Concerned about gaining belly fat? Know how fried foods can disrupt your weight loss, harm your health  |  Photo Credit: iStock Images
Fried foods taste delicious and crunchy, but they can be bad for your health, especially if eaten on a regular basis
Foods cooked in large amounts of fat and oil can cause weight gain among various other issues
Here’s all you need to know about fried foods and how eating them every day can contribute to weight gain
New Delhi: Who doesn’t like the taste of fried foods? They are incredibly tasty and tempting that often we find it difficult to say ‘no’ or stop eating even when we’re full. Let’s be honest, we all love to gorge on those crunchy, crispy, tasty delicacies irrespective of the season or weather. But as tempting as they are, eating fried foods too often can have several negative health effects and not just sabotage your weight loss goals. If you’re trying to tone your tummy, you would want to start by making healthier food choices that will help you avoid gaining unwanted belly fat.
While it’s okay to indulge once in a while, consuming unhealthy, calorie-dense foods regularly can lead to weight gain and obesity. It can also put you at higher risk of serious health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, kidney and liver problems. Read on to know more about fried foods, including why they are bad for your tummy and overall health.
Facts about fried foods
Deep frying is widely used across the globe. It is a quick, inexpensive and convenient cooking method often used by restaurants and fast food chains to prepare a variety of veg and non-veg dishes. In this article, Ms Shilpa Singh, nutritionist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Vashi, Mumbai, tells us some facts about fried foods and their impact on weight and overall health.
They are hard to avoid: Any food when fried adds great taste to it, and also the aroma produced can attract anybody towards it, this generally makes it difficult to resist, but there are a lot of reasons why you should avoid them.
They are high in calories and low in nutrients: Frying involves the use of extra fats, making the food oil-rich, and in this process of cooking a lot of essential vitamins and minerals are lost. What you end up with is a lot of empty/hollow calories i.e. calories without nutrients.
They are high in trans-fats: Trans-fats are simply hydrogenated unsaturated fatty acids which are formed when an oil/fat is heated to high temperatures as in the case of deep and shallow frying. Trans-fats, when consumed on regular basis, can lead to problems like obesity, heart disease, liver and, kidney diseases, cancers, etc.
How fried foods make you gain weight and belly fat
Foods – such as fried foods – cooked in large amounts of fat and oil can cause weight gain because of their high-calorie content. Studies have linked high consumption of fried and fast foods to increased rates of weight gain and obesity. Regular consumption of fried foods leads to obesity, as it’s not only rich in fats but also in empty calories. Eating a lot of fried foods can make you consume too many calories, leading to weight gain. Your digestive system takes much longer time to digest fried foods due to their high-fat content, which makes you pack on the pounds, including belly fat.
Negative effects of eating fried foods
Consumption of fried foods on regular basis can affect your health in many ways – in both the short and long term.
Short-term impacts of fried foods include:
Digestive problems: Fried foods are high in fats which get deposited on the inner lining of stomach and intestine and take long time to digest, as a result, one could face discomfort like heartburn, acidity or acid reflux after its consumption. They often lack fibre which could lead to constipation.
Heaviness and laziness: Since fried foods are rich in fats and calories, we feel heavy and lazy after eating them.
Depression and mood swings: If our diet is not balanced with all the essential nutrients and most of what we eat is fried, it could cause a hormonal imbalance, further leading to behavioral changes, mood swings and depression.
Allergies: The longer a food is fried, more toxins are released into the food, after consumption, one might encounter symptoms like hives with itching, which is the body’s response to fight and eliminate these toxins.
Long-term impacts of fried foods:
Heart diseases: Fried foods are often loaded with saturated and trans fats which when consumed in large quantities decrease the HDL (good cholesterol) level and increases the total cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL (bad cholesterol) level in the blood, which can cause atherosclerosis (a disease in which plaques get deposited in the inner lining of arteries forcing the heart to pump harder) and other chronic heart diseases, including a heart attack.
Obesity and type 2 diabetes: Despite being high in fats and calories, fried foods also may contain extra salts and sugar, which can lead to obesity when consumed in larger quantities. Obesity is one of the main reasons for insulin resistance and the development of type 2 diabetes.
Cancer: When food is fried, whether it’s vegetarian or non-vegetarian, the process of frying causes a lot of nutrients to be lost and cancer-causing chemicals or toxins are formed and released into food. This makes the nutrient level goes down and the toxicity level goes up which can lead to deadly cancer.
Liver disease: Regular intake of fried foods which are rich in trans fats and toxins affects the metabolic processes of the liver resulting in fatty liver diseases.
Kidney disease: Removal of toxins and extra salt from the body is one of the functions of the kidney. So when a lot of fried and salty food is consumed, it puts pressure on the kidneys to flush out these toxins and salts, leading to kidney dysfunctions.
The bottom line
Fried foods are crunchy, munchy, and taste delicious, but they are not good for your weight and overall health, especially when eaten in large quantities and often. The key to living a healthier, fitter, longer life is to choose wisely what you put into your body.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.