Published on April 01, 2014

How to protect yourself from the AGEs

Man Eating VegetablesHave you ever heard of Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs)?  Maybe you’ve read about the negative affects of charcoal grilling? You may have read about the need to cut down on the consumption of red meat, processed foods and excess sugars.  Well it turns out that all of these things are related and can accelerate the aging process both inside and on the outside of our bodies!
 
AGE’s can accumulate in the body as people age contributing to inflammation resulting in chronic disease. They may be linked to Alzheimer’s, Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and contribute to an increase in the risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. AGEs are harmful compounds found within the body and in food. They are also created from cooking foods at high temperatures.
 
So, what do we need to do to protect ourselves? Be mindful of the foods you choose, and also pay attention to how your food is cooked. Remember, we do have control over what we eat and our dietary choices make a difference in the quality of our daily life. Follow the guidelines below and enjoy the pleasures of healthy eating!

Foods High in AGEs:

  • Sugary items such as candy, cookies, cakes, soda and pastries
  • Processed foods including packaged meats (hot dogs, chicken nuggets) and cheeses
  • High-fat (especially red) meats
  • Fats, including butter, margarine and oil
  • Fried foods

Foods Low in AGEs:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Seafood
  • Whole grains
  • Low-fat breads
  • Pasta
  • Vegetarian Burgers

Cooking Methods:

  • Use a slow cooker
  • Cook foods in water through boiling, steaming, or poaching
  • Marinate food in flavored vinegars and citrus juices with fresh herbs and spices.

Healthful Lifestyle Changes:

  • Get 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night
  • Exercise 150 minutes per week
  • Treat pre-existing conditions such as obesity and high blood pressure
Sources:
AGE FOUNDATION
J Am Diet Assoc., June 2010
Today’s Dietitian, March 2014