetarians and liked to eat fruit and vegetables, those who drank alcohol but had a plant-based diet and those who consumed a lot of sweets.
They were then asked to complete a questionnaire about their health every six months.
They realized that those who had adopted a Southern diet, consisting of plenty of fried food but also lots of processed meat and sugary beverages had the highest risk of suffering from a heart attack or other types of heart diseases over the following six years.
“Regardless of your gender, race, or where you live, if you frequently eat a Southern-style diet you should be aware of your risk of heart disease and try to make some gradual changes to your diet,” said lead study author James Shikany, who is a nutritional epidemiologist at Birmingham’s Division of Preventive Medicine from the University of Alabama.
This is why he advises people to reduce or even eliminate the quantity of fried food they consume in order to stay healthy and protect their heart. It is advisable to start eating fried food not more often than three times a week and reduce the amount in time.
Another thing people can do is substitute fried vegetables and meat with healthier options, such as baked or grilled products.
According to this study, which was published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation, people who have a healthy diet lower their risk of suffering from heart disease by as much as 56 percent, compared to those who adopt a Southern diet, based on fried food.
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