Fried chicken, french fries, greasy pizzas, burgers and any other foods dripping with oil should be consumed in moderation to avoid increasing your risk of disease and unhealthy weight gain. Steaming, baking or roasting, broiling and grilling food are healthier, less greasy options for preparing meals. The health effects of greasy food not only depend on how greasy it is but also on whether you use saturated or unsaturated oil.
Increased Risk of Obesity
Foods fried in oil, often called grease when it appears on the food, are higher in calories due to the high caloric content of oil. For example, 100 grams of fried chicken has about 60 more calories than 100 grams of roasted chicken. The "greasiness" of food depends on the way you cook it and how much oil you use. Using just a little oil in a pan to sauté food makes food a little greasy, shallow-frying makes it more greasy, and deep-frying makes it especially greasy and high in calories. When you eat more calories than you burn in a day, your body stores the extra energy. Continuing this pattern over time causes weight gain, which can lead to becoming overweight or obese.
Reduced Nutrient Intake
A study published in the "Journal of Zhejiang University" in 2011 found that stir-frying bamboo shoots in oil increased their fat content by over 500 percent. Meanwhile, it lowered their protein and amino acid content. Another study published in the same journal in 2009 found that compared to all other cooking methods, stir-frying with oil caused significant losses of vitamin C and chlorophyll in broccoli. Because frying foods decreases their levels of micronutrients, eating too many fried foods could potentially cause nutrient deficiency.
Higher Triglyceride and Cholesterol Levels
Food could be fried in a saturated or unsaturated fat. Saturated fats, which are solid or semi-solid when stored at room temperature, include shortening, stick margarine, lard, coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil. Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature, including vegetable-based oils and soft margarine. If you fry your food, it's healthier to do so in an unsaturated fat. Saturated fats increase your cholesterol levels, whereas unsaturated fats can improve cholesterol levels. The American Heart Association recommends limiting your intake of saturated fats to no more than 6 percent of your total daily caloric intake to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. In a 2,000-calorie diet, this is about 12 grams of saturated fat.
Increased Risks of Heart Attack and Stroke
Because heavily consuming greasy foods that were cooked in saturated fat raises cholesterol levels, your risk of both heart disease and stroke is elevated. Too much saturated fat causes plaque to build up in your arteries over time, blocking blood flow and putting you at a high risk for heart attack and stroke.