Are Air Fryers Healthy? The Top 3 Benefits of Air Fryers
Air fryers have been all the rage over the past few years. And with good reason, as these compact kitchen appliances create what seems like a miracle — crispy golden “fried” food without any of the unhealthy grease and oil. But are air fryers actually healthy? Let’s take a look.
How Do Air Fryers Work?
These seemingly miraculous appliances don’t technically “fry” the food. Instead, they rely on air circulation, similar to a convection oven. Air fryers create the appearance and texture of fried food by rapidly and evenly circulating hot air around the food, which crisps the outer layer and cooks the inside without drying out the middle.
The foods that work the best in air fryers are thick, dense foods, like meat, starchy vegetables (like potatoes and sweet potatoes), bacon, tofu, fish, nuts, and seeds. Foods that don’t work so well are light, loose, and high-moisture foods, like cheese, salad greens, or wet-battered foods.
Are Air Fryers Healthy?
Air fryers are significantly more healthy than deep-fried food. Research has shown that people who regularly consume deep-fried food are at an increased risk of developing chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, or heart disease. This is because deep-frying uses unhealthy oils that create toxic compounds and add hundreds of calories and dozens of grams of fat to your food. Instead, air fryers use little to no oil, which is a much healthier option.
Top 3 Health Benefits of Air Fryers
1. Air Fryers Significantly Reduce Calories
Cooking food in an air fryer reduces the number of calories in your meal, as air-fried foods typically only need one teaspoon of oil (40 calories). Conversely, deep-fried food may absorb and accumulate up to 120 calories during the frying process.
2. Air Fryers Reduce Acrylamide Production
Deep-frying can produce harmful and toxic compounds, including acrylamide. Acrylamide is a compound formed when carbohydrates (like the batter on a fried food) are heated to high temperatures, and health experts classify it as a probable human carcinogen. Air fryers produce up to 90% lower amounts of acrylamide than deep fryers.
3. Air Fryers Reduce Free Radicals
Air fryers also produce fewer harmful compounds known as free radicals or reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can accumulate and damage our cells, protein, and DNA. Too many free radicals and ROS correlate with lower antioxidant activity, which increases the risk of accelerated aging and disease.