When it comes to health, many people are aware of the major dos and don’ts of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and diet. However, they tend to only focus on their cholesterol, blood pressure, and body mass index (BMI), and overlook another key medical marker: Advanced Glycation Endproducts (AGEs). If ignored, AGEs can also lead to significant damage to an individual’s health over time.
AGEs are harmful compounds that develop in the body or are ingested through certain foods, including browned, sugary, and processed foods. When too many of these foods are consumed, higher than normal levels of AGEs develop and build up in the tissues. This accumulation can damage the organs and body systems and accelerate the aging process from the inside out.
It is important for people to limit the amount of barbecued, sauteed, or even toasted food,said Michelle Davenport, Ph.D., board member, A.G.E. Foundation. “We’ve found that when we cook at higher temperatures, more AGEs form in the food — so our recommendation is to cook your meat at a low temperature for a longer period of time.”
According to the A.G.E. Foundation, the key to lowering AGEs is to reduce heat, extend cooking time and incorporate more water and acid into your food preparation. Water-based cooking methods (i.e., steaming, poaching) dramatically reduce AGEs. “Adding a marinade in the form of lemon, lime or vinegar can cut AGEs by 50 percent,” said Dr. Davenport.
Brightly colored fruits and vegetables and whole grains, which are low in AGEs, are also recommended. Fruits and vegetables like noni, blueberries, olives and cornelian cherries are particularly beneficial, and contain natural elements called iridoids, which can lower a person’s AGE levels.
About the A.G.E. Foundation Founded in 2012, the A.G.E. Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing consumer awareness about Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs), which are harmful compounds in the body linked to aging. The A.G.E. Foundation’s mission is to establish AGEs as a viable health marker, drive conversation about their link to virtually every serious health concern we face today, and provide solutions. It accomplishes this using ongoing research, clinical studies and various public awareness campaigns. www.AGEFoundation.com