When a person is diagnosed with diabetes, their diet must change drastically. They must reduce or completely eliminate all sugar intake and thoroughly limit their carbs as well. A new study from the University of Illinois now shows that they must be careful about the temperature that their food is cooked at as well. Grilling, frying, or broiling all activate AGEs (advanced glycation end products) which can have serious side effects for patients with diabetes.
AGEs are naturally produced in your body in very small amounts. You start producing them from birth. When a person has high levels of sugar in their body they begin to produce higher levels of AGEs. Many foods that cook at high temperatures release these AGEs causing more to enter the body when you eat. They are responsible for the char marks on a grilled steak or the crispy edges of a freshly cooked brownie. Vegetables are low in AGEs and do not produce more when they are cooked. Foods that are pasteurized at high temperatures also contain AGEs.
According to Claudia Luevano-Contreras PhD with University of Illinois, AGEs can provoke tissue damage that is seen in patients with diabetes. A higher intake of AGEs can lead to inflammation and oxidation. This type of inflammation is the root cause of many chronic diseases.
A large health threat to those with diabetes is atherosclerosis, which is the build-up of plaque in the arteries. The higher the amount of AGEs in the body, the worse the atherosclerosis becomes. AGEs can cause reduced elasticity of blood vessels, build-up of plaque, and stiffening of the arteries. All of these will increase the chance of a cardiovascular disease or heart attack.
To reduce the risk of any of these side effects, the amount of AGEs should be monitored. To lower the intake raw foods should be eaten, foods cooked at a lower temperature, marinate foods that are being cooked in less sugary liquids such as vinegar or lemon juice, and use moist cooking techniques such as stewing or boiling.