AGEs stands for advanced glycation end products, which are harmful compounds that are created when protein or fat combines with the sugar in our blood. We make AGEs naturally in our bodies – but an excess is harmful and most of that comes from our diet.
The modern diet is thought to be partly to blame for increases in the incidence of many chronic diseases. If you regularly cook certain foods with dry heat and at a high temperature − such as frying, roasting and barbecuing − or eat large amounts of processed foods, your AGEs level is probably high.
Fortunately, your body is designed to get rid of AGEs, however when you consume too many your body can’t keep up with eliminating them, and they accumulate. This can have serious effects on your health.
Why are AGEs a problem?
AGEs increase oxidative stress, causing an imbalance in the body’s natural process of keeping itself healthy. In the long-term this can lead to inflammation and cell and tissue damage, contributing to an increased risk of a wide range of diseases.
Serious chronic conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, cancer, and some forms of dementia are more common in people with higher levels of AGEs in their body.
Reducing AGEs in your diet
Changing the way you cook is a good start, cooking food slowly and keeping it moist helps limit AGEs. A slow cooker is a useful (and tasty) way of cooking. Cooking high fat, high protein foods creates more AGEs than cooking low-fat plant-based foods, even at the same temperature.
Avoid foods which are high in AGEs, particularly high protein animal foods like meat and high fat dairy products. Margarine, oils, and nuts also produce high levels with heat. The highest level of AGEs is in processed foods (e.g. chips, crackers, and biscuits) due to the dry cooking methods as well as the ingredients.
Eating food that’s high in antioxidants not only reduces your overall intake of AGEs, but helps your body get rid of those that you take in from other sources. Following a healthy diet rich in fresh, raw fruit and vegetables; and whole grains and legumes, will reduce your intake of AGEs, improving your overall health in all kinds of ways!
Adam's Back is a team of dedicated complimentary health professionals. Our aim is to support you in finding drug-free solutions for better health.