Eating fried food may not be bad for the heart as long as you use olive or sun flower oil to make it, experts say. No heightened risk of heart disease or premature death is linked to food cooked with olive oil. The typical Spanish diet in which these ‘health’ oils are found in abundance does not apply to other cooking oils.
When food is fried, it becomes more calorific because food absorbs the fat oils. In addition, experts know that eating lots of fat-laden food can raise blood pressure and cause high cholesterol, which are risk factors for heart disease. For the study, the researcher at Autonomous University of Madrid surveyed 40,757 adults about their diet. The participants were asked about the types of food they ate in a week and how that food was cooked.
None of the adults showed any sign of heart disease at the start of the 11-year study, but by the end of it, 606 heart disease cases and 1,134 deaths had occurred. When researchers looked at these heart cases in detail they couldn’t find any link of fried food to the diet.
This, they believe is down to the type of oil used to cook the food. The available evidence does not support the myth that fried food is generally bad for the heart however, this does not mean that frequent meals of fish and chips will have no health consequences. The study suggests that specific aspects of frying food are relevant such as the oil used together with other aspects.