Consumption of fried foods leads to hypertension

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High blood pressure is a major public health challenge worldwide, that affects approximately one billion people. Globally, the number of people identified with high blood pressure is increasing, an alarming increase especially since it refers to younger people. The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that 1.13 billion adults over the age of 18 have high blood pressure and that the prevalence of hypertension in people over the age of 20 will increase by about 60%, reaching 1.56 billion in 2025.

The American Heart Association (AHA) has identified risk factors for hypertension as being unchangeable (age, sex, family history, and genetic fabric), but also modifiable (high BMI, sedentary lifestyle, low income, smoking, and excessive consumption of alcohol). A diet high in sodium, saturated and trans-fatty acids and added sugar has been associated with an increase in blood pressure.

U.S. studies of immigrants nationwide found that Filipinos had the highest prevalence of high blood pressure and the highest mortality rate from hypertension among Asian immigrants. A study of female immigrants married to Korean men reported a significantly higher net number of Filipino women with high blood pressure, compared to researches for other nationalities, like Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese and Cambodians.

Frying is one of the most common and preferred methods of cooking in the Philippines, probably because it is convenient and because fried food has a more pleasant taste. During the frying process, the amount of oil absorbed in the food can reach up to 40% of the total weight of the food. Moreover, during frying, heated oil suffers from deterioration due to various chemical reactions, such as thermal oxidation, and significantly influences the biological mechanisms responsible for the development of hypertension.

A study in Spain reported that frequent intake of fried foods was associated with an increased risk of hypertension and central adiposity and hypertension. Also, another Spanish study found that fried food intake is associated with a high prevalence of high blood pressure when these foods were fried with reused oils.

In conclusion, there is much evidence from studies that have shown that a high intake of fried foods, especially intensely but also moderately fried foods, has been significantly associated with increased prehypertension and hypertension, combined among Filipino women.

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