Air fryers are considered a convenient and easy way to make some of your favorite foods that are not so healthy. But is that actually true? Is air frying a better choice than deep-frying? If so, are air fryers truly okay to use on a daily basis?
We know that air fryers can give your food a much-needed crispness and crunchy texture, but with just a small amount of oil. Deep fryers need a large amount of oil and transfer heat to food through liquid fat. On the other hand, air fryers transfer heat to food through convection. An air fryer includes a fan that rapidly circulates hot air with tiny sprays of oil droplets around the food.
The CEO and founder of the trend analysis firm Tastewise Alon Chen said, “The hot air circulation and 360-degree exposure to food mimics the result of deep-frying by producing a crispy, browned layer.”
The air fryer’s convection mechanism needs a tablespoon of oil to give your food a just-like-fried texture. So, you do not use much oil when it comes to air frying.
Registered Dietician Sarah Pflugradt said, “Even pan-frying calls for several tablespoons to 1/2 cup of oil. And more fat equals more calories overall.”
For example, a deep-fried chicken thigh will contain around 250 calories with 19 grams of fat, while an air fried one will contain 135 calories and 5 grams of fat.
There is strong evidence that if you eat a lot of deep-fried foods, you are at a greater risk of gaining weight.
At the same time, air frying might help you avoid trans-fats, the fats that can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Plus, reusing frying oil has been found to increase blood pressure and cholesterol and even cause vascular inflammation.
In addition, there has been an issue with carcinogens. When compared with deep-frying, air frying has shown to produce less harmful compounds, such as acrylamides.
The bottom line is air fried foods are lower in calories as well as fat than deep fried ones, which could be a good thing for your waistline. Also, air frying can help you avoid trans-fat, protecting your heart health. Furthermore, it can reduce the risk of exposure to harmful compounds, such as acrylamides, which are linked to certain cancers. However, Pflugradt said, “That’s not to say air frying is the perfect or superior cooking method. It’s still better to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meats and protein every day. I don’t believe air frying is meant to be used every day. We can only assume air fryers are safe unless studies are done to prove otherwise.”