Deep fried or battered food may taste good to some of us but it is impossible to ignore the fact that they can contain a staggering amount of fat and not only do fried foods spell DISASTER for any weight loss plan but also they are also absolutely terrible for our health.
Most restaurants cook their chips by deep-frying them in oil, even high-end restaurants, and almost every fast food restaurant will cook the majority of their menu in oil containing saturated fat.
Although these foods may be yummy – think chips, fish, chicken, spring rolls and tempura, they are most definitely not good for you.
Why is it bad for you?
Deep fried foods are bad for you for two reasons – one, eating too many of them can cause numerous health conditions, and two; they are full of calories from the fat that they absorb, meaning that eating them can most definitely thwart your weight loss efforts.
Many deep fried foods are also battered, and this batter absorbs more of the fat from the oil than foods without this batter would – but don’t make the mistake of thinking that breaded deep fried foods are better for you. In fact, breaded fried food can absorb around 5 times as much fat as battered fried food.
Most restaurants (and home cooks) tend to deep fry food in oils that contain saturated fats, and it is this saturated fat that can cause some rather serious health problems. A diet that includes lots of saturated fat puts you at a high risk of heart disease and can really increase your cholesterol levels.
Eating too much saturated fat can also increase your risk of developing certain types of cancers, as well as various cardiovascular disorders. Eating large amounts of this type of fat also puts you at risk of massive weight gain, which in itself can cause numerous problems including strain on the heart and strain on your bones and muscles.
To save even more fat and calories, you don’t have to use oil in your cooking at all – you just need to come up with new ways to cook your favourite foods.
One of the easiest ways to get all of the flavour of the food you enjoy but without the fat or calorie content is to cook it in the oven instead. As an example, deep fried chips and fried chicken can have a whopping 730 calories and 42g of fat for a 180g serving of chips and 3 chicken strips, whereas homemade chips and breaded chicken cooked in the oven has 500 calories and around 10g of fat for a 180g serving of chips and a medium portion of chicken.
Here’s how to prepare it at home.
Chicken & Chips (low fat version)
- 4 baking potatoes
- Oil spray
- Salt, pepper and paprika
- 4 chicken breasts
- 4 tbsp. wholemeal plain flour
- 2 eggs
- 200g dried wholemeal breadcrumbs with garlic and herb, if you can’t find garlic and herb just use plain
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tsp. each of paprika, mixed dried herbs and chilli powder
Method of Preparation:
- To prepare the chips, cut the baking potatoes into chunky rectangular chips. Put them into a pan of cold water, bring the pan to the boil then simmer them for 5-7 minutes. Drain and leave to air dry for a few minutes, then spritz with oil spray and sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika and spread on a baking tray. Cook at 180C for 35-40 minutes until crisp and golden, turning halfway through cooking.
- To prepare the chicken, slice the chicken into thin slices. Beat the eggs and pour them into a shallow dish. Place the flour in another shallow dish, then mix the breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, paprika, herbs and chilli powder in another.
- Dip the chicken first into the flour, dusting off excess, then into the eggs, then into the breadcrumbs, again dusting off the excess. Place the chicken onto a baking tray. Cook under a high grill for two minutes on each side, or until cooked through, or in a 220C oven for 10-12 minutes until cooked through.
- Serve with ketchup or BBQ sauce.
Healthy eating plans and healthy cooking is all about being clever and creative with your cooking methods – you don’t have to sacrifice flavour at all. Instead, try to think of another way to prepare or cook your food that will save you calories and fat.
And for an eating plan which takes the hard work out of it for you see our 28 Day Diet & Exercise Plan