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).
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.
Compared to deep-frying, using an air fryer can reduce the amount of fat, calories and potentially harmful compounds in your food. 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.
Be sure to include other methods of cooking into regular dietary routines for optimal health. People who are interested in buying an air fryer can find them at supermarkets or choose between brands online.
Maintaining a variety of foods and cooking methods will help people obtain a more healthful diet. The kitchen appliance never really felt like a thing until it latched itself onto diet tribes looking to tinker with their macronutrients.
Despite this confusion, yes, air fryers can help you manage your macros (if that's important to you) and they can help you cut back on how many calories you consume overall by way of less fat. So before you plunk down the cash for an air fryer (or fire it up again if you already have), think about deploying the machine in a tactical way to improve your diet.
This guide, informed by smart minds within the world of nutrition (who also happen to have a good set of taste buds), will help you do just that. The food sits in a basket that allows it to come in contact with the hot air, cooking it evenly and making it crispy,” says Natalie Rizzo, M.S., R. D.
You often do use a touch of oil to make the food crispy, but the amount is negligible compared to a traditional fryer. Plus, air fryers are able to cook a large variety of foods more quickly and with less energy than an oven.
Both methods of cooking create a crispy texture, but traditional frying results in food that has more oil or grease in the final product. “It's excellent for cooking most vegetables from Brussels sprouts to kale chips, proteins from chicken to tofu or salmon, and starches, such as potatoes,” says Jones.
For example, if you air fry mozzarella sticks, it’s not going to be a healthy meal because it’s still cheese covered in breading,” says Rizzo. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses.
It gives you crispy, salty French fries in a matter of minutes with half the fat and calories you’d expect in a traditional restaurant order or McDonald’s run. In fact, you can even add in your own herbs and spices and use out-of-the-box ingredients to shake things up.
If you’re making these super common mistakes with your air fryer, you won’t get the taste and texture you’re looking for. Sign up for our daily newsletter for more great articles and tasty, healthy recipes.
The machine uses the power of hot circulating air to make food cook quickly,” she explains. “You can make everything from stuffed peppers, to asparagus, to sweet potato hash in the air fryer in minutes,” she says.
It’s great for making veggie-based meals and sides with a crisp texture and fewer calories and fat. “Preparing them in the air fryer will make them extra crispy, but won't save you any fat or calories,” she says.
You may want to save time and energy by making a big batch at once, but you run the risk of wrecking your meal. “Resist the temptation to jam a bunch of food into the air fryer basket, this will lead to an unevenly cooked mess,” she says.
Prepare food in smaller batches, instead, or consider a bigger air fryer, such as the Phillips XXL, she says, which is awesome for crowds and party prep. “The units are pretty tall because of the controls, fan and elements are all housed above the cooking basket,” she says.
“Use your air fryer for healthy baked goods such as breakfast casseroles, doughnuts and desserts,” she says. She recommends Raspberry Yogurt Cake and People with Cannoli Dip, which are easy to whip up and taste great.
“For breaded recipes (chicken fingers, fish sticks) I like to mix the breadcrumbs with a 1-2 Tbsp of oil and it works great! Newer air fryer models make this even easier because they have removable parts that can just pop in and out,” she says.