Frying food in the south is practically law. On Fridays we fry fish. On Sundays we fry chicken. During the week, we indulge in fried wings and fried french fries in plastic baskets lined with cheap paper; oysters are apt prey, green tomatoes and okra are edible companions, corn is a bacon-seasoned target & shrimp? Chile hush.
It’s the south, and generally (generally) all of the above are happily doused with a sodium-soaking sauce that’s red, hot, vinegar tinged and meant to be single-finger licked followed by the soft utterance: Mmmmm.
We mean no harm. Food is a social magnet, and southern women are known for being phenomenal hostesses and chatty, but pleasant butterflies. Despite our niceties, eating fine foods that have been emerged in hot grease is highly detrimental to every woman’s heart.
“Heart Disease: number one killer of women.”
The woman in this photo image displays fried fish in her right hand and fried chicken in her left. I won’t get into preparation of the vegetables, but unequivocally, the fish is fried. It’s golden brown and pretty, but not the standard for good heart-health.
Cooked right, fish can help a woman’s heart.
How fish is cooked affects heart-health (American Heart Association)
The tribe has spoken: fish is good for you. Moreover, the method in which you cook, coupled with the type of fish we eat has everything to do with its “goodness.” Studies show that broiled fish has benefits that contribute to women having strong hearts with fewer risk of disease. Eating fried fish won’t kill you (in one serving), nor will baked, broiled, poached, seared, or stewed fish save your life in one fail swoop. What will enhance your overall health is a complete, heart-healthy diet and the determination to avoid foods that are high in fat and rich in cholesterol.
So what’s a southern girl to do? Eat grits, without a dollop of butter.
Chile, hush! You must be the president of the Southern Cultural Exchange Information System. Your choice of topics is as effective as the statistics you quote. Our people tend to kill themselves one spoonful at a time. Thank you for the way you intersect art and medicine. As always, I enjoy reading your work.