Senior Care in Tucson, AZ: How Fried Foods Affect the Heart

There’s no doubt that most people find fried foods delicious. However, they’re also a food that your aging relative should avoid eating too much of. That’s not new information, but the fact that fried foods can harm your older family member’s health has been reinforced yet again by a new study. 

About the Study 

The study was conducted by scientists from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology Research and Information Center. The participants were more than 155,000 veterans who were mainly male and an average age of 64.  

The participants responded to questions concerning what they eat, including the frequency with which they ate fried foods. A little less than half of them said they ate fried foods less than one time each week. One third ate fried food between one and three times each week. Around 5 percent said they ate fried foods every day.  

Researchers followed the participants for three years. In that time, almost 6,800 of them had a stroke or developed heart disease. This correlates to a 7 percent higher chance of heart disease or stroke for the participants who ate fried foods between one and three times weekly. The people who ate fried foods daily had a 14 percent higher risk. 

Other Ways Fried Foods Are Harmful 

Fried foods aren’t just bad for your older family member’s heart. They have many other harmful health effects, including: 

  • Excess Calories: Fried foods are loaded with calories, much more than when the same foods are prepared other ways. For example, when you bake a small potato, it has only 93 calories and no fat. Prepare it as French fries and it has 319 calories and 17 grams of fat.  
  • Trans Fats: Fried foods often contain the unhealthiest kind of fat, trans fat. Trans fats are linked to an increased risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems. 

How the food is fried and what kinds of fried foods a person is eating makes a difference, too. Using healthier oils for frying instead of those that contain trans fats makes fried foods a little healthier. In addition, the temperature of the oil affects how much of it the food absorbs. If the oil is too cold, food soaks up more of it, which means even more calories and fat.  

If your aging relative is relying on fast food for their meals, they are probably eating too much fried food. Senior care can help to change the way they eat. Perhaps the older adult is eating fast foods because they don’t know how to cook or because they find it too much trouble. Some older adults find it lonely to eat alone, so they go out to restaurants instead. Senior care providers can prepare healthy, balanced meals with fresh ingredients that aren’t fried. Senior care providers can also offer companionship during meals, so your aging relative looks forward to them instead of seeing them as a lonely activity. 

If you or an aging loved-one is considering home care in Tucson, AZ please contact the caring staff at Sunlife Home Care today at (877) 888-1311.