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.
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. Since air fryers require a fraction of the oil that deep fryers need, people can have a more healthful meal that has similar flavors and textures.
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. Researchers state that air fryers use heated air that contains fine oil droplets to take the moisture out of the foods.
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. Maintaining a variety of foods and cooking methods will help people obtain a more healthful diet.
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.
“ Air fryers essentially circulate hot air around a good to produce a crispy texture with minimal oil. 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. “Personally, I use my air fryer most often for a roasting effect, as it requires seconds to preheat and doesn't increase the temperature in my kitchen,” says Kelly Jones, M.S., R. D.
“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.
It's a compact kitchen appliance that circulates hot air around the food to cook it and give it a crispy taste and browned color. You place the food in a basket like container, the air fryer cooks it and the excess fat drops to a pan.
Sales show that consumers are buying into the newest fad, with 4 million units sold over a recent 12-month period. And experts really do believe that air fryers may be a reasonable option for people looking to eat less fried foods and make a transition to a healthier lifestyle.
“An air fryer may be a reasonable option for someone who can afford an extra kitchen appliance, but may not necessarily be the best choice for making dietary improvements,” Calder says. The air fryer is officially the go-to kitchen appliance of keto-dieters, Whole30 doers, and really anyone who is looking to enjoy healthier versions of crispy fries and chicken wings.
You can also place other properly sized dishes and pans inside for baking, she adds. Natalie Rizzo, RD says you can use an air fryer to replicate pretty much any traditionally fried food your heart desires.
It can also be used to make a great nut or oat topping to add some crunch to roasted foods, she says. The exact amount is hard to pinpoint, because cooking preparations can vary by machine and by person, but you're using a tablespoon of oil versus the whole quart used in traditional deep-frying, says Rizzo.
“Some of my favorites are quinoa stuff peppers, sweet potato hash, asparagus wrapped with crispy prosciutto, and zucchini ribbons with fresh herbs,” she says. You also might run the risk of eating bigger servings of foods that aren't super nutritious (like fries) just because they're made in a slightly healthier way than normal.
Of course, the air fryer is a great option for lighter chicken wings and French fries but it’s also ideal for making healthier versions of breaded fish, pizza, and even cakes, says White. Enjoy all the Asian flavors you love like garlic, sriracha, soy, and peanut with a little less excess oil and sodium than you'd normally get with Chinese takeout.
Per serving: 154 cal, 10.8g fat (1.7 g sat), 10.9 g carbs, 5 g sugar, 318 mg sodium, 4.2 g fiber, 6.4 g protein Enjoy some delicious, crispy fried chicken, in a slightly healthier way.
Per serving: 539 cal, 37g fat (11 g sat), 1 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 1108 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 45 g protein This healthy take on fish and chips is low-carb and super easy to put together in the air fryer.
Per serving: 302 cal, 16g fat (3 g sat), 1 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 935 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 35 g protein This dish is made with jicama to make it low in carbs and high in fiber and nutrients.
Bottom line: Yes, air fryers help you prep classic fried foods in a healthier way. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses.