Ask your food, what their AGE is!

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Ask your food, what their AGE is!

The older the people are, the wiser they get; but do you know it is exactly the opposite when it comes to food?

The food containing AGE products is exactly what ages your body faster. So let’s see what exactly this AGE is and how do we avoid it!

Advanced Glycation End-products AKA AGEs are proteins or fats which bond with sugars in the food. This bonding is particularly due to factors such as heat, pH, etc. Usually requiring heat but no non-enzymes at all, these products are formed inside our food.

The beautiful brown glazed caramel and the crunchy toasty toast is exactly what a wolf in sheep’s clothing is. Caramelization, toasting, roasting, which adds to aesthetics and texture, ends up adding AGE in our food too.

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Why say ‘NO’ to AGE?

Our body always works its best to balance out the naturally forming AGE products in our body. Our hero the “antioxidants” helps to lower the ill effects of these products. But when the opponents are in a greater number, they end up losing the battle.

Our bad guy AGE products are the reason behind our heartbreaks! Not only do they induce aging at a faster rate, over time, it increases the plague formation and hardens blood vessels leading to blockages of arteries. Not just that, they are equally problematic to people with high blood sugar.

Glycation occurs in larger quantities when the blood sugar levels are high. Blood vessels are damaged, the organs and skin surface especially kidneys, heart, nervous system, eyes, undergo severe dysfunctions. To add to the list of sins, the filtration system of the kidneys is also damaged and might ultimately lead to renal failure. A huge increase in the body’s inflammation downright hurts our neurological health, leading to increased risk of dementia, arthritis and eye-related degenerative diseases too.


That is why we shall now see how we can stay away from those ill effects of the notorious AGE products. Barbecuing, grilling, roasting, baking, frying, sautéing, broiling, toasting, etc. are all the cooking methods that do not use water or very little water in the cooking process. All such dry cooking methods that give the browning effect also cause AGE products formation. Other than cooking methods alone, certain food products are particularly more

susceptible to the formation of AGE products such as meat (especially red meat), certain cheeses, fried foods, butter, cream cheese, margarine, mayonnaise, oils, nuts, and highly processed products.

Smoking cigarettes and tobaccos are a big No-No if you wish to avoid AGE productions.

Since avoiding AGE products is not always possible, we also need to strengthen our defenses. The formation of AGE can be minimized by cooking with moist heat methods such as steaming, boiling, stewing, etc., and cooking at a lower temperature, and for shorter periods. Foods that are rich in antioxidants such as ‘quercetin’ present in all red fruits and vegetables in good quantity;

resveratrol’, present in berries and grapes; ‘vitamin C’, from citrus

fruits, colorful fruits, and vegetables should be all consumed. Turmeric which has curcumin is highly regarded along with other spices such as cinnamon, star anise, cardamom for reducing the oxidative stress caused by AGE products. The use of acidic ingredients such as lemon juice or vinegar also lowers the production of AGE products. Lastly, an active lifestyle is a key to a healthy heart and mind. Hence, moderate-intensity aerobic exercises such as walking, jogging, stair climbing, skipping helps to fight the AGE production endogenously. Remember, “Don’t eat less, eat right!” is the right way of life.

–     Soumya Adarkar

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