Study: Fried foods not always bad for you

Fried foods aren't always that bad: study 01:19

(CBS News) Contrary to just about everything you may have heard about the dangers of fried food, it turns out it may not always be harmful to your health.

In fact, according to a new study, it's a myth that regularly eating fried foods causes heart attacks. How can that be?

There's mounting research that it's the type of oil used in frying the food that really matters.

Researchers in Spain followed 40,000 people for 14 years and found the amount of oil they consumed made no significant difference in the incidence of heart disease.

But here's the thing: In Spain, people tend to fry "fresh" in unsaturated olive or sunflower oil. The research, published in the British Medical Journal, is more evidence, dietitians say, that people should switch to healthier oils from saturated fats like butter, lard and palm oil.

But don't heat up that deep fryer just yet, Dr. Holly Phillips said on "CBS This Morning." Fried foods still contain more calories and are often loaded with salt. They've also been linked to high blood pressure and obesity.

Still, she said, "If you need a fried food fix, consider a switch to olive or sunflower oil - or just have dinner in Spain."

For Phillips' full report, watch the video in the player above.