I’m back on track to why we should start eating a little more healthily! This week’s tip will focus on baking versus deep-frying, and why we should start getting more acustomed to baking, and will also teach you how to convert deep-frying time to baking time!
These are two articles I found on www.livestrong.com:
Making lifestyle changes that foster better health include becoming physically active, learning stress management techniques, smoking cessation and a healthy diet. Healthy diets include adding more fruits and vegetables to your daily consumption, switching from refined carbohydrates to whole grains, lowering salt intake, limiting alcohol consumption and lowering fat consumption. One of the best ways to lower fat consumption is to switch from deep fried foods to baked foods.
Advanced Glycation End Products
When foods are deep fried in oil, high temperatures cause starches to form Advanced Glycation End Products, or AGE’s. Most deep fried foods are coated in breading made of starch while the food being fried may itself be starch, like french fries. These starches meet with the high temperatures required to deep fry them, then react to form carcinogens. A study published by “Molecular Nutrition and Food Research” linked AGE’s to a variety of diseases, including diabetes. Further research is needed to determine just how harmful AGE’s truly are.
Partially Hydrogenated Oil
Most foods deep fried in restaurants are cooked in partially hydrogenated oil. Partially hydrogenated oils, or trans fats, are cheaper to produce, last longer without spoilage, and withstand high temperatures during cooking, making it a highly desirable staple for restaurants to utilize. However, according to Harvard School of Public Health, trans fats are responsible for an estimated 1 out of 5 heart attacks in the United States, cause inflammation, reduce the effectiveness of your immune system, promote obesity and have been linked to multiple chronic diseases, including stroke and diabetes.
Oil heated to the high temperatures associated with deep frying starchy foods produces yet another negative effect: oxidation. Oxidized oils are thought to cause many possible health problems including damage to the lungs, kidneys and heart. Palm oil in particular was studied in research published in “Plant Foods for Human Nutrition” in 1999 showed oxidized palm oil adversely affected plasma, free fatty acids and an increased risk of high blood pressure, arterial thrombosis and atherosclerosis. Researchers concluded that reducing oxidized oil in your diet would provide multiple health benefits.
Baking requires little or no oil. The oil that is necessary to deep fry food is well-absorbed by the breading or coating that normally covers deep fried foods. Each tablespoon of oil adds 120 calories and 14 g of fat to your food, and deep frying has to be done at high temperatures which excludes the use of healthy monounsaturated fats like olive oil. Compare the nutritional information of a popular fast food restaurant’s chicken legs. Grilled chicken legs have 60 calories, 3 g of fat, while fried chicken legs have 130 calories, 8 g of fat.
There are many healthy cooking options besides baking or deep frying, but when given the choice, baking is much healthier. Other good-for-you options include foods that are steamed, pan fried with non-stick spray, roasted or grilled. If deep fried foods are a favorite, eat them as an occasional treat, not every day. Avoid trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils. Speak to your doctor about your nutritional needs before you make changes to your diet.
Deep-fried foods are higher in calories than their baked counterparts, making fried foods a contributor to problems concerning weight management, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and some kinds of cancer. Switching deep fried foods out of your diet in favor of baked foods, more fruits and vegetables, high-fiber foods and less processed foods can help you look and feel better. There is no equation to convert frying times into baking times. Each food has its own cooking requirements, depending on its density, size and moisture content.
Deep-frying is a common alternative to baking turkeys and chickens, which sometimes produces a dry bird. An 8- to 12-pound turkey takes about three hours to reach its safe internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Deep-frying the same sized bird could take as little as 24 minutes. Both methods require the bird to sit for about 20 minutes before you begin carving. Using a deep fryer necessitates constant monitoring for safety and to confirm the temperature stays at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, while baking allows you more freedom in the kitchen in addition to a healthier meal.
Potatoes have been America’s favorite deep-fried snack food for over 50 years, according to Northern Plains Potato Growers Association. Switching from potato chips or french fries, to a lower-fat baked potato can be part of a healthier overall diet. Deep-frying potatoes for french fries can be a messy process, but each batch of fries takes about six to eight minutes, cooking in oil preheated to 325 degrees Fahrenheit for the first three to four minutes, and 375 degrees for the last three to four minutes. You can bake fries in a 400- to 450-degree-Fahrenheit oven in 25 to 45 minutes, turning them at least once during their baking time.
Food is cooked in one of five ways: conduction, radiation, excitation, induction and convection. Oven-cooking and deep-frying are both forms of convection cooking, meaning heat is carried to the food by another source. In the case of deep-frying food, the convection’s source is the hot oil. In the oven, on the other hand, the convection’s source is the hot air. Oil is significantly denser than air, making deep-frying a much faster form of convection cooking than oven-baking.
Since oven-baking works by using heated air, many dishes tend to dry out during baking. Marinating meats or dredging food first in egg whites then in a bread crumb or crunchy cereal can help seal in moisture during baking. Also, baking at higher temperatures for less time can produce a roasted food, which works well for potatoes and other vegetables after lightly coating them with cooking spray. If lower-fat recipes sound tasteless, add zest to your baked foods with extra seasonings before and after cooking.