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Healthy Fried Food?

Food fried in olive oil or sunflower oil not linked to premature death.

If you eat fried foods and often feel guilty about the health risks you’re subjecting your body to in the future, you may be in luck. A recently published study in the British Medical Journal has revealed that there is no conclusive link between eating foods fried in olive oil or sunflower oil and an increase in heart disease or premature death.

The study, which took place in Spain over an 11-year span, examined 40,757 individuals ranging in age from 29 to 69 and studied the effects of their consumption of fried foods.

Participants in the study were divided into groups where the lowest consumption of fried foods was around 1.6 ounces per day, the highest consumption was around 8.8 ounces per day, and the average was less than 5 ounces consumed per day. In the follow-up period of the study, there were 606 heart-related events and 1,135 deaths, but there was no direct link to heart disease associated with any of the controlled consumption groups.

But don’t drop everything you’re doing and hit a fast food drive-thru just yet—there are specifics to be considered. The study did take place in Spain, where fried food consumption differs greatly from individuals living in the United States. The Spanish participants were consuming fried foods in the context of a much healthier Mediterranean diet, which greatly differs to the more fried-food based drive-thru diet in the United States.

In addition, the study only tackled the issue of heart disease, and didn’t address other issues associated with the consumption of fried foods, like a correlation to weight gain and risk for certain types of cancers. The study did take note that just because there is no correlation in Spain between heart disease and foods fried in olive oil and sunflower oil that it doesn’t mean foods fried in other fats isn’t harmful.

So, if you don’t want to give up eating fried foods, consider olive oil and sunflower oil based foods, a switch to a Mediterranean based diet, or just move to Spain.

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