Karen Chapman-Novakofski and colleagues compared the 10-day food intake of 65 study participants in two ethnic groups: Mexicans (who have higher rates of diabetes and a greater risk of complications from the disease) and non-Hispanic whites. The team found that subjects with higher rates of cardiovascular complications ate more of AGEs: for each unit increase in AGEs intake, a study participant was 3.7 times more likely to have moderate to high risk for cardiovascular disease. Urging that diabetics should eat less saturated fat and more fruits, vegetables, and fiber, the researchers submit that their data shows that the method of food preparation may as important a factor.
To achieve a lower AGE diet, try the following:
- Reduce the cooking temperature of meats and proteins. Steam fish and seafood, simmer chicken in a sauce and braise red meat in a cooking liquid.
- Limit the amount of grilled, broiled, fried and microwaved meats in your diet.
- Cut down on processed foods. Many prepared foods have been exposed to a high cooking temperature to lengthen shelf life, so they may have high AGE contents.
- Get more fruits and veggies in your diet. Cooked or raw, fruits and vegetables are naturally low in AGEs, and many contain compounds such as antioxidants that can decrease some of the damage done by AGEs.