6 Reasons Air Fryers Are a Dieter’s DreamArticle posted in: Diet & Nutrition
If any of your friends got an air fryer over the holidays, you might think they sound like an infomercial now: They’re raving about how they can eat fried foods “without the guilt” by using the machine to fry without oil. And this is just one of the many benefits of using these handy, dandy air fryers.
Is it all hot air? Technically, yes: Air fryers use superheated air to act like oil, surrounding the food in heat quickly to crisp up the outside. The cooking is fast, and so is the cleanup: Because they don’t use oil, they’re easier to clean up when you’re done. And because there isn’t a cauldron of boiling oil on your stove, you don’t run the risk of splashing burning oil all over your hands.
Some people who have bought air fryers say it’s a dream for dieters, too: Here are six reasons they might be right.
1. Same foods, but with fewer calories.
One of the hardest things about losing weight is giving up foods you love because they have too many calories. And that’s not your fault: High-fat, high-calorie foods have been shown to be as addictive as certain drugs, according to Scientific American. So giving them up cold turkey (to replace them with cold turkey) is tough.
That’s part of why people love Nutrisystem: You can eat foods you love like pizza, pasta and ice cream, with fewer calories and more filling fiber and protein—so you lose weight. And an air fryer can help you do the same with home cooking. Leaving the oil off of foods helps reduce calories when you’re “frying” them: For instance, 100 grams of french fries has, on average, 289 calories, according to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The same amount of baked potato—a potato cooked by heated air—has just 94 calories. By taking out the oil, you’re practically cutting your calories in half.
2. Food is ready fast, but isn’t fast food.
Another complaint many dieters have about preparing healthy meals: There’s a lot of prep, a lot of skills to learn—and so it takes a lot of time, something nobody has these days. No wonder more than one quarter of Americans eat fast food once per week or more, even though 76 percent of them think it’s not good for them, according to Huffington Post.
An air fryer is fast, and usually doesn’t take much more than dumping in the ingredients, adding a little seasoning, and turning it on: Meals like Healthy “Fried” Chicken take just 15 minutes, and require just three ingredients.
3. Reduced disease risk.
The more often you eat oil-soaked fried foods, the higher your risk for certain diseases: The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found a relationship between fried food frequency and prostate cancer. Women with lots of fried foods are at a higher risk of gestational diabetes if they get pregnant. And Harvard scientists connected eating lots of fried foods with increased risk of diabetes.
If you love these foods, an air fryer can lower the frequency with which you exhibit this risky behavior while getting the flavors and textures you love.
4. Less inflammation, less weight gain.
Saturated fats, like those most often used to fry food, can cause inflammation, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Chronic inflammation has been shown to be associated with increased risks of arthritis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, psoriasis, diabetes and weight gain, according to BioMed Centrail (BMC). Take out the oil by frying with air, and you could reduce inflammation and your overall risk of packing on more pounds.
5. No risk of toxins from reused oil.
Scary, but true: Vegetable oils have been advertised as “healthier” for frying, but when heated, they can release nasty chemicals called aldehydes that have been associated with cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, according to researchers from the University of the Basque Country. These compounds increase when fry oil is reused or reheated, which is the case at most restaurants.
But when air frying, you don’t have to choose between worrying about your heart while frying in animal fat or these aldehydes when frying in vegetable oil—you don’t fry in oil at all, so you’re safe from these compounds.
6. It lets you have snacks and desserts, too.
Air Fryers might not seem worth it if you don’t eat many fries or indulge in fried chicken very often, but if you’re a snacker or lover of sweets, they can help you reduce calories, too. An air fryer can be used to make Potato Chips that have just 114 calories per serving, compared with 160 for traditional chips (and you save on fats, too). It can make Apple Chips, perfect for adding some crunch to a brown bag lunch without extra calories. It can even turn a apple into a buttery, pie-like baked fruit with cinnamon, nutmeg and crunchy nuts in just 20 minutes. Get the recipe here >
*Please note that all air fryers cook differently. Before trying any recipe, always refer to the manufacturer safety instructions provided with your specific air fryer.