Can Deep Fried Foods Be Healthy? 

One of the all-time favorite pub foods, chicken wings are more popular than ever around the world. My favorite type, Salt ‘n Pepper crispy chicken wings with ranch dressing for dip is just an awesome snack or even a meal if you make it a couple pounds of wings! But can deep fried foods be healthy?

Unfortunately, deep fried food has a rather mixed reputation, with varying opinions on how much you should eat. Even if chicken wings, french fries, schnitzel and the like taste so awesome, these and similar foods are generally considered unhealthy and therefore harmful. However, this is only half the story. 

french fries with dipping sauce
Photo by Valeria Boltneva on

The fact is: It is not the preparation, but the oils used that determine whether the food is healthy or unhealthy . There are (contrary to popular belief) good oils and fats that pose a reduced risk.

Sunflower, soy and olive oils are more sensitive to overheating than clarified butter, lard and hydrogenated vegetable oils. Additional damage to all frying oils and fats is caused by higher temperatures than 180 degrees and long storage after use. For reasons of taste and health, you should only use deep-frying fat once, but a maximum of five times – even if it is expensive. 

Caution is particularly advisable because recent research results indicate that oxidized, i.e. spoiled fats are inedible even for macrophages, our cellular orderly force in the body. They “suffocate” on such fat and end up as a foamy coating in the arterial walls. Corrupted fat and a simultaneous lack of vitamin E are – if the research results of the World Health Organization are confirmed – the first step towards hardening of the arteries.

Additonal Reading: Is it Safe to Put Aluminum Foil in an Air Fryer?

The Significance of Trans Fats

The problem with deep frying and frying is that the fats are heated so much that trans fats are formed. These are responsible for various heart diseases and also have a negative impact on human cholesterol. As a result, nutritionists always recommend consuming trans fats in extremely small amounts . It is important to remember that they are considered to be even more unhealthy than saturated fatty acids.

Important: The more often the fat is heated, the more trans fats are formed. You should therefore ensure that the frying fat in your deep fryer is changed regularly .

Choosing the Right Oil

Even if fried food is generally classified as rather unhealthy, there is also a reason to give the all-clear. A study carried out in Spain, which was published in the British Medical Journal in 2012, confirms that fried foods neither increase the risk of heart disease nor premature death.

photo of olives on cup of olive oil
Photo by Mareefe on

The reason for this is the use of special oils. Spaniards naturally resort to high-quality oils much more often than Central Europeans. Sunflower or olive oil, for example, is to be understood as particularly valuable in this context . Other vegetable oils also make deep-frying healthier. In contrast, inferior and animal fats should be avoided. These not only increase cholesterol, but also increase the risk of cancer or heart disease.

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Play it safe

People who value a healthy diet, but still do not want to forego the delicious taste of fried food, can look forward to an excellent alternative.

Hot air fryers have managed to combine the best of both worlds and convince with a fat-free, but still crispy pleasure. The secret to this particular fryer is the use of hot air. This cooks the food gently and, above all, fat-free . Further advantages of the hot air fryer are:

  • Less unpleasant smells
  • Lower costs for oils and fats
  • No danger from hot frying oil
Maximum TemperatureAbove 180° C acrylamide formation is likely, the fat is less durable.
The temperature of the fat should be checked at regular intervals with an external thermometer
Amount of frying oilThe fried food should make up 1/10 of the amount of the frying oil
Signs the oil is oldSmoke development during deep-frying
Formation of foam on surface during frying
The oil tastes bitter

Additonal Reading: How to Cook Frozen Samosas in an Air Fryer

Summary: It Depends a lot on the Oil You Choose

In conclusion, one thing can be said above all: Not deep-frying itself, but individual oils that are often used for this purpose are unhealthy and also harmful to the body. For this reason, you should always pay special attention to which fat or oil you are using. There are also healthy variants – for example olive oil – that do not harm the body and do not pose a health risk.

Tip! It is also important that you change the fat in the deep fryer regularly (ideally after each use!) To guarantee that dangerous trans fatty acids do not form.

However, since good fats also have a high calorie content, it is advisable to think about buying a hot air fryer if you want to do something good not only for your blood vessels but also for your figure . Some of these devices work entirely without the use of oils and fats.

I hope this helped, take a look at some of our delicious recipes before you go.


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