Whether boiling, frying, steaming, grilling or poaching, a new study suggests that the way a meal is cooked can affect a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
A team of researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai decided to look into if food low in advanced glycation end products (AGEs) could provide protection for people with a heightened risk for type 2 diabetes, Tech Times reports.
Previous studies show that frying, grilling or baking can produce AGEs — substances that, when taken in high doses, can contribute to insulin resistance, inflammation and stress on cells. All these are linked to diabetes.
Dr. Jaime Uribarri, the lead author on the study, says that people with type 2 diabetes who consume low-AGE diets are more likely to show reduced inflammation.
Uribarri and a team conducted an experiment, randomly assigning 100 participants to two diet groups. 49 were put in a group that consumed a regular amount of AGE, while 51 were in a low-AGE group.
All participants were 50 years old and older, and had at least one of the following health conditions: high blood pressure, large waistline, high levels of fasting blood sugar, high levels of bad cholesterol and high levels of tryglycerides.
Individuals in the low-AGE group avoided eating anything fried, baked or grilled. They only took meals that were steamed, boiled or stewed. The participants did not change the kind of food they ate, however, just the manner of cooking. A health expert met with the group members twice a week and every three months for a year to review.
The participants in the regular-AGE group were told to keep eating and cooking the way they normally did.
At the end of the study, the researchers found that those in the low-AGE group had developed an improved insulin resistance, as well as better inflammation and stress parameters. Body weight had dropped on the average, and there were no side effects seen.
While the study suggets a cause-and-effect relationship, there is a need for further testing on a large scale to confirm the results.
The study was published in the journal Diabetologia.