Are you a deep-fried junkie? Many Asian countries have made deep-fried snacks as much part of the culture as rice. It’s become a culturally engrained habit and everywhere you look you’re surrounded by deep-friend food. You want to eat healthy, and you know it isn’t good for you, but it sure is yummy! So today, let’s explore the issues with deep-fried foods and how to curb your fix.
Here’s the issue with deep-fried foods
That crispy, golden outside with a soft inside just tastes so good! Yes, we agree, it is hard to skip a quick snack of pisang goreng with their sweet, fatty deliciousness. We are all human, but it comes down to choice. You know the expectation is that you should choose the fresh banana, but the reality is – well, we all know the reality (as we wipe our greasy hands on our napkins) is that these easy fried options surround us, making it a test of will power.
Many hawker centers, street vendors, warungs and restaurants use trans fats for deep frying. Since a lot of the foods being deep fried are coated in large amounts of batter and oil they absorb a lot of this unhealthy fat. And, of course, a higher fat content generally means more calories! So, you end up consuming unhealthy fats AND more calories than you realise. This can lead not only to weight gain, but to health issues. Good deep-frying techniques require very high temperatures, which can potentially denature a lot of the beneficial nutrients. Conversely, if the temperature of the frying fat is too low your food tends to absorb a lot more of the fat. No win either way!
How to cut back on the deep-fried snack habit!
Ok, so you get the idea we would love for you to choose the healthy option each and every time, but we live in the real world too. We understand that this expectation will not always win over the reality. Especially as choosing the non-deep fried option is almost cultural blasphemy, and not always as readily available. As long as your overall diet is a balance of low GI carbohydrates, quality proteins and healthy fats (generally high in omega fats and low in saturated and trans fat), indulging in deep-fried food *occasionally* is not the end of the world.