Food fried in olive or sunflower oil is not linked to heart disease

January 24, 2012

Eating food fried in olive or sunflower oil is not linked to heart disease or premature death, finds a paper published in the British Medical Journal today.

The authors stress, however, that their study took place in Spain, a Mediterranean country where olive or sunflower oil is used for frying and their results would probably not be the same in another country where solid and re-used oils were used for frying.

In , frying is one of the most common methods of cooking. When food is fried it becomes more calorific because the food absorbs the fat of the oils.

While eating lots of can increase some factors such as , and obesity, a link between fried food and heart disease has not been fully investigated.

So the authors, led by Professor Pilar Guallar-Castillón from Autonomous University of Madrid, surveyed the cooking methods of 40,757 adults aged 29 to 69 over an 11-year period. None of the participants had heart disease when the study began.

Trained interviewers asked participants about their diet and cooking methods. Fried food was defined as food for which frying was the only cooking method used. Questions were also asked about whether food was fried, battered, crumbed or sautéed.

The participants' diet was divided into ranges of fried food consumption, the first quartile related to the lowest amount of fried food consumed and the fourth indicated the highest amount.

During the follow-up there were 606 events linked to heart disease and 1,134 deaths.

The authors conclude: "In a Mediterranean country where olive and sunflower oils are the most commonly used fats for frying, and where large amounts of fried foods are consumed both at and away from home, no association was observed between fried food consumption and the risk of coronary heart disease or death."

In an accompanying editorial, Professor Michael Leitzmann from the University of Regensburg in Germany, says the study explodes the myth that "frying food is generally bad for the heart" but stresses that this "does not mean that frequent meals of fish and chips will have no health consequences." He adds that specific aspects of frying food are relevant, such as the type of oil used.

Explore further: Heart failure risk lower in women who often eat baked/broiled fish

Related Stories

Heart failure risk lower in women who often eat baked/broiled fish

May 24, 2011
The risk of developing heart failure was lower for postmenopausal women who frequently ate baked or broiled fish, but higher for those who ate more fried fish, in a study reported in Circulation: Heart Failure, an American ...

Diet high in vegetables and fruit associated with less weight gain in African-American women

May 20, 2011
Investigators from the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University have reported that African American women who consumed a diet high in vegetables and fruit gained less weight over a 14-year period than those who consumed ...

Recommended for you

High-fat diet in pregnancy can cause mental health problems in offspring

July 21, 2017
A high-fat diet not only creates health problems for expectant mothers, but new research in an animal model suggests it alters the development of the brain and endocrine system of their offspring and has a long-term impact ...

To combat teen smoking, health experts recommend R ratings for movies that depict tobacco use

July 21, 2017
Public health experts have an unusual suggestion for reducing teen smoking: Give just about any movie that depicts tobacco use an automatic R rating.

Why sugary drinks and protein-rich meals don't go well together

July 20, 2017
Having a sugar-sweetened drink with a high-protein meal may negatively affect energy balance, alter food preferences and cause the body to store more fat, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Nutrition.

Opioids and obesity, not 'despair deaths,' raising mortality rates for white Americans

July 20, 2017
Drug-related deaths among middle-aged white men increased more than 25-fold between 1980 and 2014, with the bulk of that spike occurring since the mid-1990s when addictive prescription opioids became broadly available, according ...

Aging Americans enjoy longer life, better health when avoiding three risky behaviors

July 20, 2017
We've heard it before from our doctors and other health experts: Keep your weight down, don't smoke and cut back on the alcohol if you want to live longer.

Parents have critical role in preventing teen drinking

July 20, 2017
Fewer teenagers are drinking alcohol but more needs to be done to curb the drinking habits of Australian school students, based on the findings of the latest study by Adelaide researchers.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.