Use Olive or Sunflower Oil to avoid Heart Risks

Scientists claim a fry-up doesn’t increase the risk of heart disease or early death, depending on the type of oil used. They found olive oil and sunflower oil are healthy options whether the food is fried at home or eaten out. The heart risk factors associated with eating fried foods do not apply to foods cooked in olive and sunflower oils.

Frying foods with some types of oils or solids, such as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, can increase intake of Trans fats, considered the worst type of fat since it raises bad cholesterol and lowers good cholesterol. When food is fried, it loses water and absorbs the cooking oil. Oil degrades the more times it is used, leading to an increase in saturated fats and Trans fats. When food is fried its nutritional content changes – food loses water and takes up fat, increasing its calorie count. Eating lots of fried food can increase some heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity. However, olive oil is less prone to oxidation – producing damaging chemicals when heated or exposed to air – than other oils, and that ‘overly reused fats’ may be harmful.
avoid heart risks with olive oil

Researchers from the Autonomous University of Madrid investigated whether there was a link between heart disease and the oils mainly used for frying in the Mediterranean. A team drawn from research centres, universities and hospitals in Spain analysed data from almost 41,000 adults aged 29 to 69 who did not have heart disease at the start of the study in the 1990s. They were divided into four groups according to how much they ate foods fried in olive oil or sunflower oil, from the lowest to highest amounts. People were asked about food consumed in a typical week during the previous 12 months, with foods consumed at least twice a month recorded and it was found that olive oil and sunflower oil are healthy options for frying. However, before we all reach for the frying pan it’s important to remember this study.

Regardless of the cooking methods used, consuming foods with high fat content means a high calorie intake. This can lead to weight gain and obesity, which is a risk factor for heart disease. A well-balanced diet, with plenty of fruit and veggies and only a small amount of high fat foods, is best for a healthy heart.

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