Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Advanced Glycation End Products
Modifying Cooking Methods
The most effective way to reduce intake of foods high in AGEs is to modify cooking methods. In a study published in the June 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Uribarri and colleagues developed a guide to AGE dietary reduction. The researchers found a link between heat-processed foods and AGEs. They compared different types of cooking methods and found that dry heat promoted AGE formation by more than 10- to 100-fold above uncooked foods in all food categories. Meats high in protein and fat were likely to form AGEs during cooking, while carbohydrate-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains maintained low AGE levels after cooking. Foods cooked with moist heat, shorter cooking times and lower temperatures, and acidic ingredients such as vinegar or lemon juice produced the least amount of AGEs.
A Danish study published in the January issue of Diabetes Care showed that overweight women who ate foods cooked at high temperatures had much higher biological markers of insulin resistance compared with those who ate foods prepared by boiling or steaming.
Pat Baird, MA, RD, FADA, a member of the advisory board of the AGE Foundation, an organization committed to educating the public about the harmful effects of AGEs, is optimistic about sharing the benefits of a low-AGE diet. "We produce AGEs in our body, and we're also ingesting them. The good news is we can adjust it," she says, adding that preparing foods in a slow cooker is another good option.
Despite these recommendations, Baird knows that people will continue to grill their food, so she encourages them to do so less frequently. When they do grill, however, she suggests they use an acid-based marinade that contains lemon or other citrus fruit juices, or vinegar. Not only does the acidity reduce AGE levels, "it enhances the flavor of food and enhances the flavor of the spices," she says. "The indication is color."
Whether on the grill, in a skillet, or in the oven, browning or charring foods is an indication that AGEs are present. Baird also suggests cooking foods with medium heat for an extra minute or two instead of using high heat.
Because it can be a challenge for people to eat fewer convenience foods, such as packaged snacks and ready-to-eat meals, Baird says using slow cookers can help, especially in families that often are short on time. But the benefits go beyond time-saving convenience. According to Baird, less oil is needed in slow cookers, more nutrients are retained compared with many other cooking methods, and recipes tend to include more vegetables.
In fact, eating more vegetables and fruits is another way to reduce AGE consumption. Baird stresses the importance of dietary phytonutrients, which are found in the pigments of various colorful fruits and vegetables. One type of phytonutrient in particular, called iridoids, which are found in deeply colored blueberries, cranberries, and noni fruit, can lower AGEs in the body, she says.