Fried foods are very popular across the globe and deep frying foods such as french fries, fried chicken, chicken nuggets, fried potatoes, samosa, kachori are few among them.
Most of the people like these fried foods as they are very tasty but at the same time, they are high in calories and trans fat which affects your health badly.
In the recent decade, there were many studies done on the linkage between fried foods and heart health and obesity.
In this article, we will discuss why are fried foods are bad for you and also see some of the healthy alternatives to them.
Are fried foods high in calories?
It is been proved that deep frying foods contain a lot of calories compared to non-frying foods.
You can easily check the fat content of fried foods. For example, 100 gms of unsalted boiled potato contains 87 calories and 0 gms of fat. But if we take 100 gms of french fries then it contains 319 calories and 17 gms of fat. (1) , (2)
So in general terms, fried foods contain more calories than non-frying foods.
Are fried foods high in Trans fats?
Trans fats are basically unsaturated fat.
Trans fats are actually worse for you than saturated fat as it increases blood cholesterol level.
In saturated fats, there are no double bonds found in their chemical structure. but in unsaturated fats, there is at least one double bond.
Trans fats formed during the hydrogenation process. In this process, manufacturers change the chemical structure of the fats and ultimately it becomes difficult for your body to break it down.
This artificial process changes the chemical structure of the Vegetable oils and turning them from liquid to solid.
So it is but natural when you fry foods in these vegetable oils at very high temperatures, then they contain trans fats. (3)
If you use the same “used” oil repeatedly for frying, then it will certainly increase trans fats in the foods.
The FDA has already banned trans-fats which compels restaurant owners to use an alternative. (4)
Trans fat source:
- Processed foods like snacks (crackers and chips) and baked goods (muffins, cookies, and cakes) with hydrogenated oil or partially hydrogenated oil
- Stick margarine
- Some fast food items such as french fries
Fried food risks: Disease-associated with Fried foods
There are various researches and studies show us that the consumption of fried foods leads to chronic diseases.
Type 2- diabetes, heart disease, and obesity are most common among them.
Eating fried foods on a regular basis may increase the risk of diabetes.
Several studies show that eating fried foods puts you at a higher risk of type-2 diabetes. (5)
Studies also reveal that western type fried foods may increase cardiometabolic risk like diabetes. (6)
Fried foods itself contain trans fats and generally, they are high in salt also which adversely leads to high risk of cardiovascular diseases. (7)
It is been also observed that eating fried foods increases the risk of a heart attack. (8)
Even well-known news website Reuters have re[ported about how deadly is eating fried chicken on a daily basis.
French fries are deep fried and a lot of fat and salt in it could result in cardiovascular disease. (9)
However, it is a well-known fact that eating baked, boiled vegetables or raw fruits lowers the risk of heart disease.
You have seen above that fried foods contain trans fats and they also have more calories than others. So if you regular intake deep frying foods then it is a very high chance to become obese. (10)
Acrylamide is a chemical that forms during foods being fried at high temperatures.
And studies also show that more dar frying chips, chicken or potatoes contain more acrylamide. (11)
Some of the studies also show that acrylamide is associated with various types of cancer and if somebody has a family history of cancer then he/she should avoid fried foods. (12)
Olive oil and Avocado oils are considered as the most healthy oils. Both, mostly contain monosaturated fats and both are relatively stable in high-temperature cooking. (13)
Vegetable oil, Soyabean oil, Sunflower oil, etc are considered as unhealthy oil. All these oils contain high omega-6 fatty acids( responsible for inflammation in the body) content and can have a negative effect on your body.
Coconut oil, once considered healthy oil is now no more considered as a healthy oil. Harvard epidemiologist Karin Michels in her lecture on nutrition called coconut oil as “pure poison” and “one of the worst food” as it contains high levels of saturated fats. (14)
Is there any alternative to the traditional frying method?
With up to 70% less oil usage you can cook food as crispy as frying one in the air fryer, which cooks food crispy from the outside and moist from the inside. Nowadays it is easily available online.