It turns out that fried food, so long as it’s fried in olive oil, is pretty benign if not downright good for you. This may seem strange to those of us brought up in the dietary ethos of the last 40 years, but it’s not so peculiar to me. While the Mediterranean diet has long been promoted as a paragon of healthy virtue, growing up in a traditional Greek home, that diet often meant delicious foods fried in olive oil.

Here’s the latest story, this time on fried foods, long the whipping boy of the healthy-eating school. The original research published the day before yesterday in the British Medical Journal is here.

Contrary to popular belief, Science rarely advances through serendipitous, momentous discoveries (like penicillin). Most of the time, Science advances through many, often contradictory studies done over time, each study gradually improving its methodologies until consistent results can demonstrate a pattern that is acclaimed as representing “truth”.

Human nutrition is one of the most complex and difficult things to study because it is so replete with genetic, cultural, psychological, interpersonal, and ethical variables, that controlling for all these variables is virtually impossible. So, we have the Inuit living quite healthfully almost exclusively on blubber and seal meat, while the Asian diet produces astonishing health and longevity on a high carbohydrate, low protein regime.

And every day, the media produce another story emanating from the research and showing that what we previously thought was good is now bad…and vice-versa. Oat bran, Vitamin-E, Beta-carotene, and Vitamin-C have all come and gone. Fat was bad, now it’s good. Carbs were good, now they’re bad.

Thanks to Mr. Italo for the find.