In a new study, researchers found that fried-food intake is linked to a heightened risk of major heart disease and stroke.
And the risk rises with each additional 114 g weekly serving.
The research was conducted by a team at Shenzhen University.
It’s clear that the Western diet doesn’t promote good cardiovascular health, but it’s not clear exactly what contribution fried food might make to the risks of serious heart disease and stroke.
To shed some light on this, the team trawled research databases, 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 heart disease 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 heart disease and from any cause.
They showed that compared with the lowest category of weekly fried food consumption, the highest was linked to a 28% increased risk of major cardiovascular events; a 22% heightened risk of coronary heart disease; and a 37% heightened risk of heart failure.
What’s more, a linear association emerged between fried food consumption and major cardiovascular events, coronary heart disease, and heart failure.
These risks increased by 3%, 2%, and 12%, respectively, in tandem with each additional 114 g weekly serving.
Several studies included 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.
How exactly fried foods might influence the development of the cardiovascular disease isn’t entirely clear, but the team suggests 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.
Frying also boosts the production of chemical by-products involved in the body’s inflammatory response, while foods, such as fried chicken and French fries, are usually high in added salt, and often accompanied by sugar-sweetened drinks, particularly when served in fast food.
The study is published in Heart.
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