HOW CAN YOU MANAGE AGE LEVELS?
We all have AGEs in our bodies. They are a normal part of metabolism and will always be present. It’s only when AGE levels accumulate to unhealthy levels that they become a danger.
Fortunately, many of the factors that contribute to unhealthy AGE levels are largely under your control. Good habits you can incorporate into your lifestyle include:
Eat a healthy diet.
AGEs form inside the body, but they can also be consumed through food. Get to know what foods are both high and low in AGEs and modify your diet accordingly.
Foods that are high in AGEs that should be avoided or limited include:
- Sugary foods such as candy, cookies, cakes, soda, and pastries
- Processed foods, including packaged meats and cheese
- High-fat (especially red) meats
- Fat, including butter, margarine, and oil
- Fried foods
Foods that are low in AGEs that should make up the majority of your diet include:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Low-fat breads
- Vegetarian burgers
Prepare your foods in AGE-less ways.
The way you prepare your food is also important. Browning foods by grilling, frying, broiling, or sauteing actually creates even more AGEs.
You can minimize AGEs when cooking by:
- Using a slow-cooker
- Cooking foods in water through boiling, steaming, or poaching
- Marinating foods in acidic or citrus-based sauces
If you don’t want to give up grilling, you can still limit AGEs by grilling low-AGE foods such as vegetables or sandwiches instead of foods that are already high in AGEs, like meats.
Regular exercise helps combat AGEs in a number of ways:
- Lowers body fat. People who are overweight or obese tend to have higher levels of AGEs.
- Burns excess sugar. Exercise burns sugar in the blood, which helps prevent the formation of AGEs.
- Minimizes the risk of developing conditions associated with high AGEs, particularly diabetes.
The Center for Disease Control recommends at least 150 minutes of exercise a week. This may seem like a lot, but it’s very manageable when broken into smaller chunks. For example, a 15-minute walk in the morning and again in the evening just 5 days a week is enough to help control AGEs.
Get recommended amounts of sleep.
The body does much of its tissue growth and repair during the deepest levels of sleep. It also contributes to a healthy immune system, which allows the body to better defend itself against AGE accumulation. Lack of sleep deprives the body’s ability to fend off AGEs, so it’s important to get recommended amounts of sleep each night.
Treat preexisting conditions.
Certain preexisting conditions tend to result in higher AGE levels. A few of these include diabetes, overweight or obesity, kidney problems, or high blood pressure. Working with a doctor to help you get preexisting conditions under control can help you better manage your AGEs.