From the Inside Out?

Health Alert 109

Your habits in the kitchen could be making you older. Eating foods cooked at high temperatures can speed up your pace of aging and cause you to become susceptible to a host of chronic diseases.

Today, I’ll tell you how this is possible. I’ll also give you some useful pointers for regaining your youth and health through food.

* The Problem of Glycation *

Glycation is what happens to the proteins in our body as we age. Glycation is the binding of protein and glucose molecules. The result is a spoiled protein assembly. These deviants are glycotoxins. Glycotoxins cause accelerated aging and disease.

Glycation is the process that turns a turkey’s skin brown, crispy, wrinkled and dry when it is overcooked. Unfortunately the same thing happens to your cells when you eat foods cooked at very high heat.

Researchers at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine evaluated the effect of glycotoxins. They split volunteers into two groups. One group ate a diet low in glycotoxins. The other group at a diet high in glycotoxins.

After only 2 weeks, the group eating the high-glycotoxin diet had 100% more glycotoxins present in their blood and urine that those who ate the low-glycotoxin diet.1

These glycotoxins accumulate in our body. These abnormal protein structures do not regenerate. They cause inflammation, aging and disease.

Conditions associated with glycation include:

• Premature aging

• Alzheimer’s disease

• Diabetes

• Arthritis

• Heart disease

• Cancer

* Better Cooking *

You can reduce the number of glycotoxins in your food by cooking it at a lower heat. But low heat doesn’t have to be low in taste. Use spices and fresh herbs to boost the taste of meals cooked at lower heat. Whenever you cook food, use the following methods:

Another key to slowing glycation is moisture. Coincidentally, food usually tastes better when it is juicy. It’s a good idea to marinate any meat you eat. I’ve listed some of my favorite marinades.

• Olive oil

• Wine

• Garlic

• Vinegar

• Citrus Juice

• Crushed tomatoes

Remember to stay away from refined, prepackaged foods with preservatives. They often contain glycotoxins even before you cook them. Instead, choose fresh fruits and vegetables. Eat them raw or slow-cooked at low heat.

Al Sears MD

1 Vlassara H., et al. Inflammatory mediators are induced by dietary glycotoxins, a major risk factor for diabetic angiopathy. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2003 Jan 21; 100(2): 763.