Air fryers have been popular kitchen appliances over the last decade. They were designed to offer a healthy alternative to traditional deep frying. Unlike the latter, air fryers use less oil and limit the dangers associated with excessive fat consumption.
Despite the advantages, there are several concerns that air fryers can cause cancer. According to some reports, air fryers lead to the formation of chemicals and radiation that can be cancerous.
On the other hand, air fryers limit the production of carcinogens and the amount of oil and cholesterol you consume from fried foods. Thus, using air fryers can reduce your chances of getting cancer.
So, can an air fryer cause cancer? Read through this guide to understand how your favorite appliance relates to cancer risk and how to stay safe.
Air Fryers and Deep Fryers: Which Is Best?
People love the crispy feel of fries and other deep-fried delicacies. However, frying these foods in large amounts of oil may mean eating high-fat meals.
Some oils are often categorized as healthy. However, excessive intake of any oil can be harmful to your health. Both fats and oils contain a lot of calories. Excessive consumption of these calories may cause obesity.
Experts relate the rising cases of obesity to the surging incidences of cancer in children and youth. Researchers consider obesity the risk factor behind up to 13 types of cancer, including the following:
- Stomach cancers
On average, air fryers allow you to have a more healthful meal, full of all the flavor and taste you achieve with deep frying.
Also, deep frying will often push you into reusing preheated oil for economic purposes. On the other hand, air fryers don’t require any oil.
Time Factor in Cooking
Air fryers and deep fryers often use high temperatures, which may lead to the formation of some cancerous chemicals.
As a result, both methods carry risks. Your risk of getting cancer depends on what food you choose, how you prepare it, and whether you follow the correct procedures.
Can Air Fryers Cause Cancer? The Health Risks Associated With These Appliances
The answer to the question, “can air fryers cause cancer?” depends on several factors. Studies indicate that preparing French fries using an air fryer produces 75% less fat than deep frying. Using these appliances reduces the risks of overeating fats and oils in fried foods. Also, it reduces the use of reheated oils.
However, air fryers produce chemicals and radiation that can be cancerous during the cooking process.
Acrylamide is one of the common chemicals produced during the process. It’s produced when preparing starchy foods, like French fries, using high temperatures, and is considered among the risk factors leading to increased cancer incidences.
Some studies indicate a potential association between acrylamide and kidney, ovarian and uterine cancer risks.
Also, the process, especially under high temperatures, has been related to the production of benzene. This chemical, like acrylamide, increases the risk of suffering from cancer and affects the reproductive system.
What Are the Risks of Reheated Oil?
Repeatedly heating oil causes the breakdown of products, resulting in oxidized, hydrolyzed, and polymerized byproducts. The process generates a breakdown of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
There is a suggested relationship between the consumption and inhalation of these preheat oils and several deformations in cells linked to the causes of cancer.
According to studies, reheated oils increase the risk of suffering from different cancer types, including breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer.
Eating foods made from these oils may also lead to oxidative stress, destroying DNA cells and contributing to oncogenesis (cancer growth).
Oil reheating happens if you use a deep fryer. You’ll probably want to reuse the remaining oil to save some costs.
An air fryer can help you minimize this risk since you don’t need a lot of oil to prepare your fried meals. However, be cautious and thoroughly clean the appliance after use. That will help you ascertain that no oil residues stick on the cooking area to heat up when you use the appliance next time.
So, Why Are Air Fryers Considered Cancerous?
Air fryers typically work under high temperatures to prepare meals quickly and give you the perfect crispy texture. The process triggers the production and emission of some carcinogens (mostly acrylamide) in the air. Breathing in these chemicals increases the risks of suffering from some types of cancer.
Also, these appliances sometimes release the chemicals in the food you’re preparing. Thus, anyone eating these meals could be ingesting toxins.
How Do You Stay Safe?
After learning about the risks, you may consider getting rid of your air fryer. However, there are ways you can ensure safe food preparation.
If you’re planning to buy one, ensure you get the best model. The Instant Vortex Plus 6-Quart Air Fryer Oven is a high-quality option.
Studies indicate that preheating your French fries using a mixture of glycine, table salt, calcium lactate, citric acid, and vitamin B12 limits acrylamide production by 90%.
Here are other tips to keep enjoying healthy air fried-foods:
- Use air fryers in well-ventilated environments
- Strictly follow the user manual from the manufacturer
- Don’t overheat the appliance
- Don’t overcook the food
- Go for air fryers with filters to limit the number of carcinogens produced
Final Thoughts: Can Air Fryers Cause Cancer?
Studies indicate that cooking French fries under high temperatures may produce acrylamide (whether you’re using an air fryer or deep fryer). Also, reheating oil can increase your cancer risk.
While an air fryer may increase exposure, the appliance can shield you from the dangers. So, can air fryers cause cancer? As evident in the article, there’s no definite answer to the question. It all depends on what you choose to eat, how you prepare it, and how much you adhere to the precautions.
An air fryer can increase your risk of cancer, but there are several ways to use it correctly and avoid the risks. It is also a better option than deep frying.