Does Using an Air Fryer Add Extra Calories to Your Meal?
I know we’re all thinking the same thing when using an air fryer. The last fatty oils we use in our foods, the better it is for our bodies. It’s a much healthier choice than the alternative, to say the least.
But have any of you ever wondered whether an air fryer actually adds calories to your meal?
The answer is no. Air fryers cook the meal without the need for excess oil and that reduces the fat content by 80%. In addition to that, hot air circulates throughout the air fryer cooking your food evenly, while removing excess fats from your meal, and leaving it at the bottom of the tray.
What are the pros of cooking with an air fryer?
Cooking with an air fryer is healthier than cooking with deep fryers. Meals cooked with air fryers are much lower in fat and calories.
Easy, quick, and clean
Cooking meals with an air fryer is easier and quicker compared to conventional cooking methods. It takes less space and your home does not smell like fried food.
Air fryers are healthier
Air fryers use about 70-80% less oil to cook your food making it a healthier counterpart to the deep fryer. You can cut a huge portion of fat percentage from your meal. It helps you lose weight and stay healthier.
Air fryers reduce the risks of disease
Frying food increases the risk of several diseases. Frying food produces harmful compounds like acrylamide that are linked to cancer development. Using an air fryer makes you safer from the risk of diseases as it reduces the production of these harmful compounds.
Air fryers reduce the risk of toxic acrylamide formation
When you cook carbohydrate-rich foods with high heat cooking methods like frying, it produces acrylamide. Acrylamide may lead to cancer development. Several studies show that air-frying your food may reduce acrylamide up to 90% compared to deep frying.
Using an air fryer can help cut down the fat content
When you add oil to your food, you not only increase calories, but the fat content also gets higher. But when you are cooking with an air fryer, you are using 70-80% less oil. With that, you reduce a lot of fat content in your food.
What are the cons of eating air-fried food?
As every coin has two faces, air fryers come with their cons as well. Though they are much healthier than deep fryers, they may not be the perfect option out there for your kitchen.
Air-fried food is not guaranteed to be healthy
While air-fried food is healthier than deep-fried food, it is not guaranteed to be healthy. Fried food, in general, is not healthy. Fried food has been linked to several health conditions including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and several forms of cancer.
Air frying can still create other harmful compounds
Air frying does not guarantee 100% elimination of harmful compounds like acrylamide. Additionally, it may add other harmful compounds to your food. It includes polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heterocyclic amines that may be associated with cancer risks.
Calorie count when using an air fryer vs. other kitchen appliances
Air fryers are advertised and known for reducing the calorie count in your meal. They are a clear win against deep fryers. But how effective are air fryers in the practical world with other appliances?
Air fryer vs. deep fryer
An air fryer contains about 70-80% fewer calories and fat when compared to a deep fryer. If we cook fried chicken in a deep fryer, the calorie count is about 549 calories compared to 280 calories in an air fryer.
Air fryer vs. microwave
The air fryer wins this argument as well. Microwaves require you to add some oil to cook food, which increases the calorie count for your meal. On the other hand, you may skip oil altogether when you switch to air fryers.
Air fryer vs. baking oven
A baking oven requires a little oil to cook your food and is higher in calories. As you do not require oil in the air fryer, the calories count in your meal is always very low compared to baking in the oven.
Air fryer vs. stovetop
Cooking your food on the stovetop requires an adequate amount of oil which you can easily skip with an air fryer. Hence air fryers add fewer calories to your food.
Tips for making healthy foods in your air fryer
Though air fryers cook food that is less fat and calories, it all depends on your cooking practices.
Choose an air fryer that fits your needs
All air fryers are not made equal. Make sure you get the right size for your requirements. The fryer should be able to reach temperatures as high as 400. The majority of air fryers are easy to clean, but make sure you know what you are getting your hands on.
Cook more veggies and less fatty foods
The key to healthy food is veggies and less fatty foods. Even if you are using an air fryer that cooks low-fat meals, eating veggies will keep you on the healthier side.
Use the grill so that the fat will drip down
When you are cooking a fatty meal, you can get rid of most of the fat by letting it drip down. Use a grill for this purpose.
It’s OK to put a little oil in an air fryer
Staying healthier does not mean sacrificing taste completely. You can grab on low-calorie cooking oil and use it whenever you think suitable. Health is more of a balancing goal rather than being on a single side every single day.
How many calories does cooking in oil add?
Cooking oils have a significant contribution to the total calories count of your meal. Each teaspoon of olive oil contains 119 calories.
What is the lowest calorie oil to cook with?
Coconut and canola oils are the lowest calorie oils you can cook your favorite meals with. You can also use extra virgin olive oil for low calories.
For example, let’s look at how coconut oil compares to vegetable oil. You’ll find that in a single tablespoon of coconut oil, you’ll get 117 calories. A tablespoon of vegetable oil gets gives 124 calories. That’s roughly 6% more calories for every tablespoon you get when using vegetable oil. And that adds up!
Do air fryers reduce nutrients?
The majority of cooking methods reduce nutrients in the food. But because air fryers cook with circulating hot air, and keep the surface of your food dry, it retains more of its key nutrients in food.
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