January 28th, 2019

Did You Know: Eating Fried Chicken REALLY Isn’t All That Great For You

The secret to living longer may have something to do with fried foods… and not in the way we would have hoped.


Research finds eating fried chicken every day could mean a shorter life…

We all know we should be eating apples over French fries, carrot sticks over Oreos, and steering clear of anything deep fried. While some things are easier said than done, the choice to forgo the fried chicken sammy, for the simply grilled version may be even easier as research now links regularly eating fried foods to increased risk of death.*

The 2019 study, recently published in the medical journal, The BMJ, explored the prospective association between fried food consumption and mortality in American women, and found regular consumption of a serving of fried chicken or fish to be associated with heightened risk of death in postmenopausal women from any cause, except cancer.

The prospective cohort study examined the eating habits of over 100,000 woman between the ages of 50 to 79 across the United States via questionnaire data for 18 years, up until to February 2017. Researchers looked at how often they ate 122 different foods, including chicken, fish, shellfish, french fries, tortilla chips, and tacos. Over that time, 31,588 of the women passed away, and 8,358 of those deaths were the result of cardiovascular problems. After accounting for other factors related to mortality including education level, income, lifestyle and overall diet quality, researchers found that the woman who ate one or more servings of fried food a day had an 8% higher chance of dying early compared to those who did not indulge in fried foods. Specifically, those who consumed fried chicken once or more per day had a 13% higher risk of death, and those who enjoyed fried fish or shellfish daily were at a 7% greater risk of death.

While the results of this study cannot blindly be applied to everyone, the researchers note there’s little reason to think the association could be much different among younger women or men. With that being said, the researchers assert that limiting consumption of fried foods overall could be beneficial to one’s health.

So what should you do if you want to get your fry-flavors on, but not interested in decreasing your changes of longevity? Get creative. Create a crispy coating for proteins like chicken or fish like tilapia by utilizing wheat bran and seasoning; dip first in egg whites, then into your “breading” mixture, and simply bake. The same process can be used to mimic a fried eggplant dish. Chicken wings and drumsticks, french fries and tortilla chips can also be baked. Cut down on the amount of oil used when cooking wherever you can, and consider steaming foods you’d otherwise pan-fry too, like dumplings, shishito peppers, shrimp, sausages and veggies. Consider using an air fryer to cook chicken without oil, beef and french fries too. For more inspo on how to get a fried-feel, without frying check out the box below, and for more calorie-saving healthy cooking hacks, click here.

*Sun YangboLiu BuyunSnetselaar Linda GRobinson Jennifer GWallace Robert BPetersonLindsay L et al. Association of fried food consumption with all cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality: prospective cohort study