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Is An Air Fryer Harmful To Health? (Discover)

Many sources claim that air fryers are a healthier alternative to frying foods. Although air fryers have benefits, they also have several drawbacks.

Most people who are using an air fryer testify that it is healthier than frying in oil. It cuts calories by 75% to 85% and has a lot less fat.

Air fryers use far less fat to cook than traditional deep fryersWhile many deepfried recipes call for up to 3 cups (750 mL) of oil, air-fried foods only require about 1 tablespoon (15 mL).

Deep fryers use up to 50 times the amount of oil as air fryers. Although the food may not absorb all of the oil, using an air fryer reduces the overall fat content significantly. If you use a lot of oil in cooking your meal, air fryers are a great alternative to cook using less oil.

So can air fryers still harm your health?

In this article, I’ll tell you if it can harm your health, keep reading to know more!

Phillips Air Fryer
Philips air fryer

What is an air fryer?

An air fryer, like a convection oven, can bake and roast dishes, but its design allows for faster and more even cooking for extra crisp results.

The air fryer, which has a heating mechanism and a fan built into the top, quickly heats up and circulates hot air, cooking food in the metal frying basket. Because of the concentrated heat source, the dish will have a crunchy, almost deep-fried texture as long as the air fryer is not overcrowded.

Is an air fryer healthy?

The main reason people prefer air-frying to deep-fry is that it significantly reduces overall calorie intake. According to Cucuzza, most people reduce their calorie intake by 70 to 80% on average when they use air fryers.

Air fryers save time as well. “An air fryer can bake a chicken breast faster than an oven, and clean-up is usually easier,” she says.

Another advantage: If you have picky vegetable eaters at home (especially children), air-frying is a great way to crisp up vegetables and make them tastier.

How do air fryers work?

Air fryers work with the air fryer’s top section, it has a heating mechanism and a fan; it holds both of them. As you turn on the appliance, hot air rips down and around the food. This is the time that you can place the food in a fryer-style basket. It makes the food crisp by this process.

In simple terms, air fryers produce almost the same crispiness as traditional fried foods by circulating hot air around the food. Air-frying, like many other cooking methods, causes a chemical reaction that improves the color and flavor of the food.

Here’s a video to show you how an air fryer works:

This is how air fryers work

Steps on how you can use your air fryer

  • Place your food in the basket – The basket can hold between 2 and 10 quarts. It is determined by the size of your air fryer. Most users want to add a teaspoon or two of oil to help the food get nice and crispy. When you’re in a hurry, put foil in an air fryer to make cleanup easier.
  • Make sure you set the time and temperature of your air fryer – Cooking times and temperatures in an air fryer typically range from 5 to 25 minutes at 350° to 400° F. It depends on the food that you are going to cook.
  • Be patient while waiting and let the food cook – In many instances, you may need to turn the food halfway through the cooking time to help it become crisper. Do not forget to clean your air fryer once you are done cooking. It is the most important thing to do to make your things well kept.

By just following what’s written in the manual or doing what’s stated above, you can now use your air fryer easily. However, it’s not enough that you just know how to use your air fryer. 

Here are a few other tips and reminders about using an air fryer.

Tips and Reminders

  1. Read the instructions: Most air fryers require at least five inches of space above the exhaust vent; otherwise, they can catch fire.
  2. Use only a few teaspoons of oil per serving: I recommend tossing or brushing food with one to two teaspoons of oil per serving. Too much oil not only increases the calorie and fat content, but it can also cause smoking, which makes food taste bad and harms your health by producing free radicals that can harm cells.
  3. Aerosol cooking oils can potentially break down the non-stick coating of an air fryer, releasing toxic fumes.
  4. While air fryers are fantastic, alternate your cooking methods throughout the week by sautéing, slow cooking, and steaming. This will reduce your exposure to chemicals such as acrylamide even further. It also ensures that you consume a broader range of foods, not just those compatible with air fryers.

Is it cancerous to use an air fryer?

Air fryers do not cause cancer, but it is not an excuse to use them to make yourself free from cancer. Having cancer depends on your choice of food as well as the way it is being prepared by your air fryer.

Keeping this in mind, yesthere is a possibility of cancer development if you do not cook food properly in an air fryer and eat harmful foods such as processed and starchy foods regularly.

Food cooked in an air fryer
Food prepared in the air fryer is healthier

Air fryers are popular for their benefits to the health of people. It is highly praised for being a healthy cooking appliance as it uses very little oil and no radiation.

However, when you choose to live your life as if it is your last and not check your health regularly, as I have said earlier, there is a big chance for you to have cancer.

Here are a few possible cancer risks associated with using an air fryer:

Increased intake of processed food Eating a lot of processed foods makes you fat. It can lead to obesity, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.
Reheating oilHeating cooking oil repeatedly (no matter how much) results in the formation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. They cause changes in your cells and have been linked to breast, lung, colon, and prostate cancer. Cancer is caused by inhaling fumes from reused oils as well as consuming reheated oils.
Air frying can produce acrylamideAcrylamide is a potentially carcinogenic chemical (also called carcinogens). They can cause specific mutations in humans, which can lead to the development of cancer.
List of possible cancer risks

Although there is some possible cancer risk of using it, it will always depend on how we use the air fryer and what kind of food we cook. Again, air fryers do not cause cancer by themselves.

Is there any danger in consuming acrylamide-containing foods?

Acrylamide caused cancer in animals in studies where animals were given extremely high doses of acrylamide.

bread
Grain products are more prone to acrylamide formation

The Joint Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) concluded in 2010 that acrylamide is a human health concern and recommended additional long-term research. FDA experts took part in the evaluation and provided data from new research studies on the risk of acrylamide.

What kinds of cooking lead to acrylamide formation?

Chemical formula of Acrylamide on a futuristic background
Try to reduce the formation of acrylamide in cooking

Acrylamide formation is most likely to occur during high-temperature cooking, such as frying, roasting, or baking.

Typically, boiling and steaming do not produce acrylamide. Acrylamide is primarily found in plant-based foods such as potato products, grain products, and coffee.

Acrylamide does not form, or only at low concentrations, in dairy, meat, and fish products. Acrylamide is more likely to accumulate when cooking starchy foods for longer periods or at higher temperatures.

If you love to cook at a high temperature, I suggest you lessen the temperature of it, or if the food that you are cooking is already cooked, don’t extend much time to overcook it so that it will not lead to acrylamide creation.

Benefits of Air Fryer To Your Health:

Using the new way of cooking in an air fryer can be beneficial to your health since you can cook here faster than deep frying. Here are some of the benefits that you can have by using an air fryer:

Air fryers aid in weight loss

A higher intake of fried foods has been linked to an increased risk of obesity. This is because of the high fats and calories that deep-fried foods contain. You can lose weight by switching from deep-fried to air-fried foods and reducing your regular intake of unhealthy oils.

Reduced consumption of deep-fried foods lowers diseases risk

Cooking with oil and eating traditional fried foods regularly has been linked to a variety of health problems. Deep frying should be replaced with other cooking methods to reduce the risk of these complications.

Food’s acrylamide levels are reduced by using air fryers

Deep-fried foods contain high levels of acrylamide, a substance formed when carbohydrates are heated to high temperatures that have been linked to heart disease. Air fryers reduce acrylamide levels in food. The good news is that air fryers appear to produce less acrylamide.

A 2015 study published in the Journal of Food Science discovered that air-fried potatoes contained 90% less acrylamide than their deep-fried counterparts.

Air fryers do not produce some of the toxic compounds found in deep-fried foods

Cutting back on oil through air frying has additional health benefits. According to one 2015 study, when oil is reused for deep frying (as is often the case in restaurants), the quality degrades, depleting food of antioxidants and producing harmful chemicals known as reactive oxygen species.

Consuming foods that contain fewer antioxidants and more of these harmful byproducts weakens the body’s antioxidant defense system, increasing the risk of disease. It may also cause blood vessel inflammation (which reduces blood flow) and hypertension.

Conclusion

  • Air fryers are a healthier alternative to frying foods. It is because air fryers use less oil in cooking than traditional deep fryers. 
  • Air fryers do not cause cancer unless you are the one who makes yourself prone to cancer. Having cancer depends on your choice of food as well as the way it is being prepared by your air fryer.
  • Air fryers can produce acrylamide, on the other hand, you can reduce food acrylamide levels by using air fryers. Acrylamide formation is most likely to occur during high-temperature cooking, such as frying, roasting, or baking. So it can be reduced by not cooking food at excessively high temperatures for an extended period.
  • Air fryers are far healthier than microwave ovens. Less oil means not only healthier food but also better hygiene. And we all know that air fryers use less oil.

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