`Foods Fried in Olive Oil May Not Be Harmful

Food & Cooking

Foods Fried in Olive Oil May Not Be Harmful

Jan. 26, 2012
Elena Paravantes

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Accord­ing to data from the Span­ish cohort of the Euro­pean Prospec­tive Inves­ti­ga­tion into Can­cer and Nutri­tion (EPIC), fried food may not harm the heart as long as it is fried in olive oil.

In this study pub­lished in the British Med­ical Jour­nal, researchers gath­ered infor­ma­tion over the course of ten years from 40,757 adults aged 29 – 69 who were free of coro­nary heart dis­ease at the begin­ning of the study. After ana­lyz­ing the infor­ma­tion, there was no asso­ci­a­tion noted between fried food con­sump­tion after adjust­ing for energy intake, age, and gen­der, with coro­nary heart dis­ease events.

Although fry­ing is gen­er­ally con­sid­ered unhealthy mainly because it increases calo­rie and fat intake, under cer­tain cir­cum­stances it can be a part of a healthy diet. But it is impor­tant to note that the fried foods in this sit­u­a­tion are fried mainly in olive oil that has not been reused.

The researchers noted these results were in the con­text of a tra­di­tional Mediter­ranean diet with greater use of olive oil, which is less prone to degra­da­tion dur­ing fry­ing. Fry­ing with other types of fats, reusing oils sev­eral times, or con­sum­ing fried snacks high in salt may still be harm­ful, they added.

The les­son to be learned here is that olive oil is the pre­ferred oil for fry­ing, and if you do fol­low a Mediter­ranean style diet, occa­sional fried food might not be so bad after all.


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