The air fryer is gaining much popularity as the cooker of choice in many kitchens. As with many kitchen electric utilities, there is a safety concern. Does air fryer cause cancer? It is a common question among many users of this cooking device, as they seek to know its health effects.
It is a good question, particularly when you consider how prevalent cancer is at the moment. We will go deeper into the health concern of the air fryer and answer any queries you may have about it.
What is an Air Fryer and How Does It Work?
The air fryer is a countertop cooker, which works like an oven. It simulates deep frying, where you do not have to immerse food into the hot oil. Rather, it banks on the Maillard reaction to achieve the browning and distinct flavor of deep-fried foods.
The air fryer uses hot convectional currents to cook your meals, which in most times ensures an excellent consistency and taste.
Many people prefer this (our pick: Ninja Air Fryer) cooking device, especially when you look at its oil-free nature of cooking, making it ideal for people with weight loss goals and general healthy living.
The cooking equipment has a compact shape, which does not take much of your kitchen space. Additionally, it is easy to operate and will cook a variety of foods.
RELATED READ: Can You Put Aluminum Foil in An Air Fryer?
The air fryer offers a lot of benefits, with the only doubt to its operation being the cancer-causing issue.
Air Fryers and Cancer
There has been concern about whether consuming air fried foods can lead to cancer, for a long time. Does air fryer cause cancer? The answer to the question is relative. It may be yes and no.
The Acrylamide Situation
Yes, when you cook starchy foods. Most starchy foods, when cooked at high temperatures, will release acrylamide. They include potatoes and bread, and the substance is a by-product. When you critically look at the situation, most cooking methods will lead to the production of this by-product.
Acrylamide has cancer-causing properties, especially in high amounts.
The good thing is that the air fryer’s cooking temperatures are a bit regulated hence, it does not lead to high amounts of these by-products. Compared to other food preparation modes, the air fryer is milder.
You should also note that the air fryer will use minimal or no cooking oil to prepare your meal, which is why many people prefer it. As such, it won’t release the free ions from the oil, which are known to be carcinogenic.
What of Radiation?
One area that may be dark in the air fryer- cancer connection is the radiation. Most electric equipment produces a substantial amount of radiation, and long exposure may lead to health conditions. However, if you get a suitable air fryer model, you are sure of radiation protection and subsequently, you are safe from cancer.
Probability of Cancer
The air fryer has a low probability of causing cancer, and the following are some of the reasons behind this.
- Fast cooking times, meaning the meals won’t be in the cooker for too long.
- It prepares your food without oil hence, the chance of having free radicals in your food is less.
- You can preset the time and other cooking conditions, such as heat. In this case, you can prevent your food from getting overcooked.
Are there any Health Issues that May Arise from Using an Air Fryer?
The air fryer looks like the ultimate companion to anyone seeking to have a good state of health. However, some health issues may come from its use. The issues lie mostly on the user’s negligence, where you overlook cleanliness and even the state of the food you are preparing.
In the case of cleanliness, if the fryer is not clean with remnants from previous meals, you may encounter serious illnesses affecting the digestive system. You should also not overheat the foods, as they may char, making them unsuitable for your palate.
The overheating may also release acrylamide from starchy foods, making you susceptible to cancers such as ovarian and colon.
RELATED READ: How to Cook Frozen Pizza in Air Fryer
There is also the eating behavior part, which is a huge disadvantage. As you perceive that using this cooker is healthy due to its oil-less mode of preparation, you may overindulge in junk food, with the consolation that it is air fried. When you overeat some foods, especially carbs, you have a high chance of being obese or contracting diabetes and hypertension.
Points to Note When Using an Air Fryer
Be keen on the following points when using an air fryer to keep cancer and other ailments at bay.
1. Avoid Air Frying Processed Foods
Processed foods may contain several chemicals used in their preservation. On exposure to heat, the chemicals may react in a certain way that they become unhealthy, with a high chance of causing cancer. The situation becomes dire if you choose to heat the food in its metallic container.
If it is made of aluminum, there may be leaching to the food, and high amounts of this metal can be dangerous to the body. If you should heat the processed foods, you can use your pan and standard cooker to be on the safe side.
2. Beware When Using Aluminum Foil
Aluminum foil is the material of choice when wrapping foods such as meat to preserve their heat. The foil is also good for the storage of the food, particularly when refrigerating them. When you decide to use the air fryer, there are precautions to keep if you want to maintain your healthy being.
As earlier hinted, aluminum can leach into your meal, making it unfit for eating as it will escalate your body aluminum levels. The foil also has the risk of causing electric and fire hazards, more so if you do not handle it properly.
3. When Cooking Starchy Foods
The problem with starchy foods comes when you expose them to high temperatures. On overheating the food, it may release acrylamide, a by-product of carcinogenic properties. With foods such as bread, potatoes, and rice, check on the heat levels to ensure it does not reach dangerous levels.
4. Do Not Overcook Veggies
Paying attention to your health, do not overcook vegetables. They are healthy dietary components that provide nutrients such as vitamins and dietary fiber. When you overcook vegetables, you lose the nutrients, especially the vitamins, which are water-soluble.
Overcooking the veggies may also leave them charred, which affects their taste.
5. Pay Attention to the Heat Regulator
The good thing with the air fryer is that you can regulate the heat levels to meet your desired food consistency. The heat regulator allows you to set the heat to desired levels. Different foods require varying heat levels for a perfect cook. Take advantage of the heat settings to have the best-cooked meal.
6. Follow the User-Manual
The user-manual comes to your aid to show you how to use the air fryer. You have to follow the instructions outlined in the manual for the cooker to serve you well. It may guide you on cooking different foods and what you can or cannot put into the fryer.
If the electric equipment malfunctions, the instruction material can help you troubleshoot it and make the necessary repairs.
7. Keep Up Its Cleanliness
Another thing to keep tabs on to maintain your healthy being is the cleanliness of the air fryer. While it may seem hard to clean due to its configuration, try upping its hygiene after using it. Focus on the juices and sauces that may spill on the pan.
While many may argue that the heat can do away with germs, accumulation of dirt may cause stomach upsets even when exposed to high temperatures. A dirty fryer can also affect the smell and taste of your food.
Air Fryer Vs. Other Cookers
Several cooking utilities feature in our kitchens, such as microwaves and fryers. So how do the other cookers fare against the air fryer in terms of health? The air fryer stands tall against the other utilities, majoring on the fact that it uses an ideal cooking method, where hot air currents cook your meals.
It also uses less oil, the result being healthier meals.
Cancer is among the most severe diseases we have, which is very hard to cure. The situation means we focus on prevention measures to keep it at bay. Looking at prevention, we try and look at what causes it and how we can keep off.
The question on if the air fryer causes cancer looks at this popular kitchen gadget, analyzing its safety. Well, it is a safe cooker, as we can see in this article, with low chances of causing cancer. However, you should be careful when using it, primarily with starchy foods, to keep away acrylamide, the by-product of these foods under high temperatures.
There are also points to note to uphold your health when using the air fryer, like being careful when using aluminum foil materials. Additionally, ensure it is clean and you have the guarantee of healthy meals. Top of Form