LINK: Charred foods may pose diabetes risk

Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) have been directly linked to diabetes, so AGE awareness is diabetes awareness. And diabetes affects virtually the entire nation. You may not have the disease yourself, but chances are you know someone who does. And diabetes is a terrible, awful disease. Fortunately we’re learning more and more about diabetes every day–what causes it, and how to avoid it.

You may already know, for example, that diet plays a huge role in the cause and management of diabetes. What you may not know is that how you cook your food might be just as important as the kind of foods you eat.

In a new article by Mikel Theobald, and medically reviewed by Farrokh Sohrabi, MD, cooking techniques are put under the spotlight in an effort to

see the effects of charring and diabetes.

From the article:

A University of Illinois study found evidence that cooking methods using high temperatures, like grilling, frying, and broiling, are particularly risky because they produce “advanced glycation end products,” or AGEs, harmful compounds that may play a role in the development of diabetes-related complications.

Advanced glycation end products are sugar-derived substances produced naturally in small amounts by your body. They began forming when you were in the womb and continue accumulating as you age. When you have diabetes, you produce higher concentrations of AGEs because of the increased levels of glucose in your system.

AGEs are also produced in foods, especially those that are exposed to heat. Foods cooked at high temperatures are more likely to produce a higher amount of AGEs

Click here to read the full article as it appeared on

Theobald goes on to say AGEs “could provoke the tissue damage seen in complications of diabetes.” So what’s the answer? How can we minimize the risk? The article gives us these tasty tips:

  • Eat more fresh foods.
  • Cook at lower temperatures.
  • Cook using moist heat techniques: Steam, boil, poach, or stew foods.
  • Marinate foods in acidic liquids, such as lemon juice and vinegar, rather than sugary sauces, to reduce AGEs.
  • If you choose to use the grill, be sure to clean off any charred remains on the grilling rack before cooking.
  • Turn meat often, every 30 to 60 seconds, to avoid charring.
  • If a food does become charred or blackened, cut off those pieces before eating.
  • Choose thin, lean cuts of meat that require less cooking time.
  • Opt for fish instead of meat – fish cooks faster, leaving less time for AGEs to form.
  • Remove skin when cooking poultry because it chars easily.

What do you do to keep your AGE levels in check? Leave your comments!


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Copyright 2012 AGE Foundation.