How Healthy is Air Fried Food?

By:
July 3rd, 2022

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Air-Fryer has been all the buzz lately and we can understand why. You just have to stick your food in and basically forget about it, also requires less oil and is incredibly handy. But is Air Fried Food really as healthy as you think it is? Let’s find out.

How does an AirFryer work?

Similar to a baking oven, an AirFryer creates very hot air that circulates inside the air fryer with the help of a circulating fan that ensures that the hot air goes around all the food material present in the basket. 

How is Air Fried Food Crunchy?

Now you may think,” ..but how does it make it crunchy?” Because baked goods are far from the “crunchy” that deep fried food provides. This is all thanks to the fan present in both of these appliances, which are surprisingly similar in size. That means, the size of the fan used to bake in a conventional oven is just slightly bigger than the size of the fan used in an AirFryer. Since both the appliances are able to supply similar temperatures and have almost similar fan sizes, all that differs are the dimensions of the products. The baking oven is so much larger than the AirFryer. This means the compact size of the AirFryer is responsible for the crunchy, crispy deep-fried like texture of the food.

The crunchiness and the crisp nature of the air fried food is also because the food inside the AirFryer is quickly cooked and dried out. This renders the texture of the air fried food similar to deep-fried food. 

How does Air Fried Food differ from Deep Fried Food?

It is quite obvious that AirFryer uses oil in very low quantities when compared to deep frying. You just need to spray a little oil and you are good to go. On the contrary, deep frying food requires gallons and gallons of oil and leaves a full oil layer on the food when done, that let’s be honest, nobody is a fan of. 

Nutritional Value of Deep Fried vs. Air Fried

Comparing the nutritional aspects of both foods, a study found that Air fried chicken had 38% less Saturated fats than its deep-fried alternative, whereas Trans Fats were lower by 55% in air fried chicken. This is incredible as trans fats are the worst types of fats because they contribute to increasing the risk of heart diseases by increasing the bad cholesterol. The total cholesterol content of the food was also lowered by 25%. These are some phenomenal results because they could be the ultimate game-changer. 

On experimenting with fish, it was found that the saturated fats in the air fried fish were lower by 55% when compared to its deep fried alternative.

Who doesn’t love French fries? It’s the most consumed fast food. The burgers, burritos, sandwiches, almost everything is better with the fries on the side. And so the French fries that were tested after air frying had 53% reduction in saturated fatty acids when compared to its deep-fried alternative. 

Acrylamide Content of Air-Fried Food

Let me first tell you what Acrylamide actually is and how dangerous it is. In terms of chemistry, Acrylamide is an organic compound that is formed between sugars and an amino acid (Asparagine), that is seen when plant-based food is exposed to very high temperatures.

Based on current research, The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies acrylamide as a “probable human carcinogen.”, The US National Toxicology Program (NTP) has classified acrylamide as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.”  And The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies acrylamide as “likely to be carcinogenic to humans.” 

Acrylamide in French Fries

When the content of Acrylamide in the French Fries was tested, there were significant differences between the regular deep fried and air-fried ones. The air fried French fries had over 197% more Acrylamide content when compared to the deep fried ones. This is because the potatoes are exposed to very high temperatures for a relatively longer time when compared to the regular deep-fried food. 

How to reduce Acrylamide Content 

So the good news is that you can actually get the Acrylamide content of the food reduced. The trick is to minimize the cooking time and cook at a lower temperature. Cooking at higher temperatures leads to the formation of Acrylamide. You can also opt for less starchy food, which will prove to be an overall healthy choice for you. 

Conclusion

It is quite evident that deep-fried food has a lot of negative effects, especially on the heart due to increased fat content, that leads to various heart conditions. Most people make fried food a major part of their diet and according to the CDC, about 659,000 people in the United States die from heart disease each year. Air fried food has proven to be a healthier choice as it yields food just as good as deep-fried food with less harmful effects, less fat content, reduced saturated fat content, minimised total cholesterol content, and less trans fats. So you can opt to fry in an air fryer or just put a stop to your fried food cravings because at the end of the day, it’s not a smart choice for your health. 

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