We love our air fryers. They are super convenient and so much faster than the conventional oven. Our food can be prepared in minutes without the use of a harmful microwave.
Air fryers are a great way to cook food with less oil or grease. They use less energy, and the food comes out crispy and delicious. But what are the health benefits of air frying?
According to one study, air-fried foods contain less bad fat than foods prepared using traditional deep-frying methods.
Air frying also lessens the exposure to harmful chemicals and other toxins that can be found in the oils and fats used for deep-frying. All in all, using an air fryer can be a healthier way to cook your food.
#1 consideration to make air frying safer
Check that your air fryer interior is not coated in Teflon
Air fryers are great, but they are not without some concern.
There are a few factors to be aware of as a caveat to air fryers being a completely healthy way to cook.
If your air fryer basket or interior is coated with Teflon, this is a concern. There are a number of negative health issues related to Teflon. These include cancer, hormone disruption, and environmental toxicity.
Cancer: Studies have shown that exposure to polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), the main component of Teflon, can increase the risk of developing cancer. PTFE is released when products made with it are heated or damaged. It has been linked to cancers such as ovarian cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Hormone Disruption: Teflon particles have been found to impair estrogen function in laboratory animals. This could lead to increased rates of breast cancer and other reproductive problems down the line. In addition, studies have suggested that exposure to PFCs can disrupt the hormones that control weight perception and appetite regulation in humans.
Environmental toxicity: The manufacture of Teflon involves chemical processes that release harmful pollutants into the atmosphere. These pollutants can contaminate water supplies, contribute to climate change, and cause adverse health effects in people who live near factories manufacturing these products.
#2 consideration to make air frying safer
Use a stainless-steel air fryer
The best air fryers are those that are made of stainless steel on the interior, without non-stick coatings on top of the stainless steel.
If your air fryer is coated in Teflon on the interior, or the basket is coated in Teflon, you may want to consider replacing it with one that is free of Teflon like this one:
Air Fryer by Cuisinart, Compact, Stainless Steel
Why we love this Cuisinart air fryer:
- Compact, yet lots of food capacity
- Can cook up to 2.5 pounds of food
- Adjustable time, 0-60 minutes
- Up to 450 degrees
- Non-stick stainless steel wipes clean in seconds
- Simple and easy to use
- Highly rated on Amazon
Air fryers still produce acrylamides, found in crispy foods
It is important to be aware of the risks whenever you eat crispy foods. The amount of oil used produces more or less acrylamides, not zero.
The European Food Safety Authority has classified acrylamide as a “possible human carcinogen.” Acrylamides are found in all crispy, fried foods like potato chips, fried chicken, French fries, etc.
People who consume more than two servings of crispy foods made with oil per week are more likely to develop cancerous tumors than those who do not consume these types of foods on a regular basis.
3 ways to avoid eating excessive amounts of acrylamides
The best way to avoid consuming too many fried, crispy foods containing acrylamide? Follow these simple tips:
- Avoid eating deep-fried food altogether; instead, try healthier options like grilled or baked goods.
- Cook your food at low temperatures to reduce the amount of time it spends cooking at high temperatures.
- Refrain from adding excessive oil during air-frying. Doing so may increase the risk of inflammation and cancer.
Air fryers are better than deep frying
There are a few ways in which air frying could affect the nutritional content of food, create acrylamides, and impact your cancer risk.
Air fryers use less oil, and this may limit the amount of acrylamide, which are chemicals that are classified as group 2A carcinogens, that is produced.
Most people know that eating fried foods is not healthy for us. The air fryer appeared to remove that risk for a brief moment! We all embrace the wonders of the air fryer.
Though the air fryer is better than deep frying, we need to use an air fryer that does not have a Teflon interior and be aware that cancer-causing acrylamides are being produced when we make crispy food. Though using an air fryer is better than using a deep fryer, staying away from crispy foods made with oil as much as we can is the healthiest bet. Two meals a week in the air fryer that are made with oil to crisp them seem to be the limit if we cannot avoid that fried food taste.
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