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Eating more fried food can increase the risk for heart disease and stroke

Food choices can have serious, long-term impacts on consumers’ health

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Photo (c) Jonathan Knowles - Getty Images
Diet has been closely linked with heart disease risk, and many recent studies have touted the benefits of consumers opting for more plant-based options as a means of improving their heart health. 

Now, a new study is focusing on how consumers’ fried food intake can negatively affect their health. Experts have found that the risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and stroke is linked to fried food consumption; the more fast food consumers eat, the greater the risk of heart disease or stroke. 

“Our meta-analysis indicates that fried-food consumption is associated with increased risk of CVD,” the researchers wrote. “The findings may support public health recommendations to control fried-food intake for preventing CVD.” 

Fried foods compromise health

The researchers analyzed data from nearly 20 previous studies to determine how fried food can impact consumers’ risk of developing cardiovascular disease. In analyzing data from over 754,000 study participants, the researchers were able to compare diet choices with health outcomes. 

They learned that participants who ate the highest quantities of fried foods were at the greatest risk of cardiovascular disease or stroke. Heart failure was the most common risk linked to fried food consumption; those who ate the most fried food were nearly 40 percent more likely to experience heart failure. That risk increased by 12 percent with each additional 114 grams of fried food consumed each week. 

Generally, fast food consumption was linked with poor health outcomes. The study showed that frequent fast food eaters were nearly 30 percent more likely to experience a serious cardiovascular event and more than 20 percent likely to develop heart disease. 

The researchers attribute the high fat content and inflammatory properties in fried food to be the reason behind the cardiovascular disease risk. While they plan to do more studies to better understand how fried food can impact consumers’ health, they hope that these findings can serve as a guide to establish stricter dietary recommendations for consumers. 

“Our study provided evidence for the adverse effects of consuming fried food on CVD and can be useful for dietary guidelines,” the researchers wrote. “[World Health Organization] suggested limiting fried-food consumption to reduce the amount of total fat intake and industrially produced trans-fatty acid intake for a healthy diet. However, no dietary guideline is approved for the specific effect of fried-food consumption on CVD.” 

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