If you love the crispiness of fried foods but hate eating all the fat, you are in luck. Air fryers are trendy right now and for a good reason.  They give food that crispy crunch that everyone loves but with minimal fat.  This results in consuming fewer harmful chemicals and less calories.

Air fryers, do not actually fry food. Unlike traditional fryers, that immerses food in oil to cook, an air fryer works by circulating hot air around the food.  The circulation of the hot air (350-400 degrees Fahrenheit), crisps the outer layer of the food without drying out the middle.

Although anything can be deep-fried, one of the disadvantages of an air fryer is that not all foods fair well with this type of cooking.  If the food has a high moisture content such as cheese an air fryer will not do well.  As well, any kind of battered food will also take a beating as any light, loose ingredients will be tossed around in the appliance.  The type of food that it does cook well are things like pumpkin seeds, chicken, and starchier vegetables.

When compared to deep fryers, an air fryer is definitely healthier.  If you enjoy fried foods, switching to an air fryer can be very healthy move.   Research shows that consuming fried foods four or more times a week, increased the risk of chronic disease such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and heart failure.  Switching to an air fryer can give you the following health benefits:

1)         Deep fried foods contain high amounts of acrylamide, which is produced when heating carbohydrates to high temperature.  Acrylamide is linked to heart              disease and could lead to cancer.  Air fryers produce lower amounts of acrylamide and in some cases up to 90% less.

2)         Air fryers dramatically cut the amount of calories in the food because it requires significantly less oil.  Air fryers only need one teaspoon of oil to cook

which adds only 40 calories.  In comparison, fried foods can have around 120 calories because of the absorbed oil.

3)         Oil is often reused for deep-frying in restaurants. When this happens, the quality of the oil degrades, reducing the amount of antioxidants and producing

harmful chemicals.  This could negatively affect your body’s defence system and increase the risk of disease.  It could also cause blood vessel inflammation

and high blood pressure.

An air fryer can be a good addition to your kitchen.  Here are some tips on how best to use it.

1)         Make sure you read the instructions – most air fryers require you to leave five inches of space above the exhaust vent to prevent a fire hazard.

2)         Use minimal oil – brush on the food or toss in about one to two teaspoons of oil per serving.  Too much oil will result in smoking, which will make the

food taste bad, and impact on your health.

3)         Avoid using aerosol sprays – these cooking sprays can break down the air fryers non-stick basket releasing toxic fumes.

4)         Switch up your cooking styles – do not use your air fryer for every meal.  Mix it up with sautéing, slow cooking, and steaming to help reduce the amount of

exposure to chemicals such as acrylamide.