02 July 2012

During fair and carnival season opt for fresh or baked over deep fried

Fried foods are delicious. I'm not going to lie. In fact, I just ate a fried pakora or two dipped in cool mint chutney at my favorite Indian restaurant yesterday.

But we really need to think about what we are putting in our precious bodies when we consume these oil-laden foods. Of course, oil is one of them and oil bursts with calories due to its high fat content. Among these fats are usually saturated fats, which provoke our livers to produce LDL ("bad" or low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol and clog up our arteries.

Trans-fats can also found in fried foods. These fats are considered worse than the saturated kind since they do double damage; they raise our LDL cholesterol while lowering our HDL (or "good") cholesterol.

On top of all this damage, we are also risking the fate of our waistlines with those fried calorie bombs.

Suddenly, I've lost my craving for pakoras and onion rings.

But don't worry; if you ever feel deprived of the fried stuff, turn to baking. You can take your desired food, batter it up, coat it in whole wheat breadcrumbs, and bake it until crispy. The end result will resemble a lot like fried food except you won't get oily fingertips while eating it!

If you love onion rings, I highly suggest you check out Isa Chandra Moskowitz's baked version. They're delicious (I reviewed the recipe and placed it on my blog, as well).

I personally think that the only reason why crowded places like fairs, for instance, do not bake foods instead is because frying them takes less time. And time, as we all know it, is money. I doubt the staff people who give out churros and French fries would be up for controlling a huge line of irritated, hungry people anyway.

When at the fair, or any similar public outing, opt for a small bag of kettle corn, fresh fruit, or (if they have it) dairy-free ice cream. Or, if you do want some fried food, share it with your group of friends so that the calories are shared within reason. Indulge but know and respect your limits.

So do yourself a favor and limit fried foods from your diet. Everything from your heart to your arteries, from your waistline to your complexion will be very happy.

Joanna Tenderro | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Google+
San Diego, CA Born and raised in San Diego, CA, Joanna has been vegan since mid-2010 and is passionate about nutrition, animal rights, eco-friendly living, and yoga. She's studying to major in the field of nutrition to counsel and educate those around her about living and eating healthy... the vegan way.

Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/cuttlefish