Pack Up the Grill: We've Got Bummer News for Barbecue Lovers

New research says that your favorite grilled meal could put your long-term health at stake

Sorry, lovers of grilled meat…

Recent research from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City states that eating heat-processed animal products — meaning grilled or broiled meat — could increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease and diabetes.

I’m just the messenger, people.

It seems that these much-loved bbq meats contain high amounts of a compound called advanced glycation endproducts, also known as AGEs. While these AGEs are naturally part of our physical make up, they’re only safe at low levels. But since increased amounts have been linked to the decline of both Alzheimer’s and diabetes, grilled meats may now be considered a health hazard.

Again, I’m just the messenger. Don’t kabob me.

After following a group of individuals ages 60+ for a period of nine months, study experts discovered that the people with higher levels of AGE showed a decline in cognitive learning, suppression of SIRT1 (a substance that is responsible for regulating neuronal, immune and endocrine function) in their blood, as well as insulin resistance.

But let’s look on the glazed side: This research, which was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also says that a diet in non AGE-rich foods, like seafood, poultry, whole grains and fresh fruit and vegetables, may keep these diseases at bay.

"While more research needs to be done to discover the exact connection of food AGEs to metabolic and neurological disorders, the new findings again emphasize the importance of not just what we eat, but also how we prepare what we eat,” tudy author Dr. Helen Vlassara, professor and director of the Division of Experimental Diabetes and Aging in the Brookdale Department of Geriatrics at Mount Sinai, as reported by Medical News Today.

Dr. Vlassara and Co. also feel that “foods that are cooked or processed under lower heat levels and in the presence of more water” may be the safer method for preparing meals.

Now don’t have a flare up — no one said you had to toss out your wood chips and skewers. But perhaps you’ll consider grilling more chicken and veggies and less of the red stuff.

I know…marinate in that for a while!

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