Air frying has been advertised as a great alternative to deep-frying, and on paper, it is a healthier cooking method because it uses less oil, reducing calories and fats.
The air fryer has become a popular kitchen appliance in recent years.
And for a good reason! It’s a convenient way to cook food with little to no oil, making it a healthier option than deep-frying.
But does air frying live up to the hype? Does it destroy nutrients in food, as some people claim?
In this blog post, we will explore the science behind air frying and whether or not it destroys nutrients in food.
It will surely lose nutrients if you are boiling, grilling, or poaching your food.
Air Fryers Are Not Ruining Your Food (Unless You’re Doing It Wrong)
Typically, even the healthiest foods lose nutrients during the cooking process, and air frying is not an exception since air fryer units operate under high temperatures.
Does air frying destroy many nutrients compared to other cooking methods?
Air fryers destroy nutrients in food but not as much as other cooking methods. If you do not want your food to lose nutrients, you will probably munch them raw because, as mentioned, every form of cooking will result in a loss of nutrients.
Did you know an air fryer keeps food dry?
The good thing with air fryers is that they keep the food’s surface dry; food can retain many nutrients.
How does air frying preserve nutrients?
When food comes into contact with either heat or water, it must lose nutrients. Air fryers prevent food from being exposed to direct heat while cooking.
Therefore, air frying does not destroy nutrients in food; instead, it helps preserve nutrients for consumption and a healthy lifestyle.
Healthy foods lose nutrients during cooking.
Healthiest foods also lose nutrients during cooking. For example, meat and vegetables lose up to 40%-50% of their nutrients during cooking, depending on the cooking procedure and method.
Air frying is not a supernatural cooking technique that will prevent food from losing its nutrients; instead, it tries to preserve nutrients during cooking. No scientific evidence has shown that air frying destroys food’s nutrients more than other cooking methods.
Cooking methods for nutrient retention
Scientific evidence has shown that air frying, grilling, steaming, and baking or roasting are the best cooking methods recommended for nutrient retention.
Cooking methods for nutrient depletion
Cooking methods such as poaching, deep-frying, simmering, and boiling are not recommended for nutrient retention since they result in the depletion of nutrients. Deep frying is unhealthy because it uses a lot of oil and destroys nutrients.
The concept of food losing nutrients lies with food exposure to heat and water. The more food is exposed to heat, the more nutrients it loses or is destroyed.
Air frying preserves nutrients by coating the food or nutrients with dry, hot air, and this allows vital nutrients like Vitamins to cook slightly at lower temperatures compared to foods that have been boiled, poached, simmered, or deep-fried.
Besides helping preserve nutrients, air frying reduces acrylamide, a chemical that forms in foods while cooking under high temperatures.
Read Next – An Air Fryer Review: Farberware Air Fryer
Why air fry?
If you are on a diet or trying to lose weight, air frying is a suitable cooking method. Air frying is a healthier cooking option that will protect and not destroy critical nutrients from your food.
The frying process makes food undergo physical and chemical changes that affect the final “food” product. Water is lost through evaporation; proteins denature; vitamins, thiamin, and Riboflavin nutrients are lost at high temperatures during the frying process.
Frying gives food flavors and makes food crispy and with a distinct texture. Air frying achieves the same result as deep-frying food but now uses less oil than deep frying and helps retain the critical nutrients for a healthy life; air frying gives your food similar crispiness and flavor as deep-fried food using less oil which means no fats and calories.
Therefore it is a good recommendation if you like fried food and also trying to prevent weight gain. Now, let’s take a look at the changes in food composition during the frying process, as shown below:
Both air frying and deep frying alter the nutrients of the final “food” product. Air frying reduces trans-fat, which is a health hazard.
Compared to other cooking methods, air frying does not lose many nutrients and helps preserve nutrients.
Other cooking methods, boiling, simmering, deep frying, poaching, and steaming, lose critical nutrients. It is important to note that air-fried foods are still “fried” foods, and they are not advisable for you to take them daily.
When it comes to your health, you will need to limit the intake of fried foods as they have fats and calories responsible for weight gain, acrylamide, and trans-fat acid, which are hazardous and cause cancer.