Olive oil and sunflower oil in moderation is a healthy way to cook. New research published on BMJ.com found that eating food fried in olive or sunflower oil is not linked to heart disease or premature death.
The authors, led by Professor Pilar Guallar-Castillón from Autonomous University of Madrid, surveyed the cooking habits of more than 40,000 adults in Spain. Many follow a Mediterranean diet, long associated with good health and long life.
While it is generally thought that fried food is bad for you, it seems the choice of oil used is crucial. In many Western countries such as the US and the UK, solid and re-used oils are used for frying.
"In a Mediterranean country where olive and sunflower oils are the most commonly used fats for frying, and where large amounts of fried foods are consumed both at and away from home, no association was observed between fried food consumption and the risk of coronary heart disease or death,” the report said.