A new study has found that people who like the southern U.S. diet may be at an increased risk of heart attack and death.
The diet mainly includes fried foods, fatty foods, egg dishes, processed meats, organ meats, and sweet drinks.
"If their overall pattern of eating seems to closely match those components, they may want to move away from that," said lead researcher James Shikany, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
For the new study, researchers interviewed as many as 17,418 people aged 45 or older from across the U.S.
Based on interviews, researchers identified five dietary patters including Southern U.S. pattern.
In a six years long close analysis of people in these five category, researchers recorded as many as 536 heart attacks, including some resulting in death.
The results show that among people whose diet fell into the Southern pattern were 37% more likely to have a heart attack during the six years.
The link remained significant even after the researchers accounted for factors often involved in heart attack risk like age, race, education, blood pressure and weight.
The other four dietary patterns were not linked to an increased risk of heart attack, but Shikany said that doesn't mean they're heart-healthy.
The study was published in the journal Circulation.