Benefits of Air Fried Food
Air fried food has become all the rage recently, just as microwave ovens were in the 1980s. It is claimed that it can reduce the amount of fat found in popular fast foods such as French fries, chicken wings, fish sticks. You might be scratching your head, wondering what on earth air fried food is. If so, read on.
What is it and how does it work?
It is an appliance that in appearance looks like a rice cooker or regular fryer. However, it functions by circulating hot air around the food so as to make its exterior crisp and crunch-tastic. Something called the Maillard reaction occurs, in which the amino acids in the food react with the reducing sugars and, hey presto, succulent, flavorsome food emerges. Rather than totally dunked in oil, air-frying allows you just to use one tablespoon of oil for a similar effect.
Air Fryers can reduce fat content
Deep-fried foods are generally higher in fat than foods prepared using other cooking methods. Certain manufacturers claim that food fried in a regular way contains about one-third more fat than the same food cooked in an oven. Air fryers, they claim, can lower the fat in fried food by a whopping 75%! Why? Well, air fryers require just one tablespoon of oil, compared to the three cups used in a regular fryer. This is potentially very good news for those at risk of heart disease and other coronary related ailments.
Air Fryers may help you lose weight
Dietary fat, with 9 calories for every gram of fat, contains twice as many calories as other macronutrients such as carbohydrates and protein. It stands to reason that air-fried food helps you in your bid to reduce calories and lose weight. When it comes to deep-fried versus air-fried, air-fried wins every time.
Air Fryers and unhealthy compounds
Fried food in general can generate harmful compounds such as acrylamide, prevalent in high carb foods fried at high temperatures. An air fryer may help to mitigate this to an extent; up to 90% according to some. Certain compounds (eg. aldehydes, heterocyclic amines, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) are still there, so it is important to note that air frying may mitigate but not eliminate these threats.
What are the disadvantages of air fryers?
The advantage of air-frying is comparative, not absolute. Any time you cook food with oil at very high temperatures there are risks involved, including various cancers, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. This is more for the regular use of fried foods, not occasional use. In an ideal world, you would be eating everything in as pure and untouched as possible. It’s not realistic, though, and so using a range of cooking methods (baking, sautéing, steaming, roasting, and yet, air-frying) is the best way to spread the risk.
Is air fried chicken healthy?
Chicken and potatoes are two of the best foods for air frying. With some simple seasoning on chicken you’ll find a crispy layer and succulent center. Air fryers can also be a great way to turn vegetables disliked by children into crispy treats they’ll love. Sweet potato fries are a good example of something delicious that is far quicker to create in an air fryer. A BPA-free plastic model will further reduce health risks and allow you to fry with confidence.
The take home…
… message, that is, not food! The use of an air-fryer is better for you than a deep-fryer, in terms of fat content, calories, and potentially harmful compounds that emerge during high-heat cooking with oil.