You might have seen the surge in the popularity of air fryers as an alternative for healthily preparing delicious fried foods. But do air fryers cause cancer?
Many claims and studies describe its benefits, but some consider it a cancer-causing appliance.
Instead of counting the air fryer as the main culprit, the types of food and the way you prepare them in the air fryer matter the most.
However, there is no conclusive evidence in support of this theory.
Therefore, in this article, we have elaborated on air fryers and cancer to determine whether these two are linked.
Do Air Fryers Cause Cancer? – Let’s Read
Comparing the air frying method for preparing fried meals will help you know better that air fryers do not cause cancer. These appliances produce fewer toxins, and the only reason for cancer isn’t the air fryer. The food itself, the cooking method, and genetics are the major deciding factors.
The air fryer can cause cancer if you make some food that is completely unsuitable to make in it.
For example, frying foods containing sugars and asparagine (amino acids) can promote carcinogenic acrylamide formation. Plant-based foods like potatoes and cereal grains produce acrylamide at higher temperatures.
Also, some studies and tests in Hong Kong have claimed that air fryers increased acrylamide concentration in French fries, which led to cancer. But still, this isn’t a verified demonstration, as International Agency for Research on Cancer has stated that relying on air fryers has reduced the risk of high acrylamide in fried foods.
Air Fryer Cancer Warning – The Potential Risks of Using Air Fryers
Recent research clarifies that air fryer has reduced the potential risks of diseases because it produces a very minute quantity of compounds that can be linked with cancer. However, consuming excessive fried food regularly can cause serious health issues. With an air fryer, you can reduce the oil intake and more calories leading to obesity. You must pick one of the best air fryers to make french fries.
Why do air fryers have a cancer warning?
Some concerning points refer to the dangers of using the air fryer. Usually, a high temperature is required to cook food in an air fryer, circulating hot air around the food and leaving chemicals in the air. Also, the rapid production of carcinogens such as acrylamide and benzene can increase cancer risk.
Cooking in air fryers release toxic chemicals in the air where you breathe and in the food you eat, which is dangerous in both situations.
Cholesterol in our body carries fatty acids through the cell membrane and acts as a cushion to protect the cells from damage. Its oxidation results when oxygen and other chemicals react with it creating chemical compounds such as Cholesterol Oxidation Products.
These products maximize the inflammation in the body leading to atherosclerosis and other heart disorders. Though the connection of air fryers with cancer might be vague, higher temperatures can increase cholesterol oxidation and other health risks.
Can Air Fryers Be the Cause of Cancer? – Some Case Studies
According to studies conducted at the University of California, air fryers release harmful radiations that play a part in deteriorating human health. You may think ovens also release radiation; do they also cause cancer? Among two major types of radiation, ionizing and non-ionizing, the ionizing traditions directly damage DNA to cause cancer. In contrast, non-ionizing radiations are not so destructing and are released from microwaves.
So, an air fryer releases ionizing radiation, another claim in favor of its cancer-causing nature but still unverified to predict a direct link between the two.
A case study conducted by Hong Kong Consumer Association is based on experimenting with the risks of air fryers. They tested 12 popular air fryer brands and predicted that most units increased the acrylamide levels in the potatoes, which is highly carcinogenic. The EU standards have permitted that food must not contain acrylamide content of more than 500 micro-grams/kg. But in the experiments, the levels reached 7083 micro-grams/kg, which is 13 times higher than the permitted level.
Another experiment found that meat prepared in an air fryer contained exceeded levels of hetero-cyclic amines, which also increases cancer risk.
How to Avoid the Risk of Cancer While Using Air Fryers?
As there isn’t any definitive proof in favor of air fryers causing cancer, some case studies and experiments have provided a valid prediction of high cancer risk. Though there is the possibility of danger which you can avoid by following some careful measures, such as:
- Never cook meals in an air fryer at high temperatures, as it will increase the chance of releasing those harmful chemicals. Medium or low temperature is ideal for frying.
- An air fryer is a great kitchen tool to fry food without using oil, but you shouldn’t use it very often. The usage limit must not exceed three times a month.
- Make food properly by flipping and evenly because the improperly prepared meal will also release Advanced Glycation End Products, which are harmful.
- Do not cook food for so long that it starts to smell burnt.
- Invest in air fryers coated with stainless steel or ceramic rather than non-stick.
- It is not advised to preheat the air fryer for some safety concerns.
- Ensure the proper cleaning and maintenance of your appliance to avoid any build-up.
Air Fryer That Doesn’t Cause Cancer
The market is highly populated with best-selling air fryers with non-stick coatings containing PFAS that are problematic for health. Those misleading brands make it difficult to identify the non-toxic air fryers from the toxic ones. An air fryer rates as PFAS-free is safe for use. Similarly, PTFE, PFOA, and PFAS have serious health concerns. But is this issue with all air fryers? Or do air fryers cause cancer?
Here are some tactics to avoid purchasing an air fryer containing toxic chemicals from misleading marketers. First, you must avoid all PTFE, PFOA, and PFOS.
Many companies have replaced PFOA with GenX, which are damaging claims by EPA. You must buy an appliance that is PFOS-free, FDA-approved, PFOA-free, and very safe. Many small air fryers offer safe cooking to deliver healthy food.
Summarizing do air fryers cause cancer – you will find no clear evidence to give a definite verdict. However, there is some risk that might concern you, and to ensure the safety of your loved ones, you must follow all precautionary measures.
If you want to avoid any risk, it is better to use alternatives to air fryers, such as baking or grilling. But a low-temperature setting can help minimize all possible harm, even in the air fryer.