Welcome back to Air Fryer Bro, and today we tackle another common question regarding air fryers and health. Is an air fryer good for controlling high cholesterol? Unfortunately, there are an increasing number of people who need to control their cholesterol. Will an air fryer help? Let’s find out!
Is an air fryer good to manage and reduce cholesterol? To give the short answer, yes. It will enable you to cook traditionally deep fried food in a more healthy manor. This is especially good for people whose root cause of high cholesterol is eating such fried food.
Before we get into the long answer, we want to point something out! We will give quite a lot of background information in this article first, related to what cholesterol is and how you can start to manage it. If you are not interested in these details, feel free to skip forward in the article.
Setting the Scene!
Do you love fried food? I mean, who doesn’t love the crunchiness and taste of fried foods? There’s no denying it, munching on an assortment of tasty fried treats is a favorite pastime to many people.
However, traditionally fried foods are not the healthiest of choices. They contain a lot of oil that can adversely affect your health and lead to serious issues over time. When you were younger, you probably didn’t give much thought to the harm certain foods caused. The growing awareness of healthy eating and the never-ending demand for fried foods have further propelled air fryer popularity.
With a deep fryer, you need to manually control the time and temperature to avoid greasiness. Using the wrong temperature and letting the food submerge on the hot oil for an extended time will result in greasy food. An oil-less air fryer uses hot air instead of oil to cook your foods. But is it as healthy as advertised? Is an air fryer good for people with high cholesterol? Let’s find out!
How Will I Benefit From An Air Fryer?
The air fryer has been making headlines recently and causing a real buzz related to cooking and healthy eating. For any fried food junkie, this magical device is practically the holy grail of kitchen appliances. If you have been having a dilemma whether or not to get one for your kitchen, it is vital that you first understand its benefits, which may make your decision easier.
Air fryers use hot circulation to cook traditionally fried foods within minutes, ultimately preparing healthier foods than most fryers. As you grow older, you begin monitoring the foods you eat. This is because some foods can bring new health conditions or aggravate existing ones. High cholesterol is a major concern among the aging population.
Besides cutting back on fatty oils, these revolutionary hot air multi-cookers are easy to clean and most of them are accompanied with a recipe booklet that will (hopefully) kick start your journey to healthy food preparation. This appliance is valid during any season, meaning it makes a thoughtful gift any time of the year. If you have no idea on what gift to buy your old folks, now you have!
What Makes Deep Fried Foods Unhealthy?
Why do deep fried dishes get such a bad rap? You may ask. Simple, they can contain more unhealthy amounts of saturated fats than foods cooked in other ways. These are fat molecules with no double bonds between carbon molecules, making them solid at room temperature. Saturated fats increase the levels of cholesterol in your body and consequently increase your risk of stroke and heart disease.
According to the American Heart Association, the recommended amount of fat in a day is 13 grams. When you fry your foods with a deep fryer, you’ll be forced to use 1-4 quart of cooking oil. With an air fryer, you will only need a tablespoon at the most to produce similar results with a fraction of the fat and calories. The numbers don’t lie.
With high cholesterol, your blood vessels can develop fatty deposits that make it difficult for blood to flow freely through your arteries. The fatty deposits can break and form a clot that may lead to a stroke or heart attack. Picking an air fryer over a deep fryer will help you avert unwanted effects and help to keep up your good health.
How much do you know about cholesterol?
Cholesterol is both good and bad. Cholesterol can be defined as a fatty or waxy substance found in your blood. It is an essential substance for the body at normal levels. Blood cholesterol is naturally produced in the liver and is used to build healthy cells, allow the body to produce vitamin D, protect nerves and produce certain hormones. Some foods, mostly animal products (meats, eggs and dairy products), contain “dietary cholesterol.” For most folks, consuming foods high in dietary cholesterol has a negligible effect on their blood cholesterol.
Cholesterol doesn’t mix well with blood, and is transported by lipoproteins. When you intake extra cholesterol, your body reacts by minimizing the amount of cholesterol it naturally synthesizes. On the other hand, when dietary cholesterol intake is low, your body heightens cholesterol production.
There are 2 main types of cholesterol:
1. Good Cholesterol (HDL) – your body needs some cholesterol for proper function. High-density lipoprotein can give you protection against coronary heart disease. It picks up excess cholesterol and transports it back to your liver.
2. Bad Cholesterol (LDL)– low-density lipoprotein can contribute to the build-up of plaque in your arteries making them hard and narrow, and increase your risk of developing heart disease and stroke.
What should my cholesterol levels be?
This is a question most people ask themselves. Your ideal cholesterol level is dependent on your risk for heart disease.
LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels should be less than 130mg/dL, HDL (high density lipoproteins) cholesterol level should be 60 mg/dL or higher, total cholesterol level should be less than 200 mg/dL, and triglycerides should be less than 150 mg/dL.
Even though it is normal to have more of LDL cholesterol than HDL cholesterol, you should aim to keep your HDL up and LDL down.
Causes of High Cholesterol
Unhealthy behaviors are the major causes of high cholesterol. Lifestyle factors include lack of exercise, excessive drinking, smoking and an unhealthy diet. Reversing or stopping these unhealthy factors can help you improve your cholesterol levels. Other factors that cause high cholesterol include:
Consuming foods containing trans-fats and saturated fats – high intake of foods such as full-fat dairy products, fatty meats, palm oil, coconut oil, commercially baked products like buns, pies and pastries and most deep-fried takeaway foods.
Low intake of fiber-rich foods – when you consume foods high in dietary fiber, the foods can lower the amount of LDL cholesterol in your blood. These foods can include fruits, whole grains, vegetables, seeds and nuts.
Dietary cholesterol – cholesterol in food only has a slight effect on LDL cholesterol. As part of a healthy, balanced diet, consume food low in trans-fats and saturated fats.
Underlying conditions – individuals with diabetes and hypertension often have high cholesterol. To help reduce cholesterol, consider treating the underlying condition first.
Genetics – unknown to many people, your family history can have an influence on your cholesterol level. Some individuals experience high cholesterol despite sticking to a healthy balanced diet low in trans-fats and saturated fats.
Signs and Symptoms of Cholesterol
Unfortunately, most people with high cholesterol often have no symptoms and feel perfectly healthy. To find out if you have a healthy cholesterol level, you need to have a blood test.
Diseases associated with High Cholesterol
Diseases linked to high cholesterol include diabetes, stroke, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and peripheral vascular disease.
Helpful Tips To Help You Manage Your Cholesterol
The good news is that high cholesterol can be lowered if you follow the following tips:
· Consume plenty of vegetables.
· Limit takeaway foods such as pizza, pies, hamburgers, pastries, fried fish and French fries to once or twice a week.
· Limit fatty, salty and sugary snack foods like cakes, biscuits, chocolate and crisps to once or twice a week.
· Incorporate beans, peas and lentils into your diet.
· Opt for whole grain bread, rice, noodles, pasta and cereals.
· Snack on fresh fruits and unsalted nuts.
· Utilize margarine and spreads made from sunflower and canola instead of butter.
· Alternate between soybean, sunflower, canola, sesame, olive and peanut cooking oils.
· Use mayonnaise and salad dressings made from oils such as sunflower, soybean, canola, peanut and olive oils.
· Have 2-3 portions of oily fish every week
· Incorporate up to 6 eggs in your diet every week.
· Opt for lean meat (poultry without skin, and meat trimmed of fat).
· Only consume no-fat, low-fat or reduced-fat milk, calcium-added non-dairy drinks and yogurt.
· Cut down on processed meats including deli meats, hot dogs, bacon and sausages.
· Quit smoking and excessive drinking.
· Manage stress.
· Maintain a healthy weight.
· Engage in 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity exercise per week.
Common Misconceptions About Cholesterol
To help you debunk the myths surrounding cholesterol, we have rounded up 8 misconceptions about cholesterol, and the reality behind them. We don’t want you to make the same mistakes others have made in the past
1. Cholesterol Shouldn’t Be A Concern For Kids and Teenagers
As we mentioned above, genetics is one of the risk factors of having high cholesterol. Inheriting high cholesterol is referred to as familial hypercholesterolemia. Kids suffering from this genetic disorder have a high risk of developing heart disease. Unfortunately, this disorder is under-treated and under-diagnosed worldwide. Once diagnosed, this problem can be medically treated.
You should consider taking your kid for cholesterol testing if a parent or grandparent had:
evidence of peripheral vascular disease, cerebrovascular disease or coronary atherosclerosis;
a coronary artery procedure;
a history of high total cholesterol levels;
or sudden cardiac death before hitting 55 years.
All kids and teenagers would benefit from a healthy lifestyle and diet despite their risk. Encourage a healthy diet and aerobic exercise, help your child maintain a healthy weight, identify and treat high blood pressure and diabetes and discourage cigarette smoking. Plaque build-up in the arteries begins in childhood and slowly develops into adulthood leading to coronary heart diseases. According to statistics, coronary heart disease is one of the leading cause of death in the US.
2. There’s No Need To Go For A Cholesterol Check Until You’re Old
According to the American Heart Association, all adults aged 20 years and older should have their cholesterol checked and risk factors assessed every 4-6 years. Consult with your doctor to determine your risk for stroke and cardiovascular disease. Once you’re aware of the risk, you can take the necessary steps to lower it.
3.Thin People Can’t Have High Cholesterol
Fact: overweight individuals are more likely to have high cholesterol. Unknown to many people, thin people can also be affected by high cholesterol. This means that body type is a non-issue. People who don’t gain weight easily are usually less concerned with the amount of trans-fats and saturated fats they consume. You cannot eat “what you feel like” and stay heart-healthy. Regardless of your weight, diet and physical activity, it is advisable that you get your cholesterol checked regularly.
4. Only Men Should Be Concerned About Cholesterol
Both women and men tend to witness higher cholesterol and triglyceride levels as they enter the golden years. Weight gain is another risk factor. This misconception may be a result of the fact that compared to men, pre-menopausal women enjoy some protection from high LDL cholesterol. The female hormone estrogen is at the peak during the childbearing years and tends to increase HDL cholesterol levels. For post-menopausal women, their cholesterol may still rise despite regular physical activity and a heart-healthy diet. If you’re nearing menopause, it’s recommended you have your cholesterol levels checked.
5. Only Diet And Exercising Dictate Your Cholesterol Level
It’s a fact that physical activity and diet play a significant role in overall cholesterol levels, but it is worth mentioning that other factors affect your levels as well. Being obese or overweight tends to raise LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol. Growing older also heightens levels of LDL cholesterol.
6. If You’re Under Medication, You Don’t Need Lifestyle Changes
While medications can help check your cholesterol levels, making lifestyle and diet changes is essential if you want to minimize stroke and heart disease risk. To control your cholesterol, perform aerobic exercises 3-4 times every week and stick to a heart-friendly diet. It is also vital to take medication as instructed by your physician.
7. If A Food Label Indicates “No Cholesterol” The Food Is Heart Healthy
Don’t believe everything you read on the nutrition fact labels. While the label is helpful in guiding you when shopping for heart-friendly foods, some unscrupulous manufacturers market their foods as “low-cholesterol” or “low-fat” despite their foods having unhealthy amounts of trans fats and non-saturated fats, both of which heighten blood cholesterol. Knowing what to look out for in the ingredients list is important. Look at the total amount of trans-fat, saturated fat and total calories in a single serving. Fats and oils usually appear near the end of the ingredient list.
8. Using Margarine In Place Of Butter Will Lower Your Cholesterol
It’s a fact that butter possesses unhealthy amounts of saturated fat and some trans-fat responsible for raising LDL cholesterol. What you probably don’t know is that most hard margarines also possess a high amount of trans-fat and saturated fat. Go for liquid or soft margarine made with vegetable oil if you’re on the lookout for a healthy choice. They should show 0 g trans-fat on the label.
Treatment For High Cholesterol
According to NIH, high cholesterol may be a result of genetic factors and a combination of lifestyle choices. You have no control over genetics, but making lifestyle changes can help you cut down high LDL cholesterol. Consider joining the gym and start being picky about the foods you eat.
This is (finally) where the air fryer comes in!
An air fryer will allow you to cook healthier versions of your favorite fast foods. You can also consider taking cholesterol-lowering medicine to manage your cholesterol levels and minimize your risk of having a stroke or heart attack.
Is Eating Air Fried Food Healthy? Are Air Fryers Good For People With High Cholesterol?
YES and YES, they are the perfect kitchen gadgets for anyone looking to switch to a healthier lifestyle. And this is the biggest selling point of air fryers. While every cooking appliance has its downsides, the air fryer only has a few. If you relish the idea of eating a healthier version of fried food, an air fryer will let you prepare delicious, healthy, fast and convenient meals.
An air fryer is designed to cook without fattening oils and to prepare food with up to 80 percent less fat. This is desirable because lowering oil intake can be beneficial to individuals with cholesterol problems. Doctors have linked consuming excess oil to various health conditions, including an increased risk of heart disease.
All ingredients are cooked with hot air, and you will still enjoy the same taste and crunchiness as oil fried foods. You will get a crispy outer texture, but the inside will still be moist. If you have been dying to shed off some extra weight or struggling with cholesterol, an air fryer might be just what you need. It is not easy to let go of your favorite fried dishes, but an air fryer will let you have your fish and chips. You can cook just about anything you would cook in a deep fat fryer or oven.
Does an air fryer help cut or reduce cholesterol?
When you opt for a cholesterol-lowering diet, how you prepare your food is nearly as vital as what you eat. Deep frying and drowning foods in fat-filled sauces is not an option. Fat content and calories are two main nutritional concerns related to deep frying.
One low-fat cooking strategy that has been proven to be better for your heart is air frying. You can cook comfort food favorites, anything from lentil meatballs to doughnut puffs. Look up some popular air fryer recipes online.
Many of the new models have settings to bake, grill and roast, too. Not to mention you can also reheat leftover foods and heat up frozen meals.
Don’t believe us? Newair (makers of air fryers and other kitchen appliances) have an excellent article talking about how calories change when you switch from deep fat frying to air air frying!! I was amazed to see deep fried jalapenos going from 432 to 133 calories when air fried. This is a big difference, and can be vital to anyone maintaining any type of healthier diet! Healthline clearly agree, and know hats up when it comes to health!!
Your health is connected to your lifestyle and diet. When you add up the numbers, it is evident how unhealthy a deep fryer can be. An air fryer is a healthy alternative as it allows you to cook food with a small amount of oil and manages to maintain the crunchy taste of fried foods.
It’s like killing two birds with one stone. You will be able to keep your cholesterol in check and enjoy tasty dishes at the same time. An enjoyable, healthy meal is one of life’s greatest joy. Get your kitchen an air fryer today!
Please bear in mind that here at Air Fryer Bro we are not doctors or dietitians. This article is meant just to give a starting point for people wondering about the link between air fryers and lowering cholesterol. If you have a serious issue with cholesterol, please contact the relevant professional to get the full picture.
If you have your own experiences with air fryers and lowering cholesterol, we would love to hear all about it in the comments section below.