Fried foods increase heart attack risk

Adults who regularly consume fried foods, processed meats and sugary drinks are at an increased risk of suffering a heart attack during the next five years, a new study has found.

Researchers focused on the impact of a Southern-style diet - foods that are regularly consumed in Southern parts of the US. These include fried foods, fatty foods, processed meats such as ham, organ meats such as liver, egg dishes and sugary drinks.

The study involved over 17,000 people aged 45 and older who lived throughout the US. Their health and diets were monitored over a six-year period. None of the participants had heart disease at the start of the study.

The researchers found that those who consumed this type of diet most often had a 56% increased risk of developing heart disease compared to those who consumed it less often.

They also found that those who regularly consumed this type of diet had an increased risk of suffering a heart attack or a heart-related death during the next 5.8 years.

The study grouped foods into five main dietary patterns:
-Convenience, which included mostly pasta dishes, pizza, Chinese and Mexican foods
-Plant-based, which included mostly fruit, vegetables, beans, cereal, fish and poultry
-Sweet, which included sweetened breakfast cereals, foods with added sugars, chocolate and desserts
-Alcohol/salads, which included beer, wine, tomatoes, green leafy vegetables and salad dressings.

The researchers found that no other dietary patterns was linked with the same risk of heart disease as the Southern-style diet.

"Regardless of your gender, race, or where you live, if you frequently eat a Southern-style diet you should be aware of your risk of heart disease and try to make some gradual changes to your diet. Try cutting down the number of times you eat fried foods or processed meats from every day to three days a week as a start, and try substituting baked or grilled chicken or vegetable-based foods," the researchers said.

Details of these findings are published in the medical journal, Circulation.

For more information on heart disease, see our Heart Disease Clinic here


[Posted: Tue 11/08/2015]

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