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August 13, 2015

Slow Aging: Change the Way You Cook

iStock_000009017872_LargeHow to Cook to Slow Aging

You can slow aging simply by changing how you cook your foods. You don’t even have to change what you eat to slow aging though some change in diet for many will help slow aging even further. How you cook affects how much inflammation you inflict on yourself and can reduce your chances of diabetes and weight gain.

Let’s start with a little discussion on something called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Advanced glycation end products accelerate aging by causing inflammation, oxidation, and by cross-linking proteins rendering them nonfunctional.

Thousands of different proteins are necessary for our cells to function optimally. Proteins that play pivotal roles in how well our bodies function include hormones, neurotransmitters, antibodies (the ones our bodies make), collagen, elastin, and hemoglobin.

Diabetes is the classic disease model for accelerated aging and it’s primarily because diabetes is associated with high levels of advanced glycation end-products. In fact, that is what the hemoglobin A1C test measures – the amount of glycation of hemoglobin.

Advanced Glycation End Products

Advanced glycation end products are toxic and are produced in response to cooking at high temperatures. Breast and prostate cancers are higher in those who eat heavily cooked meat. Overcooked foods also produce a compound called methylglyoxal which contributes to abdominal obesity and insulin resistance. High temperature is anything over 300 degrees.

Here are examples of how cooking technique affects the number of AGEs in beef. This link shows the AGEs for a variety of foods.

COOKING METHOD GLYCATION PRODUCTS (kU/serving)
Raw beef 636 (low)
Raw beef steak 720 (low)
Microwaved beef 2,418 (moderate)
Grilled beef 6,674 (too high)
Broiled beef steak 6,731 (too high)
Pan fried beef 9,052 (toxic)
Broiled (450º) beef hot dog 10,143 (toxic)

How to Cook 101 to Slow Aging

As much as possible avoid cooking at high temperatures and low moisture which induce the highest AGEs production. Avoid frying, searing, grilling, broiling, and roasting (probably everything you’ve been doing).

Lower temperatures with high moisture are cause formation of fewer AGEs. Cooking methods associated with the lowest AGEs production include poaching, steaming, stewing, and boiling. These method can reduce AGEs production 80% compared to high temperature cooking. Also, prepping food with lemon juice, vinegars, and other acidic marinades limits production of advance glycation end products up to twenty percent.

Junk foods are typically cooked at high temperatures – one reason they are unhealthy. Starches and sugars are associated with high levels of advanced glycation end products end addition to having high glycemic values. The healthier foods are those that low AGEs, low glycemic, and high in nitric oxide production.

Currently there are no recommendations as to what the total number of AGEs should be in a day, but the lower the better. The typical American diet, though, averages 15,000 AGEs daily and is too high.

Slow aging by cooking at lower temperatures or eating food raw.

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Dr. Joe Jacko


Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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