Fast food restaurants seem to be designed for temptation. With their low prices, addictive flavors, and convenient locations, fast food can be hard to resist. They typically use the cheapest ingredients, so their menu is full of health-damaging GMOs, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), bleached flour and many chemical additives.

Fortunately, avoiding fast food is much easier when there are bone-smart, convenient, and delicious alternatives.
So I’m thrilled to bring you today bone-healthy replacements for three unhealthy, deep-fried fast food staples: onion rings, french fries, and fried chicken.

What’s The Problem With Deep-Fried Foods?

While it’s fine to have an occasional deep-fried treat, eating fried foods on a regular basis can carry serious health risks. It’s worth mentioning here that most fast food restaurants use GMO corn oil for frying.

Stroke And Coronary Heart Disease

Researchers at the University of Alabama evaluated the dietary data from more than 17,000 participants. The categories of dietary pattern included sweets, a “Southern diet” heavy on fried foods, plant-based, convenience foods, alcohol, and salad. Participants were categorized according to which diet type they adhered to, and according to head study author James M. Shikany, PhD:

“People who most often ate foods conforming to the Southern-style dietary pattern had a 56 percent higher risk of heart disease compared to those who ate it less frequently.”1

A Southern-style diet, according to the study, is “characterized by added fats, fried food, eggs, organ and processed meats, and sugar-sweetened beverages.”1

This is just the type of food that’s frequently served in fast-food restaurants.

Prostate Cancer

According to a 2013 study, regularly consuming deep-fried foods is associated with an increase in the risk of prostate cancer. Researchers speculate that the formation of compounds such as acrylamide, aldehydes, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are behind the carcinogenic nature of high-heat, deep-fried foods.

The study involved 1,549 cases and nearly 1,500 controls. Those who ate typical deep-fried foods like friend chicken, doughnuts, and French fries once a week or more had a greater risk of developing prostate cancer. Those who ate these kinds of foods less often did not experience the increased cancer risk.2

It’s important to note here that, once again, you can indulge and enjoy “naughty” foods now and then while you’re following the Osteoporosis Reversal Program for the bulk of your food intake.

Diabetes Risk

You may think that consuming too much sugar is the only risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. But think again – fried foods are also a significant culprit.

Scientists analyzed the dietary information of more than 70,000 women and 40,000 men over the course of 26 and 24 years, respectively. After adjusting for demographic, lifestyle, and other factors, the researchers concluded that:

“Frequent fried-food consumption was significantly associated with risk of incident T2D [type 2 diabetes] …”3

The researchers note that the connection with fried foods and diabetes is likely body weight and the simultaneous presence of more than one fried-food-induced health problem at one time.

Fried Foods And Your Bones

Again, it’s perfectly fine to eat out now and then and consume these foods as treats, but wouldn’t it be great to know that you can prepare healthy foods that taste the same (or even better!) that those unhealthy deep-fried foods? After all, it’s not just for your heart health and blood glucose levels; fried foods are also bad for your bones.

High-temperature frying can produce toxic substances called peroxides that compromise your liver function, keeping it from removing bone-damaging toxins from your bloodstream.

Typically, fried foods are also high in sodium, which robs your bones of calcium. And of course, the high calories associated with fried foods promote weight gain, and they can make you feel too full to eat healthful foods.

Three Delicious Bone-Healthy Alternatives

The following recipes are healthful, pH-balanced alternatives to the bone-damaging foods that are associated with so many health problems. As an added bonus for those avoiding gluten, all of these recipes are gluten-free.

1. Onion Rings

6 Servings
pH-balanced

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Coat 2 large-rimmed baking sheets with olive oil.
  2. Peel the onions and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices; separate into rings. Place the rings in a medium bowl and cover with cold water.
  3. Place oats in a blender or food processor, and process until coarsely ground.
  4. Lightly beat the eggs and place in a shallow dish. Combine oats and seasoning mix in another shallow dish. Place the flour in a third shallow dish.
  5. Taking one onion ring at a time, dry it on a paper towel. Then coat each onion ring in flour, next dip in egg, and coat in the oat mixture.
  6. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, turn each onion ring over and bake for another 10 minutes or until very crisp.

2. Baked “French Fries”

100% Alkalizing
4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 large potatoes, unpeeled and cut into wedges
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil or thyme (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Place potato wedges in a medium bowl. Pour oil, salt, and basil or thyme onto potatoes; stir until all wedges are coated.
  3. Arrange potato wedges in a rimmed baking sheet or jelly-roll pan, spreading them evenly.
  4. Bake potatoes in oven for about 20 minutes or until brown, turning once.

3.  Oven Fried Chicken

Acidifying*
4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 ½ to 3 pounds whole chicken drumsticks and thighs, separated, skin removed
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats, blended
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste (optional)

*Serve with an alkalizing side-dish to balance the pH.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a shallow dish, whisk together yogurt, garlic, and mustard.
  3. Add chicken and stir to coat; cover and place in refrigerator for at least half an hour or overnight.
  4. Oil a broiler pan or set a wire rack onto a baking sheet and coat it with olive oil.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the blended oats, sesame seeds, paprika, parsley, salt and pepper. Place this mixture in a paper bag.
  6. Lift one or two pieces of chicken out of the marinade and place them in the bag with the oat and sesame seed mixture. Shake the bag to coat.
  7. Place the coated chicken on the prepared rack. Repeat with the rest of the chicken.
  8. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.

Onion rings, French fries, and fried chicken are three of America’s favorite “bad” foods, but these bone-smart versions allow you to eat these dishes without compromising your bones and overall health.

Bone-Building Nutrition Does Not Mean Deprivation

It’s a common misconception that eating nutritious food means giving up everything delicious and eating bland, repetitive meals. But that simply doesn’t have to be true! That’s one of the main reasons why I love sharing information like today’s post, so I can show how delicious and creative bone-healthy nutrition can be.

The Save Our Bones cookbook, Bone Appétit, is full of delicious fried-food alternatives like Coconut Crusted Salmon (page 90) and Oven Fried Sweet Potatoes (page 36). If you like crunchy fast-food tacos, you’ll love crispy Beef Empanadas (page 114).

Eat Your Way to Stronger Bones!

Discover over 200 mouth-watering bone healthy recipes for breakfast, smoothies, appetizers, soups, salads, vegetarian dishes, fish, and plenty of main courses and even desserts!

Learn More Now →

And you’ll enjoy your meals even more when you can relax knowing that you’re helping, not harming your bones.

Till next time,

References:

1 Shikany, James M., et al. “Southern Dietary Pattern is Associated with Hazard of Acute Coronary Heart Disease in the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) Study.” Circulation. 134. 7. (2015). Web. August 15, 2016. http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/early/2015/07/29/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.014421

2 Stott-Miller, M., Neuhouser, .L., and Stanford, J.L. “Consumption of deep-fried foods and risk of prostate cancer.” Prostate. 73. 9. (2013): 960-9. Web. August 15, 2016. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23335051

3 Cahill, L.E., et al. “Fried-food consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease: a prospective study in 2 cohorts of US women and men.” Am J Clin Nutr. 100. 2. (2014): 667-75. Web. August 15, 2016. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24944061

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23 comments. Leave Yours Now →
  1. Vicky L. September 11, 2016, 8:13 pm

    Thank you for the delicious recipes. Being a 3 year breast cancer survivor I am always looking for good recipes . Bone info is what I have been looking for so I can avoid the prescription medicine. I already have the “Save Our Bones” course. Just what I needed at the right time.

    Vicky L

  2. annabelle September 1, 2016, 3:07 am

    Thank you – the recipes look very tasty. Always use olive oil as thought it was the most
    healthy. Is there really a problem if using it for high heating?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA September 1, 2016, 1:53 pm

      Hi Annabelle,

      Olive oil is actually quite a stable cooking oil, with a smoke point between 320-460 degrees F depending on the type of olive oil. It’s fine for almost any kind of cooking except deep frying (which is not a healthy way of cooking in any case).

      Here’s some excellent info about cooking with olive oil:

      http://www.oliveoilsource.com/page/heating-olive-oil

  3. Judith August 30, 2016, 1:03 am

    The baked “fried” chicken recipe was fantastic. I used boneless chicken breast cut into “fingers” and spelt breadcrumbs, fat-free Greek yogurt, soaked the chicken for almost a day. After breading, I sprayed it with avocado oil, just a few pumps, out of a cooking-oil spritzer. It only took about 10 minutes to cook at 400F and I froze most of the prepped chicken on a pan and then bagged for later use. THANKS!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA August 30, 2016, 1:01 pm

      That sounds delicious, Judith! Thank you for letting us know how the recipe worked for you. It sounds like it worked very well. 🙂

  4. Carm August 20, 2016, 11:15 am

    Sorry , that was Dr. Keith Scott-Mumby.

  5. Carm August 20, 2016, 11:11 am

    Vivian, from all the research that I have done on oils , olive oil (even cold pressed extra virgin) has a low smoking point. (lower than 450 degrees ) .Therefore if you cook with oils and reach temps above smoking point, the oil turns into a trans fat. A more suitable alternative for cooking at higher temps would be a good quality avocado oil or cold pressed coconut oil. Dr. Keith Scott-Mumford recently published an article in his newsletter about this. And you can refer to the book “Udo’s Oils” by Udo Erasmus.

  6. Kelly Garwood August 19, 2016, 12:12 pm

    Dear Vivian, we would love a hard copy. Not comfortable w/cut and paste. I do not have a printer. I know I speak for many ? Kelly Garwood

  7. Deirdré Evans August 18, 2016, 5:01 pm

    Thank you for these insightful recipes and general well being information. just a question please…?
    The oats one has to check labels as some of the oats also GMO.
    LEARNING TO READ WHATS ON YOUR LABELS imperative to our health.
    Thx Vivian

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA August 19, 2016, 8:24 pm

      I agree, Deirdre! It’s very important to read labels.

  8. Quebec City August 18, 2016, 3:33 pm

    For a healthier oil, use organic deodorized coconut (or virgin if you like the taste) oil. Olive oil begins to oxidize at boiling temperature. Olive oil is fragile that is why it is kept in dark bottles.

  9. TERESA OCHOA August 18, 2016, 2:08 pm

    As soon, as, I go back home from Mexico, I will try these recipes. They sound delicious and healthy. Specially the chicken and French fries. Thanks a lot , I am your follower, Vivian

  10. Sandra August 18, 2016, 1:34 pm

    What would be the seasoning mix for the onion rings? It’s not specified in the recipe.

  11. Barb Ryan August 18, 2016, 12:07 pm

    Hi Vivian – will definitely try some of these recipes – wondering if you have tried coconut oil instead of the olive oil -benefits-drawbacks–personally I like flavor and easy clean up of coconut oil-but maybe not as good for bones? Thanks- Barb

  12. catherine August 18, 2016, 11:11 am

    I can see I am not alone in wishing this information was in hard copy! I certainly would not hesitate in purchasing. Some of us are not comfortable with the electronic age!

  13. Corlee August 18, 2016, 8:50 am

    I have been making my “French Fries” like this for years. You can slice the potatoes as thin or thick as you like. I like them as wedge fries. I usually make them using Sweet potatoes to make sweet potato fries. leave skin on reg potatoes, but I peal if using sweet potatoes.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA August 18, 2016, 11:10 am

      Thank you for sharing those tips, Corlee. You’re wise to leave the peel on the white potatoes – they are alkalizing when unpeeled. 🙂

  14. Carla August 18, 2016, 7:40 am

    The recipes sound yummy. Will try all three. Thank you so much!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA August 18, 2016, 11:09 am

      You’re welcome, Carla. Enjoy!

  15. Gayle Brackin August 18, 2016, 4:18 am

    It would be so much more useful to me if your cookbook was in a printed format.
    Do you have any plans to publish it and make it available?
    Thank you,
    Gayle

    • Carla August 18, 2016, 7:42 am

      Gail, just copy and paste the recipe into a format you can print.

    • tania hoschel August 18, 2016, 7:25 am

      love those recepe vivian. thankyou

      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA August 18, 2016, 11:08 am

        You are welcome, Tania!

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