Fried Food Dangers. Your Health Is Getting Smoked:
One of the problems many of us have is deciding how to help ourselves through diet.
This can involve anything from fad-diets to crazy movie-star weight-loss plans,
To something as simple as just trying to get less sugar.
But recently, it seems that some food may be damn-near poisonous.
Especially with the revelations about harmful chemicals in fast-food packaging materials.
Adding to that list of risks, a team from the University of Iowa is discovering that deep-fried foods may be particularly dangerous…
The Hidden Dangers Of Fried Food:
We can all agree deep-fried food tastes great.
Nothing matches the juciness & crunch of a well-executed fry-up.
But as with many other investigations, like those into red and processed meats,
Science is discovering more dangers with time.
And the Short Answer is: Daily fried food intake is correlated with an average 8% increased-likelihood of early-mortality,
With even higher-levels of disease & mortality risk for people who eat fried chicken and fish.
Read on to find out how…
How Did They Find This Out?:
So, Wei Bao’s UI team looked at study results from questionnaires on diet and related them to later health-outcomes.
The data they looked at spanned 20 years and just over 100,000 people in the US.
Over that time, people who regularly ate 1 serving of fried-food per day had an average 8% increased chance of early-mortality.
They also had an equal chance of that mortality being caused by cardiovascular disease(s).
Although many of the food items were not as separated-out in their measurements,
It appears the 2 main culprits associated were Fried Chicken & Fried Fish.
For these, the numbers were even-higher:
13% Increased-risk for 1 serving of Fried Chicken/day,
And 7% increased-risk of early-mortality for Fish, but the same cardiovascular-risks as fried-chicken at about 12-13%.
Other Fried-Food Dangers Still Lurk In The Data:
Everything else that was fried in some way was just grouped together in the results,
Including French Fries, which may not be such a great idea.
One of the problems with those metrics are that:
1) The quantity of food eaten may be greater for the main-protein part of a meal
2) People do also eat substantial amounts of French Fries
2a) By lumping them in with other snacks, their health-effects cannot be measured
2b) Fried-Potato consumption has already been linked to a 200% increase in early-mortality
4) Nothing will take as long to cook in the fryer as a relatively-large piece of protein
4a) Because of this and the texture of the breading, it’s unlikely anything will absorb as much oil as popular protein choices.
4b) But the sheer-quantity of French-Fries eaten may end-up approaching that of the meat.
How Does This Make People Sicker?:
The general idea is that people will tend to have worse health-habits if they regularly eat fried food.
Because it’s so difficult to calculate, it will be almost impossible to tell how many calories you’re getting in a piece of fried-food.
Someone I know suddenly found herself fat after months of eating “healthy” stir-fried Chinese food,
But she of-course forgot to factor in the huge quantities of Cooking Oil they use to fry it.
And remember Oil Is VERY Calorie-Dense. 1 Tablespoon has about 120 calories.
That’s a minimum of 5% of the average adult-male’s daily calorie-allowance.
So #1: People will be getting fatter in ways not easy to notice.
What Happens To The Oil In A Restaurant With A Fryer?:
As noted-before, there are all kinds of nasty chemicals in fast-food containers.
And on a more-obscure note, there may be all kinds of inflammatory-compounds in the fryer-oil.
This is because it starts out as Omega-6 oil that gets immediately axidized as part of the high-temp frying process,
Then it gets Re-Used all day to cook the food, because if-not each meal would cost double.
The amount of these inflammatory-compounds may increase over the course of the day as the oil continues to be heated.
Not only that, but the Canola Oil that is likely used to fry these foods already has been connected to Alzheimer’s Disease.
A Previous Spanish Study May Show This:
Strangely-enough, as we’ve said before, Cooking At Home Is Healthier!
A Spanish study from 2012 suggested this is even true for fried-foods.
Because what they found is that foods cooked at home are much more likely to include the use of healthier oils like Olive Oil.
They are also much less likely to re-use the oil after something is cooked the first time.
So if the idea of bad chemicals accumulating from heat & oxidation over the course of the day is true,
It would be much less likely to happen for home-cooked food.
High-Fat Food Kills Your Chemical Balance & Your Arteries:
Not only that, but in a previous study by Paul Nestel’s group, researchers found that after a high-fat meal,
You start getting early cardiovascular disease within 3 hours, as your blood-vessels ability to expand is reduced by 25%.
In-addition, the fat-part of your blood-chemistry involving HDL, LDL, and Triglycerides gets knocked out of whack, too.
But what else do you put on fried-food that’s associated with heart-problems,
And more-recently, gut-microbe problems that hurt your overall health and make you fatter, too?
Surprising Results Given The Controls:
What really highlights the problem of fried-food from the study,
Is the fact that as best they could, researchers factored-out things like:
3) Diet Quality
5) Exercise Habits
7) Total Calorie Intake
So that means even when you take all of those confounding-factors out of the equation, fried-food still looks really bad.
Dr. Bao’s research team also had to publish a set of factors that may even compromise their own results.
1) The information was self-reported
2) Questionnaires were only filled-out once for each subject
3) The subjects were all women
4) Their Ages ranged of the subjects was 50-79
5) Diet studies are extremely-difficult to do precisely
6) Observational-studies can never show Causation, but merely imply it.
Regardless of the limiting-factors, this study may still be a good one.
There are few studies out on the effects of fried-food, so any data you can get will still be helpful,
Even if the seriousness of the conclusions is a little blunted.
Especially-because 30% of all US citizens eat fried frood each day.
And residents of the UK and Canada may eat as much or more.
This may be particularly-true for UK residents, because a few years back, their women officially attained the highest-rate of obesity in the European Union.
You Cannot Out-Exercise Bad Nutrition:
Either way, the data is likely to be just as valid for Men and other age-groups as it was for the specific women in-question.
Make sure you’re very careful, because your ability to overeat far-outstrips your body’s ability to burn calories.
Furthermore, research on obesity-fighting cells called INKTs shows they stop working after you exceed a certain body-fat percentage.
Also, being obese can actually makes things worse because those who are actually have lower metabolism than standard math would predict.
So watch out for all the hidden-calories, fat, and salt in your dietary-intake. Regardless of how good it tastes, the dangers of fried food may seriously outweigh their deliciousness.
Photo Credits: “food chips”, by Michael Gaida
• Source: UofI Fried Food Study
• More Coverage: AHA Healthy Eating Guide
• Source Studies:
1) BMJ – Association of fried food consumption with all cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality: prospective cohort study
2) AJCN – Fried potato consumption is associated with elevated mortality: an 8-y longitudinal cohort study