If you’ve been considering an air fryer, this news just might help you pull the trigger.
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Credit: Photo: Greg Dupree

It’s no secret that regularly consuming fried foods can affect your health and waistline, but a team of chemists in the United Kingdom has made a startling discovery proving that fried food can also affect the climate.

The team’s study, published in Nature Communications, showed that fat particles are released into the air after frying, and that cooking fat makes up more than 10 percent of air particles in large cities such as London. The research also found that these fat particles could have a direct influence on the formation of clouds and rain molecules.

So, what does that mean? Well, one of the researchers likened the airborne fat particles to “soap in water”, meaning the particles released during frying can affect whether rain and clouds are denser or fundamentally different than they should be.

Though the team’s results were obtained in a lab, they plan to test their findings outside in the environment to determine what cooking fats are “doing to the world around us.”

“We’re not saying that becoming a healthier eater could have an impact on climate, but fat does seem to encourage cloud formation,” Dr. Christian Prfrang, an atmospheric chemistry professor at the University of Reading, told The Telegraph.

Credit: Photo: Courtesy of Williams Sonoma

If you’re deadset on enjoying fried foods, an air fryer can achieve the same consistency (minus the large amount of oil used in a traditional fryer.) And we bet air fryers aren’t nearly as damaging to the environment or the air quality in your own home.