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This Is What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Deep-Fried Foods

A registered dietitian explains what could happen if you snack on too many fried treats this summer.
fried food

The pandemic has caused a lot of experiences and functions to be canceled this year, including one such event that Midwesterners and Southerners alike partake in every summer: State Fairs.

Many people look forward to their state's fair, whether that be for the endless carnival-like games or the powder-dusted funnel cake, they bring patrons a lot of joy. When Minnesotans found out their state fair was canceled, food vendors that had already secured their spot decided to find an additional way to serve people their favorite fair foods. Instead, they took to the streets and stationed their food trucks and carts throughout the state and even dipped into Wisconsin. There's even an interactive Google map that pinpoints exactly where these vendors will be heading to next.

In light of this celebratory news, and in the event food vendors in your home state do the same, we thought it would be helpful to call on health expert Ashley Kitchens MPH, RD, LDN to lend insight on what can happen to your body if you eat too many fried foods—because let's face it, a lot of quintessential fair foods are fried. Remember, we're still in a pandemic and it's critical that you keep your immune system strong by avoiding inflammatory foods.

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Why are deep-fried foods so bad for your body?

"When foods are fried they become more calorically dense because the outer part of the food loses water and absorbs the fat [or] oil," says Kitchens. "The oils in which foods are fried can contain trans fat, which has been shown to raise your LDL."

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LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein and is also known as the bad type of cholesterol, i.e. the one that can clog your precious arteries and cause cardiovascular disease. Kitchens also says there is evidence that suggests regular consumption of fried foods (think fried chicken and onion rings) is also associated with a rise in blood pressure, which is another risk factor of heart disease.

Not to mention, fried foods could lead to weight gain over time if eaten often so if you're going to eat these foods, it's best to do so in moderation. Eating one or two servings of deep-fried Oreos this summer will not have a significant impact on your weight or overall health.

How might someone who eats a lot of fried food go about eliminating them from their diet?

"If you're looking to cut back on your fried food consumption, my biggest recommendation is to purchase an air fryer," says Kitchens. "When cooking foods in an air fryer, you get that familiar outer crunch that's associated with oil-fried foods but without the oil. It can be a game-changer in the kitchen if you're looking to wean off oil-fried foods."

If you need inspiration on what to cook in the air fryer, check out 27 Air Fryer Recipes That Make Healthier Fried Foods.

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.

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Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the news editor of Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and drink coverage, and breaking down the science behind the latest health studies and information. Read more
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