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Avoid snacking on fried foods
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 04 - 10 - 2012

Amal Al-Sibai
Saudi Gazette
Being healthy and eating right does not mean that you have to give up the foods you love or that you cannot enjoy tasty snacks any more. You can become a smart eater by knowing which foods are worse than others and which will affect your health in a negative way.
If you want to be healthy, do you have to live on a diet of tasteless, boiled vegetables and salads only for the rest of your life? No, of course not! You can eat a wide range of delicious foods but you should stay away from fried foods, especially those found in restaurants and stalls because they are bad for your health for a lot of reasons.
What makes fried foods so harmful? First of all, the fried foods soak up a lot of oil which makes them very high in fat and calories. And we all know that eating too much high fat and high calorie foods causes weight gain and is bad for the heart. Take this simple example: the smallest order of fries at any fast food restaurant has about 230 calories, but a small baked potato without butter has only 130 calories. A big difference.
Baked chicken, grilled, and BBQ chicken are all healthier than fried chicken. So when you are at the mall with your family and would like to have dinner at the food court, it would be smarter to order a grilled chicken burger rather than fried chicken nuggets.
Heating oil at very high temperatures for frying causes changes in the nature of the chemicals and the food, which may cause cancer.
A smart eater who loves salty foods would choose to snack on popcorn instead of potato chips because the latter are fried. Pack crackers, breadsticks, or pretzels in your lunch box to take to school because these snacks are baked, not fried.
A wise eating decision would be to avoid eating doughnuts because again these treats are fried in a large amount of oil at very high temperatures. For dessert, you can much on other sweets that kids love, such as cookies, plain cake without extra creams and frosting, cup cakes, brownies, cinnamon rolls, and biscuits.
Once in a while a bag of potato chips or your favorite chocolate glazed doughnut will not harm, but the most important thing is that you do not eat these foods on a daily basis.

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