It goes without saying that fried foods are popular in the United States. While they might appease the taste buds, fried foods are not exactly known for their nutritional value. This fact rings especially true when such foods are compared against their baked counterparts. Listed below are some of the reasons why you should consider opting for baked offerings over fried items.
Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs): That’s a mouthful, isn’t it? In short, AGEs are effectively a byproduct of the deep frying cooking process. The majority of fried foods feature large amounts of starch, either in the food itself or in the breading surrounding it. When these starches are exposed to hot oil, they form AGEs as a result. According to some research, consumption of AGEs could increase your risk of diabetes and other diseases.
Partially Hydrogenated Oil: You might have heard of this strange-sounding oil before. Partially hydrogenated oil is created when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil, resulting in a product with a longer shelf life in grocery stores. It’s also found in many types of fried foods.
While partially hydrogenated oils might benefit supermarkets and food producers, the Harvard School of Public Health notes that they can be quite harmful to the body. These oils, along with other trans fats, are believed to be responsible for about twenty percent of heart attacks in the United States. If that isn’t bad enough, this common food ingredient is also associated with obesity, weakened immune systems and greater risk of both stroke and diabetes.
Weight Problems: Oils are required to deep fry foods. Unfortunately, all that oil makes a bee line into the breading covering the food being cooked, eventually finding its way into your stomach. That’s not good news for your health – there are 120 calories and 14 grams of fat in each tablespoon of these oils.
Oxidized Oil: There’s yet another problem with deep frying food; when subjected to high temperatures, the oils used in deep frying quickly become oxidized. In turn, consuming oxidized oil can lead to serious medical issues involving the kidneys, lungs and heart.