While most people would assume that grilled chicken or fish are probably some of the healthiest foods one can eat, it turns out that both register a whopping amount of advanced glycation end products or AGEs. These are specific compounds that are formed in response to cooking at high temperatures and with little moisture.
AGEs are very detrimental to our health as they damage the proteins in our tissues, leading to premature ageing and loss of functionality – meaning your tissues can no longer perform their regular activities.
As well as AGEs, cooking at high temperatures also creates mutagens which damage our DNA and increase the risk of cancer.
Diabetics need to pay particular attention to cooking methods as high blood sugar levels already create glycation reactions that damage protein structure.
Swap deep frying, roasting, grilling, searing and BBQing with steaming, poaching, boiling, stewing and even micro-waving.
Increase your intake of cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cabbage, kale and brussel sprouts as they contain high amounts of a compound called indole-3-carbinol that has been shown to have anti-mutagenic properties in animal studies.
Add lemon juice, olive oil and rosemary to your meat and fish marinades before cooking as the antioxidants in these compounds have been shown to decrease the formation of AGEs.
Uribarri, J, 2010. Advanced Glycation End Products in Foods and a Practical Guide to Their Reduction in the Diet. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, June 110 (6) , 911-16.
Basta, G, 2004. Advanced glycation end products and vascular inflammation: implications for accelerated atherosclerosis in diabetes. Cardiovascular Research, Sep 1; 63 (4), 582-92.
Grubbs , CJ, 1995. Chemoprevention of chemically-induced mammary carcinogenesis by indole-3-carbinol. Anticancer research, May-June; 15 (3), 709-16.