On Your Health

Check back to the INTEGRIS On Your Health blog for the latest health and wellness news for all Oklahomans.

Are Air Fryers Worth the Health Hype?

Air fryers are one of the latest health food trends, making it easy to cook alternatives to your favorite deep-fried foods at home. Air fryers claim to offer the same taste, texture and golden brown crisp of fried foods — such as chicken nuggets, french fries or fried okra — but with a fraction of the fat and calories. While the capabilities of the air fryer sound convenient and delicious, are they worth the health hype?

Health benefits of air fryers

It's true that air fryers can offer healthy alternatives for your favorite fried foods by cutting up to 80 percent of calories and using significantly less fat from oil. Eating fried foods is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. If you frequently eat fried foods and are trying to cut back or make healthy changes, an air fryer could be a healthy option for you.

It’s important to note that air fryers can reduce the risk of toxic acrylamide formation in food. Acrylamide is formed when frying foods in oil and is linked to a higher risk of certain cancers.

Things to know before buying an air fryer

Air frying doesn’t guarantee healthy foods. An air fryer can offer healthier alternatives to unhealthy, deep-fried foods, but it’s still important to focus your diet around vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean proteins.

While air frying can cut down on toxic acrylamide formation, it unfortunately can create polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heterocyclic amines. These are harmful compounds associated with an increased risk of certain cancers.

What can you cook in an air fryer

When it comes to air frying, the most important thing is choosing healthy recipes. You can use your air fryer to cook healthy fruits and vegetables and lean proteins. Fried food replacements can be a fun treat on occasion

Healthy air fryer recipes

Sweet and savory air fryer salmon

(click here to download recipe pdf)

Air Fried Salmon

Mediterranean air fryer falafel

(click here to download recipe pdf)

Air Fryer Falafel

Crispy Italian potatoes

(click here to download recipe pdf)

Crispy cinnamon apple chips

(click here to download recipe pdf)

Crispy Brussels sprouts

(click here to download recipe pdf)

Air fryers can be a helpful kitchen tool to create deliciously healthy meals. Remember to focus on a balanced diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins.

For more healthy recipes, head over to the INTEGRIS Health blog.

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