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Is an Air Fryer Healthy?

Less than 10 years ago Philips introduced to the world the somewhat groundbreaking kitchen appliance - air fryer.  It was meant to chip away a portion of customers from the dominant frying machine on the market – the deep fryer.

Today Philips have sold over seven million units of this appliance around the globe. Numerous other brands have jumped on the bandwagon and now you have tons of air fryers to choose from, varying in size, quality, number of functions and price, of course.

How is an air fryer different than the deep fryer? Well, most manufacturers claim that it uses up to 80% less oil to cook food. Many devices require no oil at all and cook with circulated hot air only. Which is great news for those of us looking for a healthy but tasty alternative to deep fried dishes.

How does an air fryer work? Air fryers warm up and circulate heated air (up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit) around food to cook it and achieve a browned crispy surface. In 10-20 minutes you can prepare a batch of fries, chicken nugget or frozen veggies. A little bit more time and you can cook steak, burgers and even bake a cake!

All of this while using a spoonful of oil or maybe less! But don’t take my word for it, verify for yourself. A case study published by the International Food Research Journal, compared air frying vs the traditional frying process at 180 degrees Celsius for 40 minutes.  They estimated oil uptake and moisture, along with any significant changes in physicochemical qualities.

It was found that moisture and oil uptake were greatly reduced during air frying. In terms of other physicochemical changes air fryer reviewslike peroxide values, free fatty acids, etc. the team of researches attested greater changes during the traditional frying session. Their conclusion was that air frying indeed produces results much healthier than other methods. 

As a person who strives to eat healthy, but often must compromise taste, I am very impressed! However, don not get confused by this review. Air frying is indeed a healthier alternative to deep frying and other conventional cooking methods. That is if you are into eating a lot of fried foods.  It is not, nevertheless, a healthier alternative to a raw food diet.

When you are making French fries or defrosting chicken nuggets, these products, you are about to consume, are not exactly the healthiest most nutrient-rich foods. And after exposing them to high temperatures during air frying, many vitamins and minerals are reduced to practically zero. If you take into consideration that a lot of the food people cook in these devices comes pre-packaged for convenience, then it is easy to see that consuming it would provide no health benefits and even be harmful in the long run.

So, my advice would be to indulge in air fried foods occasionally, maybe a day or two in a week. And eat clean raw nutrient rich foods the rest of the week. Add some good fats to your diet such as that can be found in walnuts, fish and avocados. Steam your veggies. Visit your local farmers market, and eat according to the changing seasons. 


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