Without question, a plant-based, whole foods diet is one of the healthiest lifestyle choices you can make. But once your refrigerator is full of colorful fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and grains ... is your quest for excellent nutrition complete?
Now it's time to start thinking about how you prepare your food!
An important, but overlooked component of nutrition are modified proteins and fats called advanced glycation end products (commonly referred to as AGEs). These appear in our body two ways: (1) from the food we eat and (2) when our body manufactures them naturally.
Higher levels of AGEs contribute to diabetes mellitus, and AGEs are known to fire up inflammation leading to heart disease, obesity and arthritis. AGEs also contribute to aging and are likely to speed up production of wrinkles.
The good news? Studies show that when you reduce the amount of AGEs in your body, you decrease your chances of developing debilitating chronic diseases.
The bottom line: What you want is a body low in AGEs. How your body produces AGEs
As I mentioned, there are 2 sources of AGEs: internal and external. First, let's look at internal sources of AGEs. When our blood sugar rises too high for too long, proteins and lipids are coated passively by the elevated sugars. For example, LDL cholesterol can become coated with sugars and then it becomes capable of producing arterial plaques.
Hemoglobin inside red blood cells can also be passively coated by elevated blood sugars and hemoglobin A1C (HgbA1C) is a common test that measures this process in the bloodstream.
To lower internal production of AGEs, here are some tips: