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Food for Thought: How to make fried food healthier

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By oven frying you get to keep the crisp-factor and the flavor of your traditionally fried foods. 

Fried food is a staple for many Americans, but regularly eating foods such as french fries, fried chicken, mozzarella sticks, hushpuppies, etc., can increase your change of having a major cardiovascular problem, according to a new study.

The study, which was recently published in the journal Heart, found that the chance of suffering from a heart attack or stroke increased by 28% if you eat fried foods on a regular basis. The study also found a link between fried food consumption and heightened risk for heart failure (37%) and coronary artery disease (22%).

Here are a few healthier ways you can make your favorite fried foods while getting rid of the fatty consequences, according to Freshly.com:

1. Choose your breading: Swap refined flour or breadcrumbs for a more nutrient dense alternative, like almond meal or 100% cassava flour. Refined flours are processed in a way that removes key nutrients. Almonds pack nutrients like fiber, magnesium, and vitamin E, which can boost your immune and digestive systems - while still giving you that satisfying coating with a slightly-nutty flavor.

2. Try oven frying: Ditch the messy pan of oil for a baker's sheet in the oven. By oven frying you get to keep the crisp-factor and the flavor of your traditionally fried foods. You'll also eliminate some of the potentially negative impacts of high-heat cooking.

3. Pay attention to your oil: Choose a high quality, heat stable oil, like a non-GMO expeller pressed canola oil or olive oil over the more highly processed vegetable oils that are often used in frying. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and may help improve heart health. High-quality expeller pressed canola oil has a higher amount of omega 3 fatty acids, which are important to support the brain, heart, digestion and skin.

FUN FACT: Pistachios are actually fruits. They are the seeds of a fruit (the outer fruit is removed during processing).

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