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Why is baking a healthier cooking option than frying?

Did you know that baking foods can cut down on your intake of fats and calories?

Eating healthy is not only restricted to adding fruits and vegetables to your diet but it also depends a lot on the method of cooking. If you are watching your weight or are suffering from blood pressure or diabetes, steer clear of dishes which are deep-fried. You can switch to baking instead, to make the dishes healthier for you and your family. Besides breads and desserts, you can bake seafood, poultry, lean meat and vegetables.

Here are reasons why frying isn't a good option:

Deep-fried food can lead to heart diseases and cancer

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French fries, samosas and onion rings offer little or no nutrition while putting you at a higher risk of health conditions. This is because when you deep fry foods in oil, the high temperature involved in cooking them causes the starch in the food to convert to carcinogens (cancer-causing substances). Exposure to high levels of these carcinogens can lead to heart diseases and cancer. On the other hand, baking requires little or no added oil, thus does not cause any reaction in foods, making them healthier.

Can cause damage to heart, kidneys and lungs

Heating oil at high temperatures and deep frying it with starchy foods can lead to oxidation of oils. The oxidised oils can cause many possible health problems including damage to the heart, kidney and lungs. Consuming oxidised oils can also lead to the increased risk of high blood pressure and atherosclerosis. As baking requires no addition of oils, it does not cause any oxidation. Also read about the right way of using cooking oils.

Promotes obesity, stroke and diabetes

Many deep fried foods, such as the ones found in restaurants and packaged ones, are cooked in partially hydrogenated oils to increase the shelf life of the foods. Consuming these oils can reduce the effectiveness of your immune system and promote obesity, stroke and diabetes.

Calories

Frying is a method where the food is submerged in oil at a high temperature. Oil is a saturated fat and is therefore, high in calories. The addition of oil in frying adds to the calorie count of the food. However, baking does not add any additional calories and fats to the foods you cook and is thus, always preferred over frying. To give you an insight, here are the calorie counts of some baked and fried dishes.

Item

Fried

Baking

Samosa1 piece = 245.9 cal1 piece = 53.1 cal
Chakli1 piece = 133 cal1 piece = 37.4 cal
Chicken1 piece = 145.2 cal1 piece = 59.9 cal

How to bake

  • For baking, marinade with herbs or spices.
  • Place your food in a pan or a dish surrounded by the hot, dry air of your oven.
  • You may cook the food covered or uncovered.
  • Bake the food with little or no oil as baking generally doesn't require that you add any oil or fat to the food.

Tips

  • The oil you choose can make a difference as well. Opt for healthy oils such as olive oil, coconut oil or ghee to boost your intake of vitamin E and healthy fats. Also read 13 cooking hacks to make your foods healthier.
  • Using marinades and herbs can add a healthier twist while providing you with the added flavour and tenderness.
  • If you are baking your food, then add a little water to the bottom of your pan to avoid the smoke being produced at high temperatures.
  • To preserve the nutritional value of the foods, bake foods at lower temperatures, although this will increase the cooking time.
  • If you still can t avoid deep fried foods, eat them in small amounts and pair them with healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables that are low in calories.

Image source: Getty Images


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