Updated: May 12
Are you looking to add an air fryer to your kitchen appliances but aren't sure of the benefits? Read on for information on the related health aspect of using an air fryer to decide if this appliance is right for you.
How Healthy is An Air Fryer? What Are the Benefits?
Air fryers are touted as a way to decrease fat intake, thus making foods that are normally deep-fried much healthier. According to Harvard Health, having an excess of calories is the cause of people gaining weight. |*|This weight gain can lead to additional health issues, including type 2 diabetes and stroke. |*|
This excess of calories can be due to protein, carbs, or too much fat intake. In convection ovens, the fat amount absorbed by the food is about 80% lower, according to a study performed on potatoes. |*|This decrease in fat absorption leads to an average of 50 calories less per 100g of food.
So, are air fryers healthy? Due to this information, air-fried foods can be a healthier cooking alternative that can replace deep-fried foods. Below, you'll find more information on air fryer benefits, how they work, and more.
Find additional information on staying healthy through nutrition here: Gut and Bowel Movement Health: 6 Things You Should Know.
How An Air Fryer Works
As noted, air fryers are similar to convection ovens. As each food item is cooking, hot air continuously shifts around the food to ensure an even cook throughout. According to TechRadar, this method of cooking saves a considerable amount of oil that would normally be used for the same foods when deep-fried. |*|
This cooking method provides a much quicker cooking time than stovetop or creating meals in a traditional oven. Air fryers provide a delicious crispy exterior to food that requires minimal oil using hot air. |*|For example, you can make wings, chips, or fries in the air fryer and still achieve the desired crispy outside that deep-frying provides. If you're worried that you're eating too many fried foods, you should consider the air fry route.
A few benefits arise from air frying versus deep fat frying, with the first being the lower number of calories present in air-fried food. As noted, this decrease in calories can aid in maintaining a healthy weight or potentially losing weight.
Beyond fewer calories, air frying also aids in cutting the amount of acrylamide present in starchy foods. Acrylamide is known as a potentially cancer-causing food chemical that occurs only in foods like potatoes that have been deep-fried. |*| According to a study, air frying these same foods decreases the amount of acrylamide by about 90%. |*|
Difference in Fat/Oil With Air Frying Foods
There is a large difference between the oil required for deep-fried foods like fried chicken versus air-fried food. Deep frying typically requires at least a few cups of oil. Air frying can achieve a similar effect with a few squirts of cooking spray or about a teaspoon of oil.
According to a 2015 study, the amount of oil required for air frying is "substantially lower" than cooking in a deep fryer. |*| Yet, similar moisture is present inside the food, creating an equally delicious meal.
Best Foods to Cook in Air Fryer
While the goal of air frying foods to cut oil is beneficial for any food, certain food items work better in the air fryer than others. Below, you’ll find a list of foods to add to the air fryer for the best results.
French fries/starchy foods to avoid acrylamides
Cookies for a faster baking time without preheating the oven
Brussel sprouts for a crispy exterior
Bacon for a lower fat content as the oil escapes through the basket holes
Fish at moderate temperatures for higher levels of amino acids |*|
Protein like chicken, steak, etc. to avoid using higher levels of oil during pan-frying or other methods
Foods to Avoid in Air Fryer
As there are foods that work well in the air fryer, there are also foods that do not work as well in the air fryer. Specific foods may not work well in an air fryer due to their water content, drying out while cooking, or other reasons. Below is a list of the foods to avoid in an air fryer.
Broccoli, as it dries out while cooking
Whole poultry due to uneven cooking and a potentially raw interior
Foods that are battered, like shrimp tempura as they will not cook properly
Cheese, as it will create a messy air fryer interior
Best Air Fryers of 2022[*]:
Best Overall Air Fryer: Ninja Air Fryer Max XL
Best Value Air Fryer: Chefman TurboFry
Best Air Fryer for One Person: Dash Compact Air Fryer
Best Air Fryer for a Family of Four: Instant Pot Vortex Plus
Best Digital Air Fryer: Cosori Air Fryer
Final Notes on Is Air Frying Healthy
In conclusion, choosing an air fryer over deep frying does provide multiple health benefits. Using this cooking appliance as a replacement allows consumers to enjoy lower calorie, lower fat foods that can aid in avoiding obesity and the potential of other linked diseases.
Once you figure out which recipes are personal favorites, you can avoid forgetting them by using a Blank Recipe Book. Keep your recipes on hand by writing in a Daughter’s Keepsake Recipe Book, so your children or future children can enjoy the same recipes.
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