Glycation is the the bonding of a sugar molecule to a protein or lipid molecule without enzymatic regulation. When you cook a sugar with fat or a sugar with protein over heat you form ALEs and AGEs. Advanced lipoxidation end products (ALEs) and advanced glycation end products (AGEs) have a pathogenetic (disease causing) role in the development and progression of different oxidative-based diseases including diabetes, neurological disorders, cancer, heart disease and kidney disease. It is recommended to avoid such foods in order to maintain and achieve optimal health. ALEs and AGEs are formed when cooking protein, sugar and fatty foods at high temperatures for extended periods of time.
1. Reduce heat and cooking duration of beef, poultry, pork, fish, cheese, and high fat spreads such as oil and butter.
2. Marinate proteins in vinegar and/ or lemon juice with herbs such as rosemary before cooking. Avoid marinades that contain sugar.
3. Use a thermometer to prevent cooking at temps too high, Steak should be cooked to 145 degrees, hamburgers at 160 degrees, and chicken at 165 degrees. (To measure, place the thermometer in the thickest part of the meat, avoiding the bone, fat, and gristle.) Avoid cooking meat to well done.
4. Clean the grill with a non-wire brush to make sure it doesn’t have left over grease and char. Metal can leave metal residue so non-wire and even an onion can do the trick.
* Be aware of restaurants that do not change their oil frequently and who heat proteins at high temperatures. BBQ is high in AGEs and ALEs.
Foods Low in AGEs and ALEs
Vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and legumes.
Proteins and vegetables that are steamed, lightly boiled or grilled in citrus marinades.
Proteins not cooked at high temperatures in fats or sugar