A fry-up might not be as unhealthy as you think, providing you use olive or sunflower oil rather than lard or vegetable oil say experts.
In a widely reported study undertaken by the Autonomous University of Madrid, over 40,000 adults were surveyed about their diet. At the start of the 11-year study none of the adults exhibited any sign of heart disease, but by the end of it over 600 heart disease events and more than 1,100 deaths had occurred.
After studying the available data the researchers could find no link with fried food. Fried food becomes more calorific because the fats in the oil are absorbed during the frying. As is often reported, a diet that contains lots of saturated fat can lead to high blood pressure and increased cholesterol, both of which are risk factors for heart disease.
While the findings might seem to be good news for us fry-up loving Brits it should be remembered that the typical Mediterranean diet is typically healthier than ours as it contains higher quantities of fresh fruit and veg, more fish and is lower in fat consumption. The mantra of sticking to a well-balanced, high fibre diet will still be strongly recommended by health organisations.
Victoria Taylor, a senior heart health dietitian at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Before we all reach for the frying pan, it’s important to remember that this was a study of a Mediterranean diet rather than British fish and chips. Our diet in the UK will differ from Spain, so we cannot say that this result would be the same for us too.”
One easy way to still enjoy a bacon sandwich (with brown sauce of course!) while being healthier is to grill your bacon as you don’t need any oil and the fat drips into the grill pan (line with foil to save on the washing up. When using your frying pan also use a slotted turner so that when you serve the food some of the oil can drip through the slots back into the pan.