If you're going to spend your hard-earned money for one of the best air fryers out there, it's only fair to know how healthy they are. Specifically, you may be wondering, "does air fryer cause cancer?" and are you better off sticking to the traditional method of cooking fried foods? We'll answer that shortly and help you clear any doubts you may have.
What are Air Fryers?
Air fryers like the name imply, fry your food using hot air. These are convection ovens that radiate hot air around your food, which helps it to cook. And as you may have noticed, oil is not entirely required to facilitate the process. As such, air fryers help you to cook with little or no oil.
Asides from frying, you can use these pieces of equipment to grill, bake, roast, toast, etc. The pros of air fryers have also given them an edge over instant pots and deep fryers. That being the case, you get to reap so many benefits from the use of a unit of this nature. So, can air fryer cause cancer and are there any air fryer health disadvantages? Read on to find out!
Acrylamide and Potential to Cause Cancer
It was discovered that Acrylamide, a "natural by-product of the cooking process" is formed in starchy vegetables such as potatoes and bread that are cooked at a high temperature for a long time. Scientists claim that the compound has the potential to cause cancer in humans. In line with that, it may be formed through the following cooking process:
Unarguably, these are the cooking methods that can be carried out using an air fryer. But the same goes for other appliances! You can perform each of these using a conventional oven, or a specialized machine. Despite this, an air fryer reduces the amount of Acrylamide that is formed in your food. A study, for instance, revealed that air-frying reduced acrylamide by 90% in comparison to traditional deep-frying.
The reason can be tied to the following:
- Air fryers cook with 80% less oil.
- They also cook faster and at a lower temperature.
- Air fryers allow you to preset the cooking time to ensure that your food is not overcooked.
Therefore, compared to other cooking methods, air fryers are healthier. Radiation is also linked to cancer, but air fryers radiate heat around your food, without ionizing. As such, it is not harmful and neither does it contribute to cancer.
How to Reduce Your Exposure to Acrylamide
Acrylamide can be found in various foods and drinks, nonetheless, you can still reduce acrylamide levels in your food. This compound can be reduced in the following ways:
- Do not overcook your food
- Make your food golden yellow and not dark brown
- Do not cook at higher temperatures since they lead to more production of Acrylamide
Carcinogen and Potential to Cause Cancer
Not all fryers cause cancer. Here's why. A survey of 10 different air-fryers conducted by the Korean Consumers Association revealed that the French fries made with air fryers from certain brands produced high levels of carcinogen. The latter is a cancer-causing agent. Accordingly, you'll have to note that these were from certain brands and not all the air fryers that were tested.
With that in mind, you can still eat healthy air fried foods, by choosing one of the best brands out there. These are brands that have become a household name, and as such, take the time to create healthy devices. The carcinogen levels produced by foods made on these devices align with EU approved safety standards!
How to Use an Air Fryer Healthily
Now if you want to be extra careful that you are not posing health concerns to yourself while using an air fryer, try the following:
- Avoid frying vegetables in your air fryer. The heat could destroy its folic acid, as well as vitamins B and C.
- Processed foods should not be placed in an air fryer, given that the oil they produce is not healthy.
- Regulate your air fryer's temperature around 180-degrees Celsius. This range ensures that your food is not burnt and neither are cancer-causing compounds produced
- Set the auto on/off timer on your air fryer to ensure food does not overcook.
- Use air-fryers sparingly, and at most twice a month.
Now that you know that air fryers are healthier than deep fryers, you can choose the most healthy ones out there. Remember, there’s nothing wrong about being concerned with what you eat and how it impacts your health. Nonetheless, you can still consume air fried foods using an appliance that cooks healthily.