Air fryers are square or egg-shaped devices, about the size of a coffee maker, that sit on your countertop. You put the food you want to fry -- chopped potatoes, chicken nuggets, zucchini slices -- into a slide-out basket.
As the food cooks, a container below the basket catches any grease that drops. Bottom line: Air fryers create the crispy, chewy foods people love without all the oil.
Some models also have toast and bake settings, making them more like conventional ovens. One downside of many of these devices is their small basket size, which leaves little room to cook an entire family meal.
This cooking method might also cut down on some other harmful effects of oil frying. The reaction that happens when you fry potatoes or other starchy foods makes the chemical acrylamide, which research links to greater chances of getting cancer.
In one study, air frying of fish raised the amount of a substance called cholesterol oxidation products” (Cops). Cops form when the cholesterol in meat or fish breaks down during cooking.
One way to lower the amount of Cops when you air fry fish, the study shows, is to add fresh parsley, chives, or a mixture of the two. Research shows these herbs act as antioxidants to reduce the Cops in air -fried foods.
Air frying also appears to curb the omega-3 fatty acids in fish. That gives fried foods their satisfying crunch on the outside while keeping the inside moist.
Frying also gives foods a rich, dark color that is pleasing to the eye. One study that compared oil frying with air frying found the two methods led to foods with a similar color and moisture content, but different textures and sensory qualities.
Advertised as a healthy, guilt-free way to enjoy your favorite fried foods, air fryers have experienced a recent surge in popularity. They are claimed to help lower the fat content of popular foods like french fries, chicken wings, empanadas and fish sticks.
An air fryer is a popular kitchen appliance used to make fried foods such as meat, pastries and potato chips. This also results in a chemical reaction known as the Millard effect, which occurs between an amino acid and a reducing sugar in the presence of heat.
This can have a major impact on your health, as a higher intake of fat from vegetable oils has been associated with an increased risk of conditions like heart disease and inflammation (5, 6). One study of 33,542 Spanish adults found that a higher intake of fried foods was associated with a greater risk of obesity (7).
Because air -fried foods are lower in fat than deep-fried products, switching to an air fryer may be an easy way to cut calories and promote weight loss. In addition to being higher in fat and calories, frying food can create potentially dangerous compounds like acrylamide.
Although the results are mixed, some studies have found an association between dietary acrylamide and an increased risk of kidney, endometrial and ovarian cancers (10). Aldehydes, hetero cyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are all other potentially dangerous chemicals that are formed with high-heat cooking and may be associated with a higher risk of cancer (12).
They are lower in fat, calories and even some potentially harmful compounds that are found in traditionally fried foods. If you’re looking to lose weight or lower your fat intake without modifying or cutting down on fried foods, switching to an air fryer may be a good choice.
A multitude of studies have shown that eating fried foods may be associated with numerous adverse effects on health. For example, a study of 15,362 people found that eating more fried foods was associated with a greater risk of heart failure (13).
Frequently eating fried foods has been associated with other conditions as well, such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure (17, 18). Instead, opt for healthier cooking methods, such as baking, roasting, steaming or sautéing, to boost flavor and avoid the negative health effects of fried foods.
Summary Although air -frying may be healthier than deep-frying, fried foods are still associated with many negative health effects, including heart failure, high blood pressure, diabetes and certain types of cancer. Many sources claim that air fryers offer a healthful alternative for making fried foods.
Air fryers have had a recent surge in popularity due to a growing awareness of healthfulness and continuing demand for fried foods. People in America eat more potatoes than any other vegetable, with 40 percent of this total coming from frozen products, such as french fries.
However, some people are concerned about the possible health risks of using this new form of cooking, primarily due to fears over toxicity and cancer; others are skeptical about the alleged benefits of air -fried foods. In this article, we look at the health benefits and risks of using air fryers and compare the technique with other cooking methods.
Share on Pinterest Air fryers can promote weight loss and are safer than deep-fried foods. By using just 1 tablespoon of cooking oil rather than multiple cups, a person can produce similar results as they would with a deep fryer with a fraction of the fat and calories.
The result is a product that has similar characteristics to fried foods, though with significantly lower levels of fat. People should use frying machines carefully and follow instructions to ensure safety.
Cooking with oil and consuming traditional fried foods regularly has links to many adverse health conditions. Replacing deep-frying with other cooking methods can reduce a person’s risk of these complications.
While air fryers have their benefits, they also have their own unique collection of adverse effects, including but not limited to the following: For optimal health, people should focus on a diet filled with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean protein.
While air fryers reduce the likelihood of acrylamide formation, other potentially harmful compounds could still form. Not only does air frying still run the risk of creating acrylamide, but polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and hetero cyclic amines can result from all high-heat cooking with meat.
People who are interested in buying an air fryer can find them at supermarkets or choose between brands online. Other cooking options include oven roasting, grilling, baking, and pan-searing foods.
Maintaining a variety of foods and cooking methods will help people obtain a more healthful diet. After all, it’s tempting: These countertop devices circulate heat at high temperatures to fry, grill or bake without using oil.
In fact, Cúcuta says, most people reduce their calorie intake by 70 to 80%, on average, when using air fryers. “You can bake a chicken breast faster in an air fryer than you can in your oven, and clean-up is typically easier,” she says.
Another benefit: If you have picky vegetable eaters at home (I’m thinking of kids, in particular), air -frying is a great way to crisp up veggies and make them tastier. Lastly, unlike deep-frying, air -frying typically won’t fill your home with the smell of fried foods for hours.
In addition, Cúcuta adds, because most devices cook 1 to 3 pounds of food at a time, it can be challenging airing -fry meals for a large family. Air fryers are all the rage, and I am often asked how to best use this countertop appliance for healthy day-to-day cooking.
Having tested hundreds of air fryer creations for my book HealthyAirFryer Cookbook, I hope I can offer some healthy cooking guidance in this super trendy appliance. One of the biggest appeals of air fryers is making crispy favorites like French fries and chicken wings without drowning them in oil.
Air fryers can help you cook healthier, but if you only reheat frozen chicken nuggets in this appliance you won’t be making much healthy headway. Use your air fryer to make fish, lean meats, lots of veggies, and even better-for-you baked goods.
It’s not hard to find lightened-up versions of your fried favorites using the air fryer instead of a deep fryer. These recipes usually feature whole food ingredients, simply seasoned and (thanks to the air fryer) quick cooking.