Are Air-Fryer Recipes Really More healthy?


  • Insider spoke to dietitians to find out if air fryers are a healthy alternative to deep frying.
  • Experts say air fryers use less cooking oil, so you use fewer calories and less fat.
  • But air frying all of your recipes doesn’t necessarily give you a healthy diet.
  • You can find more stories on the Insider homepage.

Air fryers are fast becoming one of the most popular kitchen appliances.

According to GrubStreet, 10 million air fryers were sold in the US between 2017 and 2019, and many people think air fryers are a great way to prepare quick and healthy meals.

But is cooking with an air fryer actually healthier than traditional cooking techniques? Insider spoke to experts to find out.

What is an air fryer and how does it work?

An air fryer is a kitchen appliance that is used to get the crispness of fried foods without frying them in oil. Breaded or dry seasoned foods are among the most popular recipes.

Instead of putting something like breaded chicken in a pan with oil, the air fryer blows hot air around the chicken and makes it crispy and brown, creating a crispy texture similar to that of fried chicken.

Using an air fryer has several health benefits

Since you use less oil when cooking in an air fryer, there are some health benefits. For starters, using an air fryer can cut 70 to 80% of the calories from your diet compared to frying in oil, Ariana Cucuzza, a registered nutritionist, told the Cleveland Clinic in 2019.

Dietitian Andy Bellatti told Insider, “One tablespoon of oil has 125 calories. If you use just one teaspoon of oil in an air fryer, the calories will be much less absorbed than in an actual fryer, which has much more oil in it. It is one Opportunity to cut your caloric intake quite a bit. ”

Air fryer meat fork

Air fryers use less oil.


Additionally, reducing or eliminating oil when frying in air helps reduce total fat.

“For those medically monitoring fat intake, air fryers can help you make fried foods with lower total fat content,” Rachael Hartley, a registered nutritionist and author of Gentle Nutrition, told Insider.

Reducing fat and calorie intake can help a person

lose weight
and eat healthier than fried foods. Hence, air fryers can be helpful for people tracking their calories and fat intake.

However, some experts say there is no guarantee that air frying is a healthier way of cooking

The health benefits of air fryers have their limits as they do not necessarily promote or guarantee a healthy diet.

Turning to an air fryer every day to prepare every meal doesn’t necessarily mean you are eating healthier, according to Hartley. Sure, the process makes some recipes a healthier alternative, but it doesn’t add nutritional value. Likewise, it doesn’t make an unhealthy dish a wise choice. At the end of the day, air-fried breaded chicken is still breaded chicken – grilled chicken would be the healthier option.

Air fryer wings

Air fryers don’t make a healthy diet.

Shauntoray Grisby / Shutterstock

“I tell my customers that air fryers aren’t necessarily healthier. It’s just a simple, straightforward way to prepare dishes that have the satisfying crispness of fried foods,” said Hartley. “Instead of looking at them as a diet tool, think of them as a tool for cooking simple, satisfying meals without a fuss.”

Hartley added that air fryers are unlikely to help you lose weight, and said there was “no research” to back it up.

Also, cutting oil out of your diet entirely isn’t always the best option.

“While a low-fat, air-fried diet sounds tempting, you would end up missing out on the wonderful benefits of vegetable fats like avocado oil and olive oil,” Cucuzza told the Cleveland Clinic.

The judgment

While using an air fryer as a substitute for fried foods can be healthier, there is no guarantee that your overall diet will be balanced or nutritious. If you’re looking to lose weight, count calories, or track fat intake, air fryers can be helpful, but they don’t necessarily make you or your meals healthy.

Instead of focusing on cooking in an air fryer, experts should focus on a balanced diet.