Many of us wonder why and how bad is fried food for health? So we looked at which fried foods are bad for your health, especially heart health.
It’s never too late to start cooking healthy, and not compromise on health.
Fried food risks
You know eating deep fried food is unhealthy. People automatically equate fried foods, like potato chips, French fries and fried chicken with bad health. Eating them too often can even shorten your lifespan.
There’s a good reason why fried food is unhealthy. They add too many calories, have too much salt, and give little nutritional value. Studies have linked fried foods to serious health problems like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Processed and deep fried foods usually are made using hydrogenated oils or trans fats. Trans fats raise bad cholesterol, lower good cholesterol, which is the perfect recipe for heart disease.
Could French fries be deadly?
Millions of people love deep-fried food, especially potatoes! A recent 2017 study done in the USA claims that the group of people who ate French fries, potato chips and hash browns two or more times a week, doubled their risk of an early death. The silver lining is that the study failed to mention how the deaths occurred. And they didn’t specify the other lifestyle choices and diet, which may have contributed to their death. Although science hasn’t yet conclusively proved that deep fried potatoes can kill, they are not gonna increase your lifespan either.
Dining out risks
How bad is fried food for health when you dine out? Fast-food restaurants use hydrogenated oils to fry food, which is why the US has put an FDA ban on trans fats that will take full effect in 2018. But restaurants will still use unhealthy oils, so it is best to choose what you order carefully.
When you dine out here’s what you can do:
- Order ‘baked’ instead of ‘stir-fried’ menu items.
- Read the fine print in menus.
- Ask the waiter to recommend something healthy.
Indians are particularly vulnerable to fried food, since most Indian cuisine involves frying, even at home. And lately, new restaurants are popping up everywhere, as there is a growing demand to eat out. But be wary of how fried the food is before you order – ask your waiter to be sure.
How bad is fried food that is fried for longer than usual? Saturated oils break down in deep frying temperature, turning them into very unhealthy chemicals like acrylamide, which has been linked to cancer. Acrylamide is especially common in fried potatoes because they have a lot of glucose. Also, the extent of frying makes a difference. Darker foods that are fried longer will contain more acrylamide. Generally, avoid eating overly fried foods because they are unhealthy.
If you can’t live without fried foods, then it is best to make them at home, where you can decide on which healthy oils to use for frying healthy fried foods. Healthy fats do not contain polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats and cooking oil.
Here is a list of safer frying pointers for you to keep in mind:
- Use olive oil, soybean, groundnut, rice bran, or sunflower oil.
- Don’t let your foods get too brown (for less acrylamide).
- Store potatoes at room temperature (it create less sugar).
- Use paper towels to soak the excess oil.
- Avoid reusing the same oil.
Fried food hacks
The best thing is to trick your mind into thinking you are eating fried food when in fact it is baked. Spritz sliced potatoes with pan spray, olive oil spray and roast them in the oven. You can buy an air fryer online that will make healthy French fries in minutes, and you don’t gain weight either. Coat drumsticks with an egg wash and breadcrumbs, and spray oil to bake crispy and crunchy chicken.
What do the experts say?
Nutrition experts recommend moderation and eating a variety of food as the key to living a better lifestyle. That goes for fried foods as well. If you love fried food, exercise portion control and have it occasionally as a treat. Eat French fries with your salad instead of a burger to bring more balance to your meal. Focus on breaking the bad habit of eating fried foods every day, as opposed to removing it completely from your diet.
How bad is fried food according to nutritionists?
The answer lies in a balanced diet. Balance is the key to having a healthy heart and weight loss.
Cover the main food groups, consume less processed and fried food.