Fried Food Can Increase Stroke Risk Among Older Women

By: Justin Chan

While foods high in sodium may put one at risk of experiencing a stroke, a study revealed that fried food significantly raises that risk among older women.

According to the Daily News, researchers from the University of North Carolina discovered that older women who consume large amounts of fat found in fried food and baked goods are more likely to experience strokes than women who eat lower fat diets. Approximately 800,000 people in the United States are affected by strokes annually; in fact, strokes are the fourth leading cause of deaths in the country.

The researchers studied the eating habits of about 87,000 women between the ages of 50 and 79. Most of the women were considered in good health when the study began. Those who ate meals that contained at least 6.1 grams of trans-fatty acids per day had a 39 percent greater chance of facing a stroke than those who had no more than 2.2 grams. The report also noted that aspirin may help reduce the connection between trans-fat consumption and strokes.

"Our findings confirm that postmenopausal women with higher trans-fat intake had an elevated risk of ischemic stroke, but aspirin use may reduce the adverse effects," said Ka He, the lead author of the study. "We recommend following a diet low in trans fat and adding an aspirin regimen to help women reduce their risk of stroke, specifically following the onset of menopause."

Although the consumption of trans fat has generally decreased over the years, it has not completely disappeared. "Trans fats are rare in living nature, but can commonly occur in foods as a result of food processing called partial hydrogenation when a liquid vegetable oil is turned into a solid fat," said Nancy Copperman, director of public health initiatives at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System.

Copperman added that women who ate high amounts of trans fat generally had unhealthy behaviors, including smoking, decreased physical activity and higher levels of diabetes. "Encouraging and supporting women consume a balanced diet avoiding trans fat and including healthy oils and daily physical activity can be a major step in preventing stroke and other lifestyle related diseases," she said.
Photo: jabberwik 
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