If your dinner plate often includes fried chicken, gravy-smothered liver, buttered rolls, and sweet tea—your heart may not find it so tasty.
They found that people who regularly ate traditional Southern fare were at a higher risk of suffering a heart attack or heart-related death during the next 5.8 years.
A Southern diet is characterized by fried foods, fatty foods, eggs, processed meats, such as bacon and ham, organ meats like liver, and sugary drinks.
Scientists from the University of Alabama found that eating a Southern-style diet is associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
The research is published in Circulation and was conducted by James M. Shikany et al.
Previous research also links the Southern diet with increased stroke risk.
In the study, the team compared the dietary habits of more than 17,000 white and African-American adults in different regions of the United States.
They found people who most often ate foods conforming to the Southern dietary pattern had a 56 percent higher risk of heart disease compared to those who ate it less frequently.
The highest consumers of the Southern diet tended to be male, African-American, those who had not graduated from high school or were residents of southern states (North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana.)
No other dietary pattern was associated with the risk of heart disease.
The team says regardless of your gender, race, or where you live, if you frequently eat a Southern-style diet you should be aware of your risk of heart disease and try to make some gradual changes to your diet.
Try cutting down the number of times you eat fried foods or processed meats from every day to three days a week as a start, and try substituting baked or grilled chicken or vegetable-based foods.
If you care about heart health, please read studies about how COVID affects the heart, and drinking coffee this way can help prevent stroke, heart disease.
For more information about heart health, please see recent studies about therapy that could cut risk of heart attack and stroke by half, and results showing this hormone may reduce irregular heartbeat, inflammation.
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