People often ask whether cooking with an air fryer is really that healthy. The answer is yes and no. Before we delve into such conflicting answers, let’s first look at how an air fryer works. It uses hot air, like the name indicates, to circulate the food and make it crispy. The process is part of a chemical reaction between a sugar and amino acid when the food is heated. While it produces a similar taste to food that’s deep-fried in cups of oil, it only takes about a tablespoon of oil to get that flavor and texture.
The food doesn’t absorb all the oil when you deep fry it.
While it’s true that food doesn’t absorb all the oil when it’s deep-fried, it does absorb far more when cooking than possible in an air-fryer. There are various claims by manufacturers as to the difference in the amount, with some manufacturers of air-fryers claiming to reduce the fat content of air-fried food by as much as 75% compared to deep-fried food, yet was similar in moisture content, taste and color to fried.
You can lower your calorie intake and lose weight using air-fryers.
If you eat a lot of fried foods, you can lower your calorie intake by as much as 80 %. That calorie savings can help you lose weight. When you deep fry food, a chemical compound forms called acrylamide. It’s classified as a potential carcinogen by the EPA—Environmental Protection Agency. Studies show that air-frying can reduce the content of acrylamide by as much as 90% compared to deep-fried foods.
Be aware that air-frying isn’t a substitute for a healthy diet.
If you stick with a high-fried diet, whether air-fried or otherwise, you may be defeating your efforts. While air-fryers can reduce the fat, that doesn’t mean the food selection is healthy, particularly if you’re just eating bacon, cookies and breaded frozen food. You need more than just fried food to be healthy, even if it’s air-fried. Since the air-fryer uses high temperatures it can create other potentially carcinogenic chemicals, like those found on charred meat.
- If you’re using an air-fryer to increase your vegetable intake, by air-frying vegetables like zucchini noodles, Brussels sprouts or sweet potato fries, you’re building healthy meals and increasing your vegetable intake.
- Air-fryers can help you save time in the kitchen. It cooks the food faster than you can do it in the oven and takes less time to preheat. It also won’t warm the house as much in the summer.
- While air-frying is a better option than frying, it’s still not necessarily the best option for cooking. The food is still fried, even if it uses less oil. Fried food is associated with health risks, like heart disease.
- Using an air-fryer to make sweet potato fries and other healthy options, like crispy Brussels sprouts, can encourage healthier eating by making healthy food more palatable for picky eaters.
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