Fried, Grilled, Baked Foods May Up Diabetes Risk; Researchers Suggest Steaming, Poaching and Stewing for Better Health

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Changing the way you cook could help reduce your risk of getting type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests.

Boiling, steaming and poaching look like the safest way to go, researchers say.

When you fry, grill or bake foods — also called dry-heat cooking — foods produce substances called advanced glycation end products (AGEs).

Higher levels of AGEs have been linked to insulin resistance, stress on the body’s cells and inflammation, according to the study authors. These are troublemakers in terms of diabetes risk.

Insulin is a hormone that helps blood sugar from food get into cells for energy. Without insulin, or with insulin resistance, too much sugar remains in the blood. This can lead to serious problems for the heart, eyes, kidneys and other organs.

“When you look at people with chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes or dementiaput on a high-AGE diet or a low one, those on the low-AGE diet show signs of decreasing inflammation,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Jaime Uribarri. He’s a professor of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

For this study, however, the researchers wanted to see if a low-AGE diet could offer protection to people already at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Conversely, the researchers believed that a regular Western diet, which is generally high in AGEs, might contribute to the risk of type 2 diabetes.

The researchers randomly assigned study participants to one of two diet groups. The regular-AGE diet group included 49 people; the low-AGE diet group had 51.

All were at least 50 years old. And they had at least two of the following five health concerns (or were on medications for these problems): a large waist circumference (40 inches for men, 35 for women); high blood pressure; low HDL (good) cholesterol; high triglycerides (another type of blood fat); or elevated fasting blood sugar levels.

Those in the low-AGE group were given instructions on how to lower the AGE content in their foods. They were told to avoid frying, baking or grilling foods. Instead, they were encouraged to boil, steam, stew or poach their meals — in other words, cook with water.

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SOURCE: WebMD News from HealthDay
Serena Gordon