I thought I would send you some information about how the quality of food and it's effect upon the body can change through cooking. I wanted to give you this information because I often mention in consultation what can happen to the quality of the food during cooking and I thought I'd expand on this. I realize that inevitably we will cook a lot of our food and one of the main problems with this is overcooking, as you will read ahead.

I am also not advocating going onto a raw food diet, but do want to advise you of the benefits of raw, fresh foods and the problem with over excessively cooked foods. I hope you find this useful.

The lifestyle we lead, the diet we eat and how well we respond to stress are very important factors in how long and healthy a life we live and are much more significant than our genetic makeup.

The Aging Process

There are many factors contributing to the aging process. Oxidation is one of the greatest contributors to age-related health decline, induced by the damaging nature of excessive free radical exposure. Another key player is inflammation, which predisposes us to chronic disease and tissue dysfunction. Common allergies, autoimmune disorders and chronic infections also play their role. Other factors to be taken into account as you attempt to manage the ageing process will include, but are not limited to, stress and toxic loads, along with hormonal and immune functions.


There is another big player that has huge potential to severely damage health, which is absolutely rampant these days and that process is known as glycation. Glycation is essentially a process that occurs when sugars, such as glucose and fructose, stick to structural and functional proteins through the body leading to what are called Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs). The resulting cross linking that develops between proteins make foods taste and smell better, but in the body can cause a darkening and a loss of structural elasticity. This is evident when skin ages; it browns and loses the tight, yet supple, characteristics associated with youthful skin.

Similar characteristic changes in the skin can also be caused by sun-induced oxidation reactions and we now know that tissue oxidation speeds up glycation reactions in tissues.

An example of glycation in food is the browning and firming that we see when bread is toasted or when meat is cooked. It is caused when heat induces a binding of the sugars in the food to amino acids. Fortunately the glycation reactions seen in cooking foods are far more rapid than those we see within the body, but you may be getting a better idea of the long-term effects of glycation on our health.

Glycation occurs in all of us, but certainly to a much greater degree in some than in others, for example Diabetes is a condition which is associated with excessive AGEs. Advanced Glycation End-products (AGE’s) build up in our tissues as we age and as a rule, the higher your blood sugar level throughout your life, the more glycation you are likely to suffer.

Minimizing your intake of sugars (such as sucrose, glucose, fructose and galactose), refined carbohydrates and generally eating less is one of the best ways of lowering the glycation potential of a food, as is not overcooking your meals The higher the temperature and longer you cook foods, the more likely the foods are to develop AGEs, which can then be incorporated into the body tissues, from your kidneys to the lenses of your eyes. You should also aim to be eating a high fibre diet. This slows the release of sugars into the blood, reducing the likelihood that the blood sugar will rise to a level at which glycation and cross linking become a problem in the body.

The good news is that once you do adapt your diet and lifestyle to having a low intake and reduced production of AGEs, your levels in the tissues actually start to come down and the stiffening up of your skin, arteries, organs and joints etc. can start to reverse.

It appears that the subsequent drop in inflammation and oxidation that develops from having fewer AGEs in your body can have profoundly beneficial effects upon your health. This may well prove to be the most successful approach to controlling declines in health associated with ageing.

Best of Health

Nick Dale
Tel: 9370 4475
Mobile: 0412 596789

I am available at the Galleria from Tuesday to Saturday 9.30am - 5pm and late night shopping on Thursday's. Come by and see me and give me an update on how you are going when you can.





Nick Dale, Naturopath Perth, Morley, Roleystone

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