Thursday, 28 Oct 2021

Heart attack: How you cook can increase your risk of the deadly condition

This Morning: Dr Chris discusses heart disease

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Insightful research – published in the British Medical Journal – drew attention to what contributes to heart disease; and while it’s no surprise that it’s linked to diet, the way you cook has an influence. Fried food intake was linked to a heightened risk of heart disease, with every additional 114g serving increasing the risk even more. The association between fried food consumption and heart disease risk was based on pooled data from 17 studies.

Combining the dataset from all 17 studies meant the details of 562,445 participants were analysed – 36,727 of whom had a heart attack (or stroke).

The next step of the analysis involved comparing the lowest category of weekly fried food consumption against the highest.

The latter group (the one who ate more fried food) had a 22 percent heightened risk of heart disease.

In addition, the same group also had a 28 percent increased risk of a “major cardiovascular event”, such as a heart attack.

Moreover, the group who consumed the most fried food weekly also had a 37 percent heightened risk of heart failure.

This linear association showed that the more you eat fried food, the more at risk your health is.

If fried food consumption increased by 114g in one week, the risk of a heart attack increased by three percent.

Furthermore, heart failure risk surged by 12 percent and heart disease risk shot up by two percent.

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Heed caution though, as participants relied on their memory when it came to documenting how often they ate fried foods.

The researchers did suggest that a high consumption of fried foods “generate harmful trans fatty acids from the hydrogenated vegetable oils often used to cook them”.

Frying – the cooking method where food is cooked in hot oil – is also said to encourage inflammation in the body.

The NHS encourages people to “grill, steam, boil, poach or microwave food instead of frying”.

When it comes to cooking your own food, the NHS advise you to “trim excess fat from meat and remove the skin from poultry”.

The use of lard or oil is discouraged, but if needs be only use a “small amount of olive, sunflower or rapeseed oil”.

In order to protect your heart, “healthier food choices” are encouraged.

A healthy, heart-friendly diet consists of plenty of fruit and vegetables, whole grain carbohydrates, and low-fat dairy products.

Two types of fats you are advised to avoid include saturated and trans fats.

Saturated fats can be found in:

  • Butter
  • Ghee
  • Cheese
  • Cream
  • Cakes
  • Biscuits
  • Pastries.

Trans fats can be found in hydrogenated oils, as well as some cakes, biscuits, pastries, and deep-fried foods.

Healthier options include polyunsaturated fats, such as mackerel, tuna, salmon, and safflower oil.

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