The study, which was published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), was headed by a team from the University of Iowa.
The study observed 106,966 women who took part in the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study between 1993 and 1998. All the participants were aged 50 to 79.
According to the findings, eating a single serving or more of any fried food daily can increase your risk of death by eight percent.
Based on test results, the risk was particularly strong with fried chicken and fried fish, which the researchers assumed were mostly deep fried. In fact, eating one or more servings of fried chicken a day was associated with a whopping 13 percent higher risk of death from any cause and 12 percent higher risk of heart-related death.
Eating one or more servings of fried fish or shellfish daily was associated with seven percent higher risk of death from any cause, along with 13 percent higher risk of heart-related death.
Additionally, the researchers still found a link with even fewer servings of fish and chicken. The findings were also true after other factors, like exercise levels, were taken into account.
After an average 18-year follow up, 31,558 of the female participants have died:
The researchers warned that regularly eating fried foods, especially fried chicken and fried fish or shellfish, was linked to a higher risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in women in the U.S.
Eating less fried food or avoiding it altogether may have a "clinically meaningful effect across the public health spectrum." The team of researchers didn't identify a specific link between cancer-related deaths and the consumption of fried foods.
Findings also revealed that women who consumed the most fried food were "younger, non-white, less educated, and on a lower income." The women who preferred fried food also consumed fewer fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Unfortunately, they also ate more nuts, red and processed meat, salt, and sugary beverages. (Related: High-fat “Western” diet increases your risk of infectious diseases and food poisoning, reveals study.)
The researchers said that this alarming risk factor for cardiovascular mortality can be prevented by making positive lifestyle and cooking choices. Reducing your consumption of fried chicken and fried fish is a good way to start.
Another alternative is to prepare a healthier chicken dish, like crispy baked chicken coated in crunchy walnuts instead of making deep fried chicken or fish fingers.
Tracy Parker, a senior dietitian at the British Heart Foundation, advised that making simple changes in how you cook can significantly improve your cardiovascular health. When you cook your own food using healthy ingredients, you're eating less fast food that's full of calories, fat, and salt served in larger portions. Following a healthier diet can also improve your well-being.
If you keep eating fried foods, you will be at greater risk of weight gain and various health problems like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and Type 2 diabetes. These three conditions are all risk factors for developing heart and circulatory diseases as you get older.
Make nutritious meals at home using methods like baking, roasting, or steaming. You can also make healthier choices if you eat out if you truly wish to improve your cardiovascular health.