No, I Wouldn’t Like Fries with That

french fries

Most of us know that eating fried foods is not the healthiest choice. A study published in the journal, Heart, on 1/18/2021, looked at existing research and concluded that even small amounts of fried foods can have a negative effect on our health.

According to an article on http://www.cnn.com: “Compared to those who ate the least, people who ate the most fried food per week had a 28% higher risk of major cardiovascular events, a 22% greater risk of coronary heart disease and a 37% heightened risk of heart failure….” Additionally, the article explained that: “Each additional weekly serving of 114 grams or 4 ounces (½ cup) of fried foods increased the risk for heart attack and stroke by 3%, heart disease by 2% and heart failure by 12%, the study found. A medium McDonald’s french fry serving, for example, is 117 grams.”

The risk is further increased because many fried foods contain trans fats–fats that have been hydrogenated in order to improve taste and increase shelf life–which is bad for cholesterol. The FDA has banned trans fats, but the ban is not fully in place and there are loopholes. Frying allows the food to absorb the fats thereby adding calories and increasing health risks.

Every once in a while, a little fried food would not be the end of the world. A plate of fries will not kill a person, but the research does indicate that over time there is a marked difference between the health outcomes of those who eat fried foods on a regular basis and in higher quantities than those who do not.

As we make our way into 2021 and many of us work on New Year’s Resolutions to be healthier, this research helps us to understand just how important our choices can be.

Here is the link for the article on CNN.com: https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/18/health/fried-foods-heart-disease-study-wellness/index.html

What Happens When You Only Read the Headline

Police arrest Batman

An interesting article appeared on http://www.cnn.com a few days ago with the following headline: “Vegetarians might have higher risk of stroke than meat eaters, study says.” NOOOOOOOO!

I have been a pescatarian for nearly 15 years and this news was shocking to me…or, at least, the headline was. Read the article, and one gets a very different story.

Although there is a higher risk of stroke (which some believe was a conclusion reached incorrectly by the researchers due to their misuse of “weighting” in the study), vegetarians are at a much lower risk of heart disease. In fact, the lower risk to heart health far outweighs the risk of stroke.

What was the “weighting?” The study took into account in classifying study subjects that vegetarians are, in general, more healthy than meat-eaters. Well, duh. The study comes from BMJ, a very well-respected journal out of London, UK. The article from CNN, though, suggests that more research is needed. So, nothing like publishing a misleading headline about an inconclusive and possible flawed study. I guess that is what they mean by click-bait.

By the way, pescatarians are not at the same risk of stroke and reap most of the benefits with regard to heart health. So you may still want to put those ribs down and reach for some halibut or salmon.

A warning: don’t just get your news from reading headlines–be they about health or any other topic–spend the few minutes needed to read the article–especially before you post it online or share it with friends.

Here is the link: https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/04/health/vegetarian-vegan-diet-stroke-heart-disease-risk-intl/index.html