Is Air Frying A Healthier Alternative to Deep Fat Frying?

Amy Kaczor, MS, RD, LDN

Have you been wondering if an air fryer is worth it? Air frying has recently become a trendy cooking method, with 2.26 million internet searches in the last month alone (Exploding Topics, 2022).
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So, how does air frying work?

Like a typical convection oven, air fryers quickly heat food by circulating hot air evenly around food using a fan (Bird, 2022). Air fryers cook food crispy and fast because the air is at such a high temperature (typically around 320-400 degrees Fahrenheit).

Is air frying better for you than deep fat frying?

The short answer? Yes! The American Heart Association (2021) does not recommend deep-fat frying as a cooking method.

Compared to deep fat frying, air frying only requires about a tablespoon of oil, significantly reducing the fat and calories often added to the food when frying. Common oils for frying are coconut oil, palm oil, and palm kernel oil. These tropical oils contain a high amount of saturated fat, often thought of as solid fats at room temperature. Saturated fats are known to contribute to the risk of heart disease when consumed in excess. On the other hand, oils containing unsaturated fats such as olive, canola, and avocado have significantly lower saturated fat. Many plant oils can even lower heart disease risk (American Heart Association, 2020).

What can you make in an air fryer?

Air fryers are highly versatile as you can fry anything essentially, from veggies to protein to frozen foods to even desserts. Since air fryers result in such a fantastic crispy product, they are perfect for french fries, potato chips, chicken tenders, and vegetables.

Amy Kaczor, MS, RD, LDN


Air Fryer. Exploding Topics. (n.d.). Retrieved January 17, 2022, from

Bird, S. (2021, March 27). How does an air fryer work? TechRadar. Retrieved January 17, 2022, from

Olive oil may lower heart disease risk. (n.d.). Retrieved January 17, 2022, from

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