Anyone who likes fish tacos or fish burgers is familiar with this diet dilemma: Fish is full of good fats, but is it still okay to eat if it’s been battered and fried? Packed with healthy protein and good fats, fish is one of the few foods that nearly every (non-vegan) diet plan includes; the omega-3 fats stave off cholesterol, inflammation, and they’ll even do things like help your skin and hair. Win! But are all those pros enough to make it worth breaking the rule of no fried foods?
A new study says no. According to data in the long-term Women’s Health Initiative study, women who ate fried fish didn’t reap the same health benefits of those who ate theirs baked or broiled. While women who ate five or more servings of broiled or baked fish per week lowered their risk of heart failure by 30%, women who ate just one serving of fried fish per week actually increased their risk of heart failure by 45% compared to women who rarely or never ate fish.
So even though fish has a lot of healthy things going for it, that’s still just not enough to counterbalance all the bad stuff that comes along with frying food. (Trust us — even if you’re not worried about your ticker, the calories and fat you’ll get from fried fish vs. baked or broiled should be enough to make you think twice about a weekly fish fry.)
Need some heart-healthy ideas to replace your beer-battered fish tacos? Check out our guide to fish without frying for great recipes and ideas.