Onion is a bulb-vegetable commonly used in recipes all over the world. From classic and exquisite dishes to appetizers in fast food chains, it plays an important role in our eating habits. Usually, onion is preferred as a side dish in the form of onion rings. The rings are battered or dipped in breadcrumbs and then deep-fried. However, you have to bear in mind that there are healthier ways to make onion rings. For instance, you can bake them instead of deep frying them, or you can eat gluten free onion rings. The choice is really yours. No matter how you like to eat your onion rings, onions have some healthy benefits that few people are aware of.
Health Benefits of Onions
Moderate amounts of onion can be beneficial for your heart. The sulfur in onion prevents clotting of blood vessels. It also lowers cholesterol level and prevent heart attacks. It also reduces blood sugar and keeps it at healthy levels. Still, those findings are based of overall diet containing abundant consumption of vegetables and fruits.
- Bone and connective tissue also benefit from onion consumption on a regular basis. This vegetable increases the density of bones, which makes it a must in the menu of women who are going through menopause.
- Onion relieves chronic inflammation. Onion has a unique molecule that is found in its bulb. Its activity is similar to that of a macrophage, a specialized blood cell that actively participates in the defense of the immune system.
- The layered vegetable prevents cancer. It is beneficial for lowering the risk of several types of cancer such as cancers of the ovarian, laryngeal, colorectal and prostate. The risk of these types of cancer is significantly decreased if a person eats a moderate amount of onion.
Onions benefits sleep and mood. Folate, a component found in onion, can prevent mood disorders such as depression. It is also beneficial for healthy sleep and normal appetite.
- Onion also possesses vitamin C, a vitamin vital for healthy hair and skin.
But What If You Eat Deep-fried Onions?
Calories intake may get out of control. Frying can multiply the amount of calories many more times than you care to imagine. Deep-frying also depletes onions of its minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Deep-fried onion rings may be tasty but they are usually nothing more than fats and calories. Excess fats leads to obesity, which brings on other serious illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, bone disease, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, body pain and some types of cancers.
- The use of hydrogenated vegetable oil for deep frying is extremely unhealthy. It adds trans fat which increases cholesterol levels. High cholesterol levels may lead to heart diseases and strokes. Moreover, fast food chains and joints use their oil over and over again which can be extremely harmful for your health. Overused oil starts to form toxic compounds which leads to health conditions such as glucose intolerance, protein malfunction and high cholesterol.
- Deep frying releases chemicals that are responsible for cell mutation which could lead to cancer. A diet based solely on fried food can lead to inflammatory conditions of the lungs and various types of cancer, including breast and pancreas cancers.
- Deep frying destroys nutrients. The only things that are left in deep fried food are fats and empty calories. Avoid eating vegetables that have been deep fried (such as onion rings) and enrich your menu with healthy, raw veggies.
Although onion itself is healthy, avoid eating it deep fried. Although onion rings are great appetizers, try to resist the temptation. The process of deep frying depletes all healthy benefits in the onion. Calories in onion rings can reach staggering levels. The only benefit left in onion rings is the great taste but that is not worth the harmful side effects that they may bring to your health.
Still it is a mystery how greasy, deep-fried food can have so many fans around the world. Though deep-fried food are extremely tasty and go well with beer, but try to avoid eating onion rings. Try a healthier option instead. A healthy substitute for onion rings is rice pilaf because it is low on calories and fat and has plenty of vitamin C. Fried calamari is also a good alternative. It contains 150 calories, 15 grams of protein and only 6 grams of fat per portion. It has 6 grams of carbohydrates and plenty of zing and vitamins from the B group. If you cannot live without onion rings, try to make them at home. There are plenty of healthy recipes for onion rings such as baking them instead of deep-frying them. Take a look at the nutritional differences between deep-fried onion rings and baked onion rings below. You definitely realize which is the healthier option.
Onion Rings Nutrition Facts
|Serving size: 1 portion||Calories||Fat||Carbs||Protein|
|Breaded and fried onion rings||276||15.5g||31.3g||3.7g|
|Baked onion rings||168||1.6g||30.3g||8.4g|