French fries, fried chicken, and doughnuts are notable for their high caloric content, yet they continue to make it in our list of most popular comfort foods. But a new study suggests another reason to avoid these sinful treats — in addition to increasing risks of weight gain, diabetes and coronary heart diseases; this time the message is specifically for men.
Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center examined data from two prior studies involving a total of 1,549 men diagnosed with prostate cancer and 1,492 men who did not have the disease. The men, aged 35 to 74, were asked to fill out a questionnaire about their usual food intake, including specific deep-fried foods. Those who reported eating French fries, fried chicken, fried fish and/or doughnuts at least weekly were at 30 to 37 percent greater risk of having prostate cancer, compared to men who reported eating such foods less than once a month.
“The link between prostate cancer and select deep-fried foods appeared to be limited to the highest level of consumption – defined in our study as more than once a week – which suggests that regular consumption of deep-fried foods confers particular risk for developing prostate cancer,” lead author Dr. Janet Stanford, of Hutchinson Center’s Public Health Sciences Division, said in a news release.
Deep-fried foods have been previously linked to cancers of the breast, lung, pancreas, head and neck, and esophagus, but Stanford said their study is the first to look into the association of such foods with prostate cancer. She added that the increased risk may be due to the fact that when oil is heated to temperatures suitable for deep frying, potentially carcinogenic compounds can form in the fried food. These toxic compounds are increased with re-use of oil and increased length of frying time.