Eating fish is healthy, right? Low in calories, high in great heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, delicious, versatile ... all good things. Until you bread it and dunk it in boiling oil to fry. Then, not only is it not so good, it could, in fact, kill you.
People who live in states where fried fish is more of a dietary staple are considerably more likely to have a stroke than people who don't. African-Americans are more at risk than whites.
Researchers are calling Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee the "stroke belt" because people are so much more likely to have a deadly or debilitating stroke than people in Northern states.
Other than the fact frying any food is pretty much a surefire method of turning something healthy into a calorie-laden fat bomb, it's unclear why fried fish is such a marker for stroke risk.
Hmmmm ... wonder if they've done any studies on Midwestern Catholics during Lent. You can't go half a mile without hitting a fish fry here on Fridays in the 40-day period preceding Easter. Most Catholics give up meat on Fridays, and churches and restaurants take full advantage of it by hosting weekly fish fries that are opportunities to bond with your church community and raise some funds for parish activities while eating yummy fried fish and potatoes.
Maybe this year we ought to have a nice salmon bake instead.
Image via jeffreyw/Flickr