Air fryers are a hot topic right now. Seen as the latest in healthy cooking, air frying is receiving its fair share of attention and scrutiny. But are air fryers really a healthy way to cook? Or are they simply healthier than the deep or shallow frying alternatives?
Fat Content Vs. Nutritional Value
Well, first and foremost, it is true that air fried foods are less fatty. They can contain up to 80% less fat than deep fat fried foods. Great, healthier already, right?
Well, yes and no.
It is preferable to limit the amount of fats, saturated or otherwise, in your diet. However, nutritional concerns do not end there. Air fryers work by using super-heated air and a very small amount of oil, one or two table spoons, to provide crispy, brown results. This means we get the food we love with less fat.
The downside is that when you heat food to this point it can destroy delicate nutrients in your food. Vitamins E, C, B, and A, amongst others, will be killed by such temperatures. Furthermore, the process of burning, or crisping, food can produce harmful carcinogens and chemicals like acrylamide.
So, in truth, the healthiest thing you can do is steam, boil, or bake your foods (or eat them raw where possible).
Air Fryers Can Be Considered Healthy
There are 3 main ways in which you can class an Air Fryer as a healthy way to cook your foods:
- Less Fat; as we noted before, it is true that Air Fryers use up to 80% less fat than deep fat and shallow frying methods. This means that you’re consuming less empty calories, less (literal) liquid fat. Better yet you are keeping your arteries, veins, and your heart healthy. Less superfluous fat floating around your body can always be counted as a victory!
- Better oils; though air frying does still use some oil, the fact that you use less makes it possible to invest in better quality, more nutritious oils. These will add nutritional value to your food. Less process oils such as a raw coconut oil, walnut oil, and rapeseed oil add vitamins to your food and are less prone to oxidization (which means they don’t produce so many nasty chemicals and carcinogens during the frying process). These oils are also higher in unsaturated, healthy fats that your body can actually use!
- No Waste; re-using oil in the frying process is highly unhealthy which is why air fryers are vastly superior to deep and shallow fat fryers. By using the smallest possible amount of oil they ensure that there is no wastage (good for the environment), and that no oil is re-used (very good for you!).
Air Fryers are still a method of frying and therefore not 100% healthy (then again, what is?). Yet they are definitely the most health-conscious option for people looking to enjoy their favorite foods while still taking care of their bodies.
Air Fryers are the low fat, efficient, non-wasteful option of the future, and they let you use more expensive oils to bump your nutritional intake without a heavy hit to your wallet!