Do air fryers cause cancer

Do air fryers cause cancer?

Last Updated on May 10, 2023

A relatively recent invention, air fryers cause cancer were created as a substitute for conventional deep-frying. There are various ways that air frying might influence the nutritional value of meals and your risk of cancer. Since less oil is used, there is no need to reheat the oil, and air fryers may also reduce the amount of acrylamide, a substance categorized as a Group 2A carcinogen, that is produced. But despite potential benefits, it’s important to remember that in many ways the type of food you eat can be more important than how it’s prepared.

Basics

Hot air fryers have been available as an alternative to frying since 2010. Although longer cooking times are frequently necessary, the ability to cook foods that were crispy despite using less oil quickly increased their popularity because many people enjoy fried foods.

How they work

When looking at the potential advantages or disadvantages of a cooking method, it helps to understand exactly how the food is heated.

To heat food, the device uses a fan to circulate small droplets of oil and hot air around the food. The food’s ability to become crisp comes from the removal of fluids.

Air fryers vs. cooking

The amount of oil used in air frying versus deep frying is different, and utilising oil (particularly reheated oil) poses health issues. However, longer cooking times can also lead to increased formation of carcinogens. We’re going to look at several factors to consider when weighing air frying as a cooking method.

Oils, Calories and Obesity

Even though some oils are thought to be healthier than others, any type of oil in excess can be harmful.

Oils and fats have calories. Ingesting excess calories can lead to obesity. The relationship between fat and cancer is becoming increasingly clear as the prevalence of obesity rises in the US. Rising obesity rates are suspected to be responsible for the rising prevalence of several malignancies in young individuals.

Overweight or obesity are currently recognized as a risk factor for 13 different types of cancer.

These include:

  • multiple myeloma
  • Breast Cancer After Menopause
  • esophagus
  • thyroid pancreas
  • uterus kidneys
  • ovaries
  • colon rectum liver gallbladder

Stomach

In general, cooking with an air fryer uses far less oil than with a deep fryer. Sometimes only a small amount of cooking spray is needed, and when adding to the breading, a teaspoon can be enough.

In one study, cooking fries cooked with an air fryer had 75% less fat than those cooked by deep frying.

Carcinogens

A issue with any cooking process is the creation of carcinogens (cancer-causing compounds) during cooking, such as acrylamide and those formed by repeated heating of oils.

Warmed Oil

Reheating cooking oil (referred to as “thermally abused oil” or “reheated cooking oil”) creates degradation products (hydrolyzed, oxidized, polymerized by-products, etc.) as well as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Heated oils raise concerns regarding cancer.

In fast food restaurants as well as at home, oil is often reused in a fryer to reduce costs. The number of degradation products in the oil (and consequently the number of reheats of oil) is restricted in various nations, including France, Austria, Japan, Finland, and others. In the US, there are no laws at the moment.

Reused oils have been proven to cause a range of biological alterations (including chromosomal damage) that have been connected to cancer. Reheated cooking oil has also been connected to breast, lung, colon, and prostate cancer in a review of studies.

Consuming food prepared in these oils may result in oxidative stress. In consequence, oxidative stress can harm a cell’s DNA, which may aid in the formation of cancer (oncogenesis).

In addition to being a probable risk factor for cancer, heated oil may be a concern for those who have already been diagnosed with cancer.

In people with breast cancer, metastatic disease (stage 4 cancer) is responsible for most deaths. Most people with stage 4 breast cancer are first diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer that later returns, and it is estimated that about a third of early-stage cancers will eventually return in a distant location.

Researchers looked into whether repeatedly heating oil could encourage breast cancer metastasis (the growth and spread of the disease) in mice. Warm oil was discovered to increase the likelihood that mice’s breast tumours would spread to their lungs. Some doctors advise women with breast cancer to limit their exposure to reheated cooking oils until we know more, despite the fact that there are many differences between mice and humans and that we are unsure of what impact it may have on women with early-stage breast cancer.

In a different investigation, scientists looked at how warmed oil affected the development of tumours and colon inflammation in mice. Reheated oil-fed mice developed colon tumours and experienced increased inflammation. The findings in mice may not necessarily apply to humans, as was the case with the breast cancer study, but some caution is advised.

Fortunately, as was already mentioned, air fryers allow for the use of significantly less oil and lessen the need to reheat used oil.

The dangers of hot oil

Inhaling or eating heated oil repeatedly has been connected to cancer in population studies, and at least in animals, heated oil has been linked to colon and breast cancer metastasis (spread). Food cooked with the air fryer used less oil.

Acrylamides

When carbohydrates (like french fries) are fried at high temperatures, the amino acid asparagine combines with sugar to produce acrylamides.

Acrylamide is now categorised as a Group 2A human carcinogen, while more recent research have lessened the significance of these compounds. With the exception of a few potential elevated cancer risks, most studies have not demonstrated a link between acrylamide and cancer, including: renal, ovarian, uterine, and There was worry that food acrylamide levels in air fryer-cooked goods would be higher since air fryers require longer cooking periods than deep fryers. A 2020 study, however, indicated that air frying (with breaded chicken) could lessen the quantity of acrylamide generated compared to deep frying. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon production was also decreased as a result of air frying.

For those who are still concerned, a different study discovered that reheating frozen french fries in a solution of sodium chloride (table salt), calcium lactate, citric acid, glycine, and vitamin B2 (nicotinic acid) decreased chemicals identified in many prepared frozen fries. Fries, which decreased acrylamide production by 90%.

Additional health issues

Other health issues have been brought up by researchers, which may or may not have an impact on how air fryers affect cancer risk.

Possible risk of food poisoning

The relative risk associated with each cooking technique should be taken into account because foodborne disease is relatively prevalent in the United States. Foodborne illness affects over 48 million Americans annually, causing 128,000 hospital admissions and 3,000 fatalities.

In a 2019 study, the likelihood of contracting food poisoning from frozen breaded chicken strips cooked in an air fryer, deep fryer, toaster oven, and normal oven was compared. The toaster and air fryer both performed badly in killing the bacteria, with deep frying being the most successful. Practically speaking, this means that when food is made using air frying, the cooking guidelines found on deep fryer packaging might not be sufficient to avoid food illness.

Air Fryer Good for Big Family

An air fryer can be a great addition to a big family’s kitchen. Here are some reasons why: 

Versatility: 

An air fryer can cook a variety of foods, from fries and chicken wings to vegetables and even desserts. With a larger air fryer, you can cook larger batches of food to feed your whole family at once.

 Healthier Cooking:

 Air fryers use hot air to cook food, which reduces the need for oil or other fats. This means you can enjoy your favorite fried foods with fewer calories and less fat, making it a healthier option for your family. 

Quick and Convenient: 

 Air fryers are designed to cook food quickly, which is perfect for busy families who don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen. Plus, with a larger air fryer, you can cook more food at once, saving time and effort.

 Easy to Clean:  

Air fryers are generally easy to clean, especially if you choose a model with removable parts that are dishwasher-safe. This is especially helpful for big families who may be cooking multiple meals a day.

Reference: Air Fryer Cancer Warning: The Truth About Air Fryers And Cancer by Marry Mo

About Maria Kennedy

Maria Kennedy is the managing editor at Travel for Food Hub. Maria is on a full-tilt mission to share local food and travel inspiration. When she is not writing about food and travel, startups or social media, she is enjoying her time with her boys in sunny Spain.

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