Fried foods are bad for our health. We are all aware of it. Yet we give away to the temptation of eating oily food – be it the drooling samosa, french fries, jalebi, aloo tikki and what not. We don’t just have these food items when we’re outside, we have them in our homes too as evening snacks – the yummy pakoras, aloo-puri as breakfast, and so on. Unfortunately, they have become a part of our lifestyle despite being a threat to our health. 

You may have someone at home having high cholesterol and they just wouldn’t stop consuming oily food. What do you do in such a case except wish there was a way to enjoy these tasty delicacies without harming your health? Let us tell you, there may be a way – at least that’s what the world says.  

We are talking about air fryers.  Air fryers have become the talk of the town. The word is around that you must air-fry food instead of the good old deep-frying method. But is it true though? Can air-frying food have some benefits? Is it better for your health? 

We will be telling you just that in this blog. 

But first, how does air-frying work? 

There is an array of air-fryers in the market. They are machines that make crispy food, much like a deep-fried version, but without extra oil. 

Without extra oil? Yes, you read that right. So, it is definitely a win, isn’t it? Not so much. We’ll get to it in a while. 

You can consider an air fryer having the characteristics of a deep fryer and a convection oven. It comes with a frying basket that allows food to be suspended and exposed to heat from all sides. However, instead of being placed in hot oil, as deep-fried dishes usually are, the food items are exposed to hot circulating air, like what happens in an oven. This cooks the food and avoids the extra oil that can be alarmingly dangerous to your health. 

So, is air-fryer the winner? 

Yes, air-frying is any day better if you compare it to deep frying. It cooks in significantly less oil and can cut calories by 70%-80%.

Additionally, air-frying may also reduce the other harmful effects of oil-frying. You must note that when you fry starchy food, it produces a chemical, called acrylamide, which may be linked to cancer. As per studies, air-frying lowers this amount by 90%. 

Is there a catch though? 

Yes, air-frying is better. But there is a catch as well. A few alternate studies suggested that particular food items, when air-fried, such as fish, increased the levels of Cholesterol Oxidation Products (COPs). The substance is produced when meat breaks down during cooking. The substance may be linked to coronary heart disease, cancer and toughening of arteries. 

Additionally, other harmful compounds can still be formed when you air-fry some foods. These include heterocyclic amines, aldehydes and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which can be harmful and may have a higher cancer risk. 

Some common Indian foods you can prepare in an air-fryer

  • Gobhi Manchurian
  • Seekh kabab
  • Kurkuri bhindi
  • Sabudana vada 
  • Masala fries
  • Masala peanuts
  • Aloo tikki
  • Pakoras
  • Paneer Tikka
  • Punjabi samosa
  • Namak para

Closing thoughts – Is air-frying healthy? 

In a nutshell, air-frying is healthier, but it is not healthy. Even though it cuts oil and calories by 70-80%, it still doesn’t provide you a free pass to eat high amounts of oily and high-calorie food. Food that is air-fried is still considered fried.  And from what we know, consuming excess amounts of fried foods leads to high cholesterol, and ultimately heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, weight gain and certain types of cancer. Air-frying may produce fewer chemical agents, but it doesn’t change the fact that the chemicals are still present in some quantity, which makes moderate consumption essential. 

It is suggested that you use an air fryer occasionally, instead of using it every day to prepare your evening snacks. A balanced meal, consisting of essential vitamins and nutrients will always be the winner. It will always have the upper hand and will help you live a healthy and long life.

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