Islamabad - People who eat a lot of fried food may have a higher risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, according to a large long-term study. Researchers from the National University of Singapore’s Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health examined data from more than 100,000 men and women over about 25 years.  They found that people who ate fried food at least once a week had a greater risk of both type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and the risk increased as the frequency of fried food consumption increased. For instance, participants who ate fried foods 4-6 times per week had a 39% increased risk of type 2 diabetes, and those who ate fried foods 7 or more times per week had a 55% increased risk, compared with those who ate fried foods less than once per week.

Eating fried food away from home where frying oil may not be fresh posed the greatest risk, Cahill said. With each reuse, oil becomes more degraded, and more of it gets absorbed in the food, which can contribute to weight gain, higher cholesterol, and higher blood pressure all risk factors for type 2 diabetes and heart disease, Health news reported. Trans fat-free cooking oils increasingly used by restaurants may pose less risk, Cahill said, although she noted in Time.com article that she cannot give specific recommendations on the safest oils to cook with. “Our study is really a first take, and we need to know more before we can say what’s safe,” she said. She added in an interview, “Because there is not enough research to date to clearly confirm that one type of oil is best to use for frying, it is probably wisest to alternate a variety of oils to provide you with a mix of fatty acids much the way you would eat a variety of vegetables or fruits rather than just choosing one.” “Participants in this study used unsaturated fats such as olive and sunflower oil to fry their food. We currently recommend swapping saturated fats like butter, lard or palm oil for unsaturated fats as a way of keeping your cholesterol down and this study gives further cause to make that switch. “Regardless of the cooking methods used, consuming food with high fat content means a high calorie intake. This can lead to weight gain and obesity, which is a risk factor for heart disease.

A well-balanced diet, with plenty of fruit and vegetables and only a small amount of high fat foods, is best for a healthy heart.”