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[IP] Cooking food at lower temp newsstory


Cooking at lower temperature may cut heart risk for diabetics

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A recipe for diabetics: Cook food at low temperatures for
short periods of time to lower your risk of heart disease.

Researchers say a toxic compound formed when sugar, proteins and fat are
cooked long at high temperatures may increase blood vessel damage in

Doctors have for years steered patients away from sugar and fat in the diet,
but have ignored another food component that also may cause problems, said
Dr. Helen Vlassara, a diabetes researcher at Mount Siani School of Medicine
in New York. She said her studies suggest the component can prompt an angry
reaction from the immune system that eventually damages blood vessels and

The component -- called advanced glycation end products or AGEs -- is
created when foods are cooked for long periods of time at temperatures
typical of baking or frying.

Vlassara is primary author of a new study appearing this week in the
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study shows that AGEs
can be controlled by cooking foods differently.

Vlassara's study used 24 diabetic patients divided into two groups. One
group maintained a normal diet recommended for diabetics which included
chicken, fish and meat. The other group had the same foods, but cooked

At the end of six weeks, said Vlassara, the AGEs in the test group had
declined by 33 to 40 percent. She said the study was too short, only six
weeks, to detect any fundamental changes in the patients' health.

The key to lowering AGEs, said Vlassara, is to cook for a short time in the
presence of high humidity. This means either boiling or steaming meats for
the minimum time required. Meat can be sautied, she said, but it should be
cut very thin and cooked quickly with a small amount of oil.
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