Crusty foods may increase risk of cardiovascular disease

A new study conducted by the University of Illinois (UIL), found that cooking methods that produce crust on food, such as grilling, pan-frying or baking on high heat, may increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease that is associated with diabetes.

According to one of the authors of the research, Karen Chapman-Novakofski, PhD., the high temperature cooking methods that make crust form on food – such as the crunchy edges of brownies or bits of charred meat on a burger – also create advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which are linked to plaque formation in the arteries and result in long-term physical damage. This has greater implications for people with diabetes because they are already struggling with cardiovascular issues.

The research looked at 65 participants that were divided up into two groups: Mexicans and non-Hispanic whites. The results showed that AGEs were tied to the development of cardiovascular disease.

“We found that people with higher rates of cardiovascular complications ate more of these glycated products.” said Claudia Luevano-Contreras PhD., research author. “For each unit increase in AGEs intake, a study participant was 3.7 times more likely to have moderate to high risk for cardiovascular disease.”

Although saturated fats are associated with cardiovascular disease, Dr. Luevano-Contreras reported that the study indicated that AGEs may have an even greater association with the development of heart disease. This means that people with diabetes should also consider the preparation method of food along with consuming less saturated fats and a greater amount of fruits, vegetables and fiber.

Dr. Chapman-Novakofski suggests boiling or stewing meat to reduce the amount of AGEs in food and scrambling an egg with cooking oil rather than frying it.

The scientists noted that further research needs to be conducted in order to make recommendations for preparing food, and they are planning a subsequent investigation that will look at the links between AGEs and the risks of people with diabetes developing heart disease.

Cardiovascular health
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that being overweight is also another risk factor of heart disease, and that doctors can tell whether a person has a healthy weight by calculating their body mass index (BMI). Regular exercise not only reduces body fat but it also helps lower cholesterol and reduce blood pressure, both of which are key factors of heart health. Abstaining from excessive alcohol intake and not smoking are also good preventative measures for avoiding heart disease.

According to the University of Maryland (UMD), clinical trials suggest that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids may also help reduce cholesterol and high blood pressure, and increase overall heart health. You can get omega-3s from hemp milk, flax seeds and an Omegakrill supplement from Dr. Newton’s Naturals.


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