Is Air-fried Food Healthy?
Most people love potato fries but are afraid of the health implications. Technology has given us air fryers so we can indulge in these treats guilt-free. But is air-fried food any healthier when you compare it to its deep friend counterpart?
As we will see later in this article, it is healthier in some foods. Air frying works by circulating heat around food and cooking it through convention. The results are crunchy, crispy foods that are cooked with less fat and oil than the deep-fried options. This method also cuts back calories in certain foods by as much 60% when compared to deep frying.
Instances when Air-fried Food is Healthier
Potatoes are said to form the chemical acrylamide when deep fried, which is linked to cancer. There are also other chemicals released by oil when it is heated that may impact food negatively. Air frying has been seen to lower the levels of acrylamide by about 90% in fried potatoes, effectively making them healthier.
Most food cooked in oil is mostly laden with calories simply due to how it is cooked. Removing the oil from the equation cuts down the number of calories, making the meal healthy and beneficial to the body. Also, it tastes better than if it were boiled or simply steamed.
Instances when Air-frying is Not Healthier
Some foods have been seen to be adversely affected by this method of cooking. A study showed that air-frying sardines reduced the content of poly-unsaturated fats in them and slightly increased the levels of cholesterol. However, these effects were countered by adding parsley and chives – as they are antioxidants – to the food. This reaction is generally noted when fish is air-fried. What mostly happens is that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish are interrupted yet they are known to regulate blood pressure and raise the levels of “good” cholesterol in the blood. If you are going to use this cooking method on fish, you want to add chives or/and fresh parsley to counter the effects.
How About the Taste?
Food texture is just as important to some people as its health benefits, and so the debate around the taste of fried vs. air-fried food has been rife. Its fair to say this is subjective. Deep fried food forms a crunch on the outside while retaining moisture in the inside, thanks to the oil that absorbs during cooking. Air-fried food emulates this crunch on the exterior, but the moisture bis lacking. This eventually means the food will taste different, but the consolation is in its health benefits.
While air-fried food may not taste the same as dep fried food, it is healthier. It has fewer harmful compounds and the calories are reduced accordingly. Since you only use a fraction of the oil you would have used otherwise, an air-fryer can aid in weight loss and generally help one live a better-balanced life. That said, air-fried food is still fried, and it would help to cut down.