How do you start your day? Like many others you’re probably in a routine of toast, coffee or a bowl of cereal. But did you know that these foods may be making you just that little bit older? How you ask?
- through the production of advanced glycation end products- AGEs.
AGEs are formed inside the body with normal metabolism and ageing and under certain conditions such as when blood glucose levels are high, this production is higher. They are also produced during the cooking and processing of some commonly eaten foods. If we start to accumulate too many AGEs we may start to age just that little bit quicker. AGEs can cause damage to the cells in the body by a process called cross-linking. It is thought that excess levels of AGEs, through cross-linking, contributes to age-related illness such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
So what about the food we eat? AGEs are produced when foods are baked, fried and grilled at high temperatures. Foods high in sugar and fat will produce more AGEs. Foods that produce more AGEs include commercially made baked goods and pastries, potato chips, well toasted bread and coffee- from the roasting of the beans.
The trick to keeping the amount of AGEs down? Go for fresh food whole foods over processed foods and look at different cooking methods. If you love your toast have lightly toasted brown bread over well down white bread, or if you’re a cereal person eat natural over toasted muesli or a baked crunchy cereal. Consider a slow cooked lamb dish for dinner over a lamb roast or a stir fry over a deep fry. And the coffee? Better to keep it to one a day.