Put down the fried chicken and grilled burgers because a new study suggests changes in cooking habits might reduce levels of glycotoxins and help prevent diabetes, Alzheimer’s and dementia. According to scientists, meat that is barbecued, grilled or fried may contribute to the acceleration of Alzheimer’s and dementia. US scientists found the toxics chemicals found at high concentrations in fried and grilled meats may raise the risk of diabetes and dementia.
Results in lab testing showed that rodents raised on a diet rich in compounds called glycotoxins showed early signs of diabetes, along with brain changes and symptoms that are seen in Alzheimer’s disease.
The study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that changes in the way you cook your food could lower the risks of diabetes and dementia.
“The findings are very promising, but the question that needs to be answered is whether cutting down on glycotoxins can prevent or reverse dementia,” said Helen Vlassara, who led the study at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.
Levels of glycotoxins rise when food is cooked dry at high temperature, but moisture prevents this.
“People will grill bacon and fry eggs for breakfast, or have a toasted bagel or muffin. But they could boil or poach the eggs, and have fresh bread. With meat, we recommend stewing and boiling, making sauces instead of exposing meat to very high dry heat,” she said.
Doug Brown, director of research and development at the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “We are often told that burgers or fried chicken are bad for us and this study is not the first to link the chemicals in some cooked foods to Alzheimer’s. However, this research adds to our understanding of how they might work and makes a strong case for further research.
“Diets with low levels of the compounds show promising effects in mice and should be further explored as a way to prevent dementia through changes in diet,” he added. “Of course, we must not forget that the majority of research was conducted in mice and the human element of this study is too small to draw any conclusions.
“Evidence suggests that the best way to reduce your risk of developing dementia is regular exercise, not smoking, and following a healthy diet.”