Bad news: Your favourite har cheong gai may cause an early death. Here’s what new research reveals.
If you intend to live as long as possible, cancel that order of har cheong gai or fish and chips. According to a recent report published in The BMJ, this simple change of giving up your favourite fried foods could significantly reduce your chance of early death. Unfortunately, and perhaps unsurprisingly, the study revealed that the most addictive and tasty fried foods tend to be the worst for your health. Popular grub such as fried chicken and fried seafood (fish, shrimp and oysters) were identified in the article as the top life-shortening culprits.
In the large-scale US study, which began in the ’90s and followed more than 100,000 women over 20 years, taking into account factors such as race, age, income and education level, it was found that ladies who ate just one or more servings of fried chicken a day increased their risk of dying from any cause by 13 per cent, and upped their risk of dying from heart complications by 12 per cent.
(Also read: 10 Healthy ‘Fast Food’ Items Every Busy Woman Needs in the Kitchen)
Fried seafood trailed closely behind. Having one or more serving a day heightens the risk of dying from heart-related issues by 12 per cent, and the risk of dying from any other cause by seven per cent. Other fried foods such as fries, tacos and tortilla chips don’t get a free pass, as simply having any fried food a day raises the risk of an early death by eight per cent.
The researchers noted that women who tended to eat fried foods in the first place already had a poorer diet in general. They were also younger and more likely to smoke, exercise less, have a lower income, and less education. Strangely, the results did not link fried foods with a significantly higher risk of cancer. But seeing that there are plenty of other studies suggesting that fried foods cause cancer, it’s better to err on the safe side.
While the study was only limited to the US, the researchers shared that having a large and diverse group of participants could mean that the findings, that one could avoid an early death by avoiding fried foods, could be easily applicable to women around the world.