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Do Air Fryers Benefit Your Health? [Quick Guide]

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Air Fryers

Do Air Fryers Benefit Your Health? Air frying is often considered to be a healthier alternative to oil frying. The familiar, crispy crunch and moist, chewy middle of a platter of fried chicken or a portion of french fries greet you with joy as soon as you bite into them.

However, the delicious flavor of fried dishes has a price. Studies have linked the cooking oils used to prepare them to conditions like cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

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How Do Air Fryers Function?

Air Fryers

On your countertop, air fryers are square or egg-shaped appliances that are approximately the size of a coffee machine. You load up a slide-out basket with the items you want to fry, such as diced potatoes, chicken nuggets, and zucchini slices. You can treat it lightly with oil if you’d like.

Up to 400 F of hot air is pushed around the food by a blower. It resembles a convection oven somewhat.

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Similar to deep-fried dishes, the circulating air cooks the outside of food first, giving it a crispy brown coating while maintaining the interior’s softness. As the food cooks, a container underneath the basket captures any grease that drops.

Bottom line: Without using much oil, air fryers produce the crunchy, chewy delicacies that people enjoy.

What Foods Can You Prepare in an Air Fryer?

Pretty nearly anything that you would typically fry in oil may be prepared in an air fryer, including:

  • Chicken, including chicken fingers and nuggets
  • Vegetables
  • Onion rings and french fries
  • Cheese sticks
  • Fish
  • Doughnuts

Some models additionally have toasting and baking options, which more closely resemble standard oven settings. These can be used to roast a bird or bake brownies. The limited basket size of many of these appliances, which leaves little room to prepare a full family supper, is a drawback.

Are Foods Fried in the Air Better for You?

By the majority of standards, air frying is healthier than oil frying. It has much less fat and reduces calories by 70 to 80 percent.

This cooking method may reduce certain oil-harmful frying’s effects. Cooking potatoes or other starchy foods releases acrylamide, a chemical linked to an elevated cancer risk. Air-frying potatoes decreases acrylamide by 90%, says a study.

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However, not all aspects of air frying may be healthier for you. According to one study, air-frying fish increased the concentration of “cholesterol oxidation products” (COPs).

When meat or fish is cooked, the cholesterol in such foods degrades, creating COPs. Studies link these compounds to cancer, artery stiffening, coronary heart disease, and other illnesses.

According to the study, adding fresh parsley, chives, or a combination of the two is one approach to reduce the quantity of COPs produced when air-frying fish.

According to research, these herbs function as antioxidants to lower the COPs in foods that are air-fried.

Additionally, air frying seems to reduce the omega-3 fatty acids in fish. These “good fats” may aid in heart health by lowering blood pressure, increasing levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, and protecting the heart.

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How Do Foods Fried in the Air Taste?

Is air frying as tasty as conventional frying? In the end, it’s a matter of opinion.

When you fried food, the batter soaks up the cooking oil. This keeps the center of fried meals moist while giving the outside a pleasant crunch. Foods that have been fried also have a beautiful, deep color to them.

Air frying still produces a crisp, but it doesn’t produce the same appearance or mouthfeel as oil frying. According to one study comparing oil and air frying, the two techniques produced meals with varied textures and sensory qualities but identical color and moisture content.

Your cooking style also counts. Your food may cook unevenly, giving you some crunchy and some mushy patches, if you overcrowd the little basket.

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