platter of fried foodWho doesn’t like fried food?  Fried food is probably the most widely consumed food in the US (and worldwide).  In fact, more than 25% of adults consume fried foods every day. Sometimes we probably forget that frying food actually alters the composition of it. What are we really eating, and where?  Eating fried foods in restaurants is riskier, as we don’t always know how old the oil is or what all it has been used for.  With constant reuse, the oil becomes tainted and starts getting absorbed into the food more and more.  This can contribute to weight gain, high blood pressure and increased cholesterol levels.  Many restaurants have started using trans-fat-free cooking oils.

The processes that take place during frying are:

Yes, frying makes food crunchy and more appetizing (which makes us eat more), but the food then loses water and absorbs fat.  A higher consumption of fried foods is associated with a laundry list of health risks including:

-cardiovascular disease (leading cause of death, globally)
-type 2 diabetes
OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea)

Adults are not the only age group who is guilty of this consumption.  Studies have shown that students are eating more fried foods and exercising less, clearly related to more “screen time”, which then also leads into sleep disturbances.  You can see how this is a cycle.  Sleep disturbances = higher BMI = increased health risks.  This can also cause the start of depression at a young age.

Keep in mind that obesity is the strongest predictor of OSA.  Usually the first thing that your doctor (sleep specialist) will tell you during your consult is that you may need to lose weight.  Weight loss has always been recognized as a treatment for OSA. Inadequate sleep has been known to also cause an increase in appetite for foods high in carbohydrates, starches and sugars, thus preventing weight loss.

Unfortunately, nowadays, everyone always seems to be in such a rush and not have any time to make their own food or go to the grocery store.  This definitely plays a part in food choices that we make.  If you just worked a 10-hour day at the office and are driving home in traffic, the last thing you want to do is go to the store and then cook a healthy meal.  You are hungry and you want to eat something quick and easy (and satisfying) right?

One option to avoid this scenario completely is to meal-prep on the weekends when you have more time.  That way you can pre-cook dinners and freeze them, cut up fruits and vegetables and separate them into bags or tupperware, and you can even make lunches to take to work.
This eliminates the work during the week after a long day and gives you the option to eat a well-balanced healthy meal, rather than driving to a fast food restaurant or eating a fried item off of a restaurant menu.

The most popular fried foods (according to different studies) are:
-fried chicken
-fried fish
-french fries
-fried rice
-fried potatoes
-potato chips/tortilla chips
-fried plantains

Consuming fried foods 4+ times per week puts you at a much higher risk for developing chronic diseases as opposed to people who only eat them occasionally (once or less per week).

The different chronic diseases that can stem from an unhealthy diet have many similarities to the diseases associated with OSA.  If you look on my website, you will see the following facts about sleep disorders:

  • Left untreated, sleep apnea increases one’s risk of heart attack and stroke
  • Drowsiness is blamed for some 200,000-400,000 auto accidents annually, with the cost at $50-100 billion
  • 90% of those who snore exhibit sleep apnea tendencies
  • Hypertension is present in approximately 50% of patients with diagnosed OSA
  • Uncontrolled sleep apnea can lead to exaggerated fibromyalgia, concentration problems, type II diabetes, stroke and irritable bowel syndrome
  • Over long periods, uncontrolled sleep apnea results in intellectual and memory deterioration
  • Sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure to develop, as well as heart and lung problems
  • Anxiety also has a negative relation to sleeping soundly
  • Because of sleep disorders, thousands of jobs are lost annually, with the cost in U.S. production exceeding $60 billion
  • Sleep apnea has played a role in several disasters including the three-mile island meltdown, the Challenger explosion, and the Exxon Valdez oil spill
  • The lack of oxygen to the brain and body caused by sleep apnea episodes can also contribute to increased chances of stroke, depression, fatigue, weight gain, irritable bowel syndrome, and type II diabetes.

At Michigan Head & Neck Institute, we offer treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea that consists of creating a custom-fit oral appliance (mouthpiece) which is comfortable and can be adjusted to meet the requirements of each patient.  Dr. Klein works with each patient to provide the best options for their specific treatment.  For more information please call (586) 573-0438.

Gadiraju, T. V., Patel, Y., Gaziano, J. M., & Djoussé, L. (2015). Fried Food Consumption and Cardiovascular Health: A Review of Current Evidence.Nutrients, 7(10), 8424-30.doi:10.3390/nu7105404
Dobrosielski, D. A., Papandreou, C., Patil, S. P., & Salas-Salvadó, J. (2017). Diet and exercise in the management of obstructive sleep apnoea and cardiovascular disease risk. European respiratory review : an official journal of the European Respiratory Society26(144), 160110.doi:10.1183/16000617.0110-2016
Canadian Medical Association Journal. (2012, October 1). Poor sleep in adolescents may increase risk of heart disease.ScienceDaily.
Published in Cardiology Journal Scan / Research · February 06, 2019;Fried Food Consumption Associated With All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality; BMJ : British Medical Journal
Association of fried food consumption with all cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality: prospective cohort study BMJ 2019; 364 doi: 23 January 2019)
Cahill LE, Pan A, Chiuve SE, et al. Fried-food consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease: a prospective study in 2 cohorts of US women and men. Am J Clin Nutr2014;100:667-75. doi:10.3945/ajcn.114.084129 pmid:24944061