Even though air fryers have been available for more than ten years, they seem to be more in demand than ever. But what makes the air fryer a standout option in particular? Even so, is air frying healthy?
What Is an Air Fryer?
The air fryer is a cross between a convection oven and a deep fryer. The fry basket allows food to be suspended and heated from all sides, which is ideal for making foods nice and crispy.
However, unlike a convection oven, the food is exposed to extremely hot, circulating air rather than being submerged in hot oil. In essence, using an air fryer, we can create crunchy foods with a deep-fried flavor without using any or minimal oil.
Air Frying Vs. Deep Frying
When we compare deep frying to air frying, there is one clear winner. The amount of oil used is the main reason why air-frying is better than deep-frying and why most people love their air fryers.
Compared to deep frying, air frying reduces the amount of oil that foods take in by a lot. Using less fat means fewer calories, making you less likely to gain weight. It’s true. If you’re following the Dietary Guidelines, they say that fat should make up 20–35% of your diet. But if you eat too many fried foods, it’s easy to get too much fat and, in turn, too many calories.
Also, when cooking oil is heated, it can make more compounds that cause inflammation. These compounds can be absorbed by food. In this case, less oil retention means fewer compounds cause inflammation in our food. This means the chance of getting a long-term illness, like heart disease, is lower. Depending on the type of oil used, eating less oil could also mean eating less saturated fat, which would also help lower the risk of heart disease.
The air fryer may be especially helpful when cooking foods like potatoes with a lot of starch. When you air fry food, it usually takes longer than when you deep fry it, and the starch doesn’t break down as much. When starch is easier to break down, it might have less of an effect on blood sugar.
Is Using Your Air Fryer Healthier for You?
In general, the air fryer is a healthier choice than deep frying because it has fewer calories and can lead to less inflammation, which could lower the risk of chronic diseases in the future.
In the end, what might really matter is what you put in the air fryer. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fatty fish, and lean meats should be your standards, rather than food that might not be as healthy for you, no matter how it is cooked.