Doctor Sharifi has been getting on me about this one for a while now, but after reading the Paleo Answer, I see her passion for me to know more about them. AGEs stands for advanced glycation end-products. They come about because of chemical reactions caused by sugars and proteins. Now there is no way to go AGEs free, but there are ways of reducing your intake. They say we consume roughly 14,700 AGEs a day. We should seek to cut this in half, that means somewhere around 7,350 (I’ll save you the math). This should help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.
What is the hype about AGEs? What are they doing? Okay, so you said they cause a chemical reactions, what does this mean to me?
Large consumption of AGEs (which bind to RAGEs) can keep us in a constant low-level inflammation. High levels can actually be associated with every chronic disease, and speed up aging. Let’s simplify: large quantities of AGEs overtime puts at risk for basically every disease and will send you into the aging process of wrinkles, hair loss, and muscle deterioration sooner.
The chart listed on in the book doesn’t do justice to what fructose really does to AGEs. The average American consumes 59 pounds of fructose (insert a holy s*** exclamation). While fruit isn’t bad on AGEs, most of our fructose is coming from the likes of soda. This produces 10 times more AGEs than actual sugar (glucose). Sugar is bad for our health I think is more widely accepted (yet we still eat too much), so we shouldn’t be too shocked that it shows up here as well. Now others items that didn’t make the cut on the AGEs were dairy and processed foods. Both being high in AGEs (I’ll have more on dairy this week, but I have to wonder if grass-fed or raw dairy would show different numbers than today’s conventional dairy. Same thing with uncured bacon compared to today processing method. Now lastly let’s look at food preparation, specifically meat. Now I’ve said before I like my meat as rare as possible, tartar is fine by me. I actually am benefitting myself in the case of AGEs. Raw meat has lower levels, as does slow cooking. So consider stewing, poaching, steaming, or slow roasting when you’re cooking. Also put a lemon juice on it. Not just for flavor, but it will cut down the AGEs in fish and meat.
What I learned today? We get a lot of AGEs. AGEs make us older and more prone to disease. Fructose, dairy and processed foods are not good in the AGEs statistics. Eat your meat as raw as possible and put some lemon on it!