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Do Air Fryers Help You Eat Better?

Air fryers have become the trendiest kitchen appliance since the George Foreman grill for people interested in cooking delicious, healthy meals. Air fryer manufacturers tout the many benefits of foods prepared this way but are they really a better alternative than oven-baked or deep-fried foods? Here’s what the experts say about the health benefits of air fryers.

What are Air Fryers?

Air fryers are appliances that replicate the taste and texture of deep-fried foods using less oil during the cooking process. Instead of submerging foods in hot oil, they only require a tablespoon or less to produce the deep-fried crispiness that so many people love. Hot air (up to 400 degrees F) circulates around the food, causing it to cook quickly and evenly. This results in crunchy french fries, chicken tenders, or veggies without all the extra grease.

Are Air Fryers a Healthier Way to Prepare Food?

Air fryers are growing in popularity among those who want to keep enjoying their favorite fried foods without worrying about the extra fat and calories. Research shows that these appliances may, in fact, allow people to indulge without the guilt. According to a study published in the International Food Research Journal, air frying results in a significantly reduced oil uptake in foods, producing a healthier alternative than deep frying. By cutting the amount of oil used in frying, air-fried foods contain less fat and the number of calories is reduced up to 70 to 80 percent.

Air frying foods instead of deep-frying them may help lower their levels of acrylamide, a probable carcinogen. This compound is formed in carbohydrate-rich foods, such as french fries, during high-heat cooking methods and it may increase the risk of kidney, ovarian, and endometrial cancers. A study by the Institute of Food Technologists showed that air frying instead of deep frying reduced the acrylamide levels by 90 percent.

While air frying is a much healthier option than deep-frying, experts recommend limiting your intake of any fried food to promote better health. For a well-rounded diet, include other cooking methods including grilling, roasting, and baking into your dietary routine. Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet is the best way to eat fewer calories, less fat, and stay healthier.

[Image via Jonny Essex / Shutterstock.com]

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