Potato chips, fried chicken, and French fries overwhelmingly appeal to all the senses with their crispy crunch and flavor. Fried foods are a staple in the American diet because they are fast and convenient. However, these foods have health implications.
Fried Food Health Concerns and Solutions:
Fried foods are high in saturated fats and trans fats. We know these fats contribute to heart disease, obesity, and type II diabetes. It is important to limit these fats in the diet. Try to choose foods that have healthy fats like nuts, salmon, and skinless chicken. Cooking with oils that contain unsaturated fats like extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil are better than butter and lard. Think of using fats that are liquid at room temperature and not solid.
Decrease the amount of fat used while cooking and switch to an unsaturated fat. Try grilling, baking, broiling, roasting, stir-frying, and air frying foods. These all aid in either decreasing the amount of fat needed to cook or drain off excess oil while cooking.
Air Frying Foods
There is a new trend in cooking called air frying. The air fryer is an electrical cooking device that radiates heat from the coils located underneath the lid. The hot air is circulated around the food. Air is used to cook the food rather than a liquid oil.
This method of cooking reduces consumption of saturated and trans fats and keeps the crispy crunchy texture we crave. Some may argue that roasting or baking can achieve this same style of cooking, but not as quickly as the air fryer. The air fryer also preheats faster than the conventional oven.
Uses for the Air Fryer
- Reheating leftovers
- Cooking lightly breaded meats, poultry, and fish
- Cooking homemade French fries or sweet potato fries
- Crisping vegetables
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