Why are Deep Fried Foods So Bad for You?
By Sara Butler
Deep frying food is a common practice almost everywhere in the world. It’s an inexpensive and fast way to prepare foods, but it’s pretty universally acknowledged to be incredibly unhealthy. But how, exactly, is fried food so bad for your health? Let’s explore some of the ways fried foods can tank your health and what you can eat instead.
They Have a Lot of Calories
When you compare deep frying to other methods of cooking, it adds quite a few calories. That’s because fried foods normally are coated in flour or batter before they’re fried. Also, oil replaces the natural water in the foods as it’s cooked, absorbing the fat and sending the calorie count up.
Here’s an example: One regular baked potato contains about 90 calories and no fat. The same quantity of potato once fried as French fries contains 320 calories and 17 grams of fat. It’s pretty obvious that those calories quickly add up when a food a fried!
They’re Loaded with Trans Fats
Trans fats are formed when unsaturated fats experience hydrogenation. Hydrogenated fats increase stability and shelf life, which is why they’re often found in highly processed foods. Hydrogenation also transpires when oils are heated to high temperatures – like during the frying process.
Trans fats are tough for your body to break down and lead to harmful effects on your health, such as an increased risk for heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and some types of cancer.
Deep fried foods are prepared at very high temperatures in vegetable oil, which may have trans fats in them to start with. When that oil is heated, it increases the amount of trans fat. It’s a trans fat bomb!
Alternative Cooking Methods
Fried food may taste delicious, but it’s simply not worth it. If you enjoy fried foods, you can easily make them at home without frying them at all. You can do this by using different oils to cook your food, such as avocado oil or coconut oil. Olive oil is another good alternative. Avoid these oils for your health:
- Soybean oil
- Canola oil
- Sesame oil
- Corn oil
- Cottonseed oil
- Sunflower oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Rice bran oil
Instead of frying food, try these healthier preparations:
- Air-frying – Hot air fryers are very popular and for good reason, since they offer an alternative to deep frying that circulates hot air around foods to make it crispy.
- Oven-frying – Bake foods at a high temperature to get them crispy without the use of oil.
You don’t need to deep fry foods to enjoy them. Steer clear of them for your health!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Pasadena, Calif.