When some people think about aging, they think it's going to happen to all of us, so why fight it. Other people, though, want to function as well as they can for as long as they can. If the latter describes you, there's an overlooked factor in aging that you need to know about.
I showed you on Monday how shorter telomeres contribute to aging. You're also probably aware that oxidative stress, trauma, inflammation, and disease all contribute to aging. But most people don't know about glycation.
Glycation is what happens when glucose, the main sugar we use as energy, binds to some of our DNA, proteins, and lipids. When this happens, it creates end products that inhibit our structural components from doing their jobs. These end products are called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). The more AGEs we have, the more damage they do. And the problem becomes worse as we get older, causing body tissues to malfunction. This can lead to disease and death.
You may think that eating a low-sugar diet is the secret to avoiding AGEs. While it certainly helps, carbohydrates and sugars aren't the primary source of AGEs. One of the biggest sources of AGEs is from the way we cook our food. For instance, one study found that dry cooking your food in an oven or on a grill can increase AGEs by up to 100 times. So if you're a meat eater, be aware that they're one of the biggest sources of AGEs.
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But you don't have to give up your barbecues to protect yourself against AGEs. There are three easy things you can do to your meat that will reduce the AGEs. First, marinate your meat in an acidic base solution, such as wine, citrus juice, tomatoes, or vinegar (when cooking chicken, add a little olive oil or shorten the marinating time, as the acids can make it tough). These will help reduce the production of AGEs when you cook the meat.
Second, you can cook your meat using low, slow heat with some added moisture in the pan. For instance, when cooking ribs, slow cook them with some apple juice. Finally, cooking meat in a crock pot or other moisture-rich environment (stewing, steaming, or poaching) can make a big difference in the amount of AGEs produced.
Of course, we can't always cook our meat this way. And we can't always avoid carbs and sugar. So you've got to take steps to protect your body against the AGEs that you do get in your diet. Nutrients that will protect you include, vitamin C, quercetin, grape skin extract, and benfotiamine. These nutrients can help prevent glycation-caused aging (including your skin), diabetes, atherosclerosis, neurodegenerative diseases, and chronic renal failure. I'll have more details on each of these nutrients (and others) that can stop glycation in the future. But for now, you can start protecting yourself by taking Advanced Anti-AGEs Formula, which has these nutrients and many more that will reduce the damage AGEs cause.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening, ND.