Posted by Olivia on Friday, February 17th, 2012
A recent study published in the British Medical Journal suggests that fried foods cooked in olive oil might not contribute to heart disease. A large scale study of over 40,000 Spanish participants, over the course of 11 years, found that consumption of fried foods didn’t seem to increase the chances of developing coronary disease. The fried foods, which totaled for about 7% of the participants’ daily intake, were mostly cooked in olive oil.
Researchers were quick to note, however, that this study suggests only a possibility that foods fried in olive oil don’t harm the heart, but they don’t conclude this as direct fact. Another possible explanation for why the fried foods didn’t contribute to heart disease is that the foods themselves may have been largely fish, which are rich in heart-protective omega-3 fats.
Critics are also concerned of the possible harmful effects of heating olive oil to high temperatures while frying. Once the smoke point of a fat is reached from a certain temperature, the fat itself can become carcinogenic. For those concerned about cooking with olive oil, you can learn about what temperatures are safe to cook with here.
While there needs to be more research into how foods fried in olive oil contribute to heart health, one thing is certain: olive oil itself provides heart protective benefits, and if paired with omega-3 rich fish and seafood, the protective powers become even stronger.
For recipes using heart-protective seafood and olive oil, try the following: