This food is so common that almost everyone eats it at least once or twice per week, and that is because everybody loves it.
But doing so would increase your risk of dying by a scary 17%.
As if that wasn’t enough. It also increases your risk of heart attack, raises your cholesterol and blood pressure level and destroys almost all other health markers.
Thankfully, there is another version of this food (even better) that has no health risk (and you’re going to love this one).
The new study published in BMJ identified 106,966 women between ages 50 and 79 who participated in the American Women’s Health Initiative study.
They completed dietary questionnaires in the mid-1990s and were then observed for around 20 years, until 2017.
During this period, 31,588 of them died; 9,320 from heart problems, 8,358 from cancer, and 13,880 from other causes.
The scientists split the types of fried foods they reported eating into three categories:
1. Fried chicken,
2. Fried fish, fried shellfish, and fish sandwiches, and
3. Other fried foods, like potato chips/fries, tacos, and so on.
They also recorded how often their subjects ate each of these food’s groups.
When they calculated the death risks for all fried foods, they found that people who ate less than one serving a week had one percent greater chance of all-cause death, which increased to three percent for two to six servings per week, and to eight percent for one serving per day.
People who ate one serving of fried chicken a month had a six percent greater chance of an all-cause death, which increased to 12 percent for two to three servings a month, and to 13 percent for at least one serving a week.
Even fried fish posed a risk, with people who ate at least one serving a week increasing their chance of dying from all causes by seven percent.
The only ray of sunshine is that other fried foods like fries were found to pose no risk for all-cause death.
The statistics for cardiovascular death from fried foods are equally bad.
With regards to all fried foods being calculated together, they found that one serving per day was associated with an eight percent higher death risk that stemmed from cardiovascular disease.
Fried chicken increased their chance of cardiovascular death by eight percent for less than two servings per month, 17 percent for two to three servings per month, and 12 percent for at least one serving per week.
One or more servings of fried fish per week increased their chance of cardiovascular death by 13 percent.
Again, other fried foods did not appear to increase their chance of dying of heart problems.
The scientists ensured that death risk factors like smoking and obesity did not influence their conclusion.
The most alarming finding for both fish and chicken was that there is very little difference between eating them once or more a week and eating them two to three times a month. The risk of death seems to creep in at the twice-a-month consumption level, which most of us probably do.
It is possible that the damage is caused by a mixture of the omega-6 vegetable oils in which we fry and the fat in the chicken and fish. Both these types of fats are damaged (called oxidized) by heat and it is these oxidized fats that become harmful cholesterol once we eat them.