Frying With Olive, Sunflower Oil OK for Heart, Study
TUESDAY, Jan. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers in Spain have
some good news for people who enjoy eating fried food: Cooking in
olive or sunflower oil is not linked to heart disease or premature
Because heart disease risk factors -- such as high blood
pressure, high cholesterol and obesity -- have been linked to
eating fried foods, the study authors decided to investigate the
For the study, the researchers examined the cooking habits and
health of nearly 41,000 adults, aged 29 to 69, who did not have
heart disease at the start of the 11-year study. The participants
were split into four groups depending on how much fried food they
The study authors pointed out that because their research was
conducted in Spain, where olive and sunflower oil are used for
cooking, the findings may not apply in other countries where other
types of oil are more commonly used. For example, when food is
fried in solid and re-used oils (as in the Western diet), it
absorbs the fat of the oils, which increases the calories of the
There were 606 heart disease-related events and 1,134 deaths
during the study follow-up period, according to the report
published in the Jan. 24 online edition of the
"In a Mediterranean country where olive and sunflower oils are the most commonly used fats for frying, and where large amounts of fried foods are consumed both at and away from home, no association was observed between fried food consumption and the risk of coronary heart disease or death," according to the research team, led by Pilar Guallar-Castillon from Autonomous University of Madrid.
In an accompanying editorial, Michael Leitzmann, from the
University of Regensburg in Germany, wrote that the findings
challenge the belief that "frying food is generally bad for the
However, he added that this "does not mean that frequent meals
of fish and chips will have no health consequences." Specific
aspects of frying food, such as the type of oil used, are
important, Leitzmann noted.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration outlines how to
eat for a healthy heart.
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