Fried foods and cholesterol are common health enemies. Everyone knows too many french fries are bad. The same goes for anything deep-fried in scalding oil.
But, what makes fried foods so bad? Are they too fatty? Or, maybe they lose their nutritional benefits.
Well, the answer is a little more complex than that. But yes, there’s some truth to all those claims.
The basics of fried food and cholesterol
Fried food is quite straightforward. You cook something dehydrated in hot oil. From there, you get a crispy and golden meal. Of course, it can also be brown if you leave it a bit too long.
It also depends on what you’re frying.
You can also fry almost anything. But, that doesn’t mean you should. Frying food does more than change its taste. It can also mess with its nutritional content.
How does frying change food?
Naturally, absorbing oil means the food has more fat. But, the type of oil you use also changes this makeup.
For instance, animal fats can boost cholesterol levels. So, keep that in mind if you’re using bacon or lard grease.
Regardless of the oil, frying always increases its calories.
Likewise, reusing frying oil is also a bad idea. It can cause breakdowns. And, the food absorbs more oil than usual. That’s why fast-food joints—including street food—are worse.
Your heart, fried foods, and cholesterol
Fried food has everything your heart hates: cholesterol and fat. More so, these fats are saturated and trans. That means your cholesterol levels spike. And, your arteries’ walls become damaged and narrow.
Thus, it can lead to clogs in your arteries, or atherosclerosis. Then, your heart is at the mercy of several conditions. They include the following:
- Coronary artery disease.
- Heart attacks.
- Heart failure.
What makes fried foods and cholesterol dangerous?
Fried food has links with major health issues, including type 2 diabetes. Even without direct links, we have obesity, blood pressure, and more. So, fried foods can indirectly cause other medical conditions.
Hydrogenated oils are the worst because of their trans fat content. They give food a fantastic crunch and taste. But, it also boosts bad cholesterol over the good one.
These effects worsen—as mentioned—when reused.
Even without hydrogenated oil, we still have to be careful when frying. All deep-fried food is unhealthy, regardless of what or how it’s cooked.
What about acrylamide?
Acrylamide is another risk that we don’t expose enough. But, it could be beyond fried foods and cholesterol.
This chemical releases in high-temperature cooking, such as fried food. The issue is that it could cause cancer.
It can form in several fried foods. But, potatoes are the riskiest. That’s because it comes from the reaction between asparagine and sugar. And, potatoes are particularly high in sugars.
Now, acrylamide won’t kill you in moderate amounts. Yet, it’s worth considering depending on your family history.
How can you offset fried foods and cholesterol?
While giving them up is better, you don’t have to. It’s fine to enjoy french fries or fried chicken now and then. Just make sure you’re following these tips—preferably making them yourself:
- Stick to liquid oils with healthy fats. These include canola oils.
- Don’t reuse oil.
- Soak the excess oil with paper towels.
- Don’t let food get brown when cooking.
- Store potatoes at room temperature.
- Dip chicken in egg whites and add breadcrumbs to use less oil.
The holistic takeaway
So, what’s the link between fried foods and cholesterol?
Fried foods contain copious amounts of bad cholesterol and fats. Moreover, they often reduce the good cholesterol in your body. So, it acts as a double hit to your health.
If you don’t want to forego them entirely, you don’t have to. Just make sure you’re moderate with them. Likewise, try an effective cholesterol treatment.