Study Links Intake of Fried Food to Stroke, Heart Disease


Consuming foods fried all the time can have several negative health effects. To tell the truth, eating them regularly can put you at a higher risk of developing major diseases like diabetes, heart disease and obesity, a study published online in the journal Heart shows.

The World Health Organization (WHO) in 2018 revealed that in Nigeria, non-communicable diseases were estimated to account for 29 per cent of all deaths, of which heart diseases contributed 11 per cent.

According to Nigerian journal of cardiology, heart diseases have been found to be on the increase over the past 20 years in Nigeria including hypertension, heart failure and stroke.

The researchers of the study said western diet does not promote good heart health, but what is not clear exactly is what contribution fried food might make to the risks of serious heart disease and stroke.

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Study Links Intake of Fried Food to Stroke, Heart Disease
Study Links Intake of Fried Food to Stroke, Heart Disease

In a bid to advance understanding on this, the researchers did a database research, looking for relevant studies published up to April 2020, and found 19.

They pooled the data from 17, involving 562,445 participants and 36,727 major cardiovascular ‘events’, such as a heart attack or stroke, to assess cardiovascular risk.

And they pooled the data from six, involving 754,873 participants and 85,906 deaths over an average monitoring period of 9.5 years, to assess the potential link between fried food consumption and deaths from cardiovascular disease and from any cause.

Their analysis showed that compared with the lowest category of weekly fried food consumption, the highest was associated with a 28 per cent heightened risk of major cardiovascular events; a 22 per cent heightened risk of coronary heart disease; and a 37 per cent heightened risk of heart failure.

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These associations held true when stratified by various study and participant characteristics. What’s more, a linear association emerged between fried food consumption and major cardiovascular events, coronary heart disease, and heart failure.

These risks substantially increased by 3 per cent, 2 per cent, and 12 per cent, respectively, in tandem with each additional 114 g weekly serving.

Another study include only one type of fried food, such as fried fish, potatoes, or snacks, rather than total fried food intake, which may have underestimated the associations found, suggest the researchers.

No associations were found for deaths from cardiovascular disease or from any cause, but this might be because of the relatively small numbers involved, say the researchers.

The design of the included studies varied considerably, added to which, they all relied on memory—factors that should be taken into consideration when interpreting the results, caution the researchers.

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And how exactly fried foods might influence the development of cardiovascular disease isn’t entirely clear, they point out, but suggesting several possible explanations.

Fried foods boost energy intake because of their fat content and they generate harmful trans fatty acids from the hydrogenated vegetable oils often used to cook them.

An observational study that reviewed the diets of 41,518 women over eight years found that increasing trans-fat intake by 1 per cent resulted in a weight gain of 1.2 pounds (0.54 kg) in normal-weight women.

Among women who were overweight, a 1 per cent increase in trans-fat intake resulted in a weight gain of 2.3 pounds (1.04 kg) over the course of the study.

Although frying helps food to stay longer than usual especially deep frying, but the negative effect cannot be over emphasized, they say.




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