Healthy Cooking Methods
How healthy are the various cooking methods? The answer depends on what you cook and how you cook it. If your idea of a healthy main course is blackened fish, crispy fried chicken, or caramelized ribs, you’ve probably never heard of advanced Glycated End Products (also known as advanced glycated end products).
Advanced glycated end products, which were discovered by Louis Maillard in 1912, are a class of chemical byproducts that result from the combination of protein and sugar (usually glucose) when food is cooked by excessive heat.1
Advanced glycated end products can also be formed by the body when too much refined sugar is eaten and elevated blood sugar levels are maintained for too long a time. And food manufacturers intentionally increase the number of advanced glycated end products in food, either by adding sugar or by browning food elements.
Advanced glycated end products aren’t to be confused with glycoproteins, even though they share the same building blocks. A glycoprotein forms when glucose and proteins bind using the normal digestive enzymes with which we all come equipped. This process presupposes gently cooked food and moderate sugar intake from whole fruits and vegetables and very little or no refined sugar. Glycoproteins are part of how the body feeds itself. Advanced glycated end products are something else entirely.
Humans evolved eating raw food and food cooked slowly over a small open flame. Today we cook food quickly and at high heat by flash heating, microwaving, deep-frying, and barbecuing. All of these methods form advanced glycated end products, which are difficult to metabolize and nearly indestructible.
Our immune system reacts to advanced glycated end products as foreign bodies. When our diet is inundated with advanced glycated end products, the immune system is overworked and becomes exhausted, which may lead to allergies or disease. advanced glycated end products spur the release of cytokines, which are part of the inflammatory process. Cytokines collect in the joints of people with arthritis. Another interesting fact about advanced glycated end products and inflammation is that free radical production is nearly five times greater with glycated protein compared to regular protein.4
Not all cooking methods are created equal. Studies have shown that boiling, steaming, or any method involving water tends to greatly limit the number of advanced glycated end products that form. Turning down the heat and extending the cooking time can also create fewer advanced glycated end products than other methods.
There are two different temperature ranges to be aware of: the heat labile point around 245° F and the much lower advanced glycated end products threshold between 120° F and 180° F. The heat labile point applies to fats and proteins that change chemically without the presence of sugar and has similar health risk as the advanced glycated end products discussed here.
How to Avoid Advanced Glycated End Products
- Turn down the heat and extend the cooking time
- Stop eating sugar (The average American eats 140 pounds of sugar per year.3)
- Cook with water (boil, steam and poach)
- Avoid processed foods which are likely to have sugar or browned food elements
- Drink green tea (Recent studies have shown that green tea help remove advanced glycated end products from your body.4)
The following is a small sample of diseases and conditions that can be helped by limiting advanced glycated end products either by changing how we cook or cutting out the sugar:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Macular Degeneration
- Kidney Disease
This list is not inclusive, but is just enough for all of us to be mindful that how we cook our food is at least as important as what foods we eat.
Eating raw can help a person be healthier, but it can be a hard choice. In some cases, cooking is necessary for economic reasons like extending the shelf life of food. For example, cooking turns stale bread into toast, which tastes the same regardless of how fresh the bread was. Striking the balance between killing off pathogens in poorly stored raw food and overcooking has always been delicate. And for many people the practice of cooking is so ingrained in their culture that eating raw food is unthinkable. So if you must cook, cook gently.
- “Effects of High Temperatures on Meats.” Food and Chemical Toxicology Apr 1985:23(12).
- Mullarkey, CJ., et al. “Free Radical Generation by Early Gycation Products: A Mechanism for Acceleration of Arthogenesis in Diabetes.”
- Detox Cheap and Easy Without Fasting – Recipes Included
- How to Detoxify and Heal the Lymphatic System
- Holistic Guide to Healing the Endocrine System and Balancing Our Hormones
- Candida, Gut Flora, Allergies, and Disease
- Gluten, Candida, Leaky Gut Syndrome, and Autoimmune Diseases
- Hypothyroidism – Natural Remedies, Causes, and How To Heal the Thyroid
- How to Cure Lyme Disease and Virtually Any Other Bacterial Infection, Naturally