Food fried in olive or sunflower oil was not linked to heart disease or premature death, researchers in Spain found.
Professor Pillar Gullah-Castillo of Autonomous University of Madrid surveyed the cooking methods of 40,757 adults ages 29-69 over an 11-year period. None of the study participants had heart disease when the study began.
Trained interviewers asked the study participants about their diet and cooking methods.
The participants' eating habits were divided into ranges of fried food consumption, the first quartile related to the lowest amount of fried food consumed and the fourth indicated the highest amount.
The study follow-up indicated 606 events linked to heart disease and 1,134 deaths, but eating fried foods was not associated with coronary heart events such as heart attack, the study said.
"In a Mediterranean country where olive and sunflower oils are the most commonly used fats for frying, and where large amounts of fried foods are consumed both at and away from home, no association was observed between fried food consumption and the risk of coronary heart disease or death," Gullah-Castillo said in a statement.
However, Gullah-Castillo emphasized the study took place in Spain, a Mediterranean country where olive or sunflower oil is used for frying and the study findings would probably not be the same in another country where solid and re-used oils were used for frying.
The findings were published in the British Medical Journal.