February 5, 2012 by Robert Wascher
Filed under Cancer, Cancer Prevention, Canola Oil, Cooking Oils, Fried Foods, Healthy Diet, Nutrition, Olive Oil, Risk of Death, Saturated Fat, Sunflower Oil, Trans-Fats, Unsaturated Fat, Weekly Health Update, cardiovascular disease, cooking oil, coronary artery disease, death, diet, fat, health, heart attack, heart disease, lifestyle, mortality, risk
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New research from Spain shows that frying foods in olive oil and sunflower oil does not increase cardiovascular disease risk.
FRYING WITH OLIVE OIL DOES NOT INCREASE CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE RISK
As I mention in my recent bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, many of the very same lifestyle and dietary habits that increase our risk of developing cancer also increase our risk of developing cardiovascular disease, including coronary artery disease, heart attacks (myocardial infarction), peripheral vascular disease, and stroke. Likewise, adopting an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle can not only cut your cancer risk in half, but can also significantly reduce your risk of developing life-threatening cardiovascular disease as well. For example, one evidence-based strategy that has been shown to reduce both the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, and which I extensively discuss in A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, is following a Mediterranean diet. Among other features, a Mediterranean diet includes the sparing use of unsaturated cooking oils, including olive oil and sunflower oil, instead of the artery-clogging saturated fats favored as cooking oils in the United States and other western countries.
There are multiple prior research studies that have linked the consumption of foods fried in saturated fats (which are still used in most fried fast foods in the United States) with cardiovascular disease and premature death due to cardiovascular disease. However, a newly published public health study from Spain, which appears in the current issue of the British Medical Journal, reveals that eating foods fried in olive oil and sunflower oil, which are unsaturated cooking oils, does not appear to increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This large prospective health study has followed 40,757 Spanish adult volunteers for an average of 11 years, and all of these research volunteers were free from cardiovascular disease at the beginning of this study.
When comparing study volunteers who ate the most fried foods with those who ate the least fried foods, this important research study found no difference in the incidence of death due to cardiovascular disease or, indeed, in the incidence of premature death due to any other causes including cancer. The differences in cardiovascular disease incidence and premature death found in this Spanish study and those found in similar studies conducted in the United States appear to be due to the different types of cooking oils used to fry foods in Spain (and other Mediterranean countries) and the United States. Namely, as I have already mentioned, we Americans still favor the use of saturated cooking fats in many of our fried foods, whereas unsaturated fats are favored in Spain and other Mediterranean countries.
The findings of this large Spanish study, which is part of the ongoing enormous prospective European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study, add weight to the similar previous studies that I discuss in A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race. This new study adds additional evidence to previous observations that a Mediterranean diet can indeed lead to a significant reduction in both cancer risk and cardiovascular disease risk. In our home, we exclusively use olive oil and canola oil, and in small amounts, to fry our food. Based upon the findings of this important new study, I recommend the same for you and your family. (Remember, though, that eating large amounts of deep-fried food, even with the use of unsaturated cooking oils, can lead to significant weight gain due to the high caloric content of fried foods!)
For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!
On Thanksgiving Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books! On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.com “Top 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list!
Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity
Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author
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