Fried foods have always been considered extremely unhealthy and linked with various dangerous diseases such as cardiovascular problems and hypertension.
In this new study, scientists have found that consuming too much fried food can enhance the risk of death due to multiple reasons. In addition to this, the researchers also investigated the type of fried foods most dangerous for human health. The findings of this study are currently published in The BMJ.
The research team took the data from 106,966 women who had joined the Women Health Initiative Study between the years 1993 and 1998. They took their follow up information until February 2017.
Over the course of this study, 31,588 women died of which 9320 deaths occurred due to heart problems, 8358 due to cancer, and 13880 deaths due to other causes.
An Increase in All-cause Risk of Death
The participants of this study were asked to fill up questionnaires that explored their dietary habits. They told about their intake of different fried foods and the total amount of these foods that they used.
For further simplification, the researchers broke down “fried foods” into the following three categories:
- Fried fish, including shellfish, oysters, and shrimps
- Fried chicken
- Other fried food such as French fries, tacos, or tortilla chips
The analysis by the research team confirmed a strong correlation between regular consumption of fried food and an increased risk of death due to different causes. The link was particularly strong for mortalities related to heart problems.
After accounting for and eliminating other modifiable factors like diet quality, lifestyle, education level, and income, the scientists found that women who ate at least one serving of fried food per day suffered from an 8 percent increase in their risk of death.
The researchers then investigated different types of fried foods and their specific effects. They found that eating one serving of fried chicken increased the risk of all-cause death by 13 percent and the deaths caused by cardiovascular problems by 12 percent.
Eating at least one serving of shellfish or fish per day increased the risk of all-cause death by 7 percent and death due to heart problems by 13 percent.
However, the researchers were unable to find any link between consumption of fried food and the risk of deaths caused due to cancers.
A Modifiable Risk
The researchers also noticed that females who used fried food on a daily basis fell in the younger age range. They were not white and usually had a low level of education, a lesser income, and poorer dietary quality. A lot of these women were also smokers.
Due to the above-mentioned factors, the authors of the study concluded that reducing the utilization of fried food such as fried fish and chicken can positively impact the entire health spectrum.
However, they have warned the readers that their results may not be applicable across different populations. This is because this was an observational study only which focused on women belonging to the U.S.