Following on from our article ‘What are AGEs’, we are now going to look at how you can reduce the amount of AGEs in your diet.
For those of you that missed our original article, AGEs, short for Advanced Glycation End-products, are the things that make fatty, sugary and unhealthy food so tasty and appealing to our primal insticts. The problem is that AGEs themselves are very toxic, and cause the body a lot of damage, especially when consumed in large amounts.
This is becoming a great concern, as the convenience of modern day life makes heavily processed, fatty and sugary foods easily accessible – meaning we are now consuming more AGEs then we can manage.
AGEs are basically oxidants, and have the ability to also turn animal fats into oxidants. This is bad because oxidants negative affect every cell in the body, and cause corrosion associated with inflammation, ageing, and a whole myriad of diseases. To make things worse, the body is not very good at fighting them.
Unfortunately AGEs are a fact of life, pretty much everything contains them to one degree or another. However, just because they cannot be avoided doesn’t mean the amount within your body cannot be reduced. Through smart dietary decisions, it is possible to curb consumption, and keep the body much, much healthier.
With this in mind, here are our tips to reducing the amount of AGEs in your life:
Cook with Water
Cooking with water has been shown to drastically reduce the amount of AGEs within our foods. Things like poaching, boiling, stewing and steaming all work to keep the amount of AGEs low. The most potent weapon in your water based arsenal is the slow-cooker. Slow-cookers can reduce the potential AGE content of a meal by 80%!
Get a Blood Test
Although not routine at a standard health check-up, AGEs are very simple to measure with a simple blood test. Next time you see your doctor ask about AGEs, and discuss whether your levels are too high.
Eat Lots of Fresh, Colourful Fruit and Vegetables
Fresh fruit and vegetables are packed full of antioxidants that help fight AGEs and protect the body in a way that the body itself is incapable of doing efficiently. This is one of the reasons it is so important to get fresh fruit and vegetables every day. If you don’t have the time to cook with them, try adding a couple of our freshly pressed Uzuma juice to your daily routine – it is full of the good stuff.
Marinade Your Meat
Meat is a large source of AGEs, especially when cooked as is over a dry-heat. Covering your meat in an acid-based marinade before you cook it can help prevent this, and has been shown to reduce the potential AGE content by up to 50%.
Don’t Eat Heavily Processed, Sugary or Fatty Foods
These are the main source of AGEs in the modern diet, so it makes sense that by avoiding them, you avoid AGEs. The closer your food is to its original state (not factory processed), the less AGEs there are going to be.
Considering the amount of chemicals in a cigarette, it probably comes as no surprise that smoking dramatically increases AGE levels.
Don’t Cook Meat at High Temperatures
When it comes to meat, moderation is best; but it is important to make sure that the meat you do eat is not cooked at high temperatures, as this will push AGE levels through the roof.
Don’t Get Stressed
Constant stress is known to lower the body’s ability to fight off oxidants. For this reason, stress is a big enemy in the fight against AGEs.
With these few tips in hand you can hopefully go some way to reduce your AGE intake. It can make all the difference to your health, and with knowledge in hand, you can make conscious decisions about your lifestyle. Good luck!