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Thursday, 30 May 2019

Do not Overcook Your Food; Keep Dementia away, according to Research

Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to get in the way of or hamper your daily life. Memory loss is an example of this disease which is usually associated with some senior citizens or elderly people; it manifests as a form of mental deterioration of organic or functional origin. Alzheimer's disease is regarded as the most common form of dementia. But what is the role of food in all of this?
What are the reasons for dementia? (Photo: Google images)

Modern research is beginning to take a critical look at diets and dementia; scientists believe there is a link between cooked foods and the health condition – dementia. How? When food is cooked, some chemical changes take place, many of which are positive as they increase the flavour and appearance of food as well as the bioavailability of some nutrients.
Meanwhile, a particular chemical reaction has recently caught the attention of scientists – changes that may possibly be associated with disease. These food chemicals, called advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), naturally come about as soon as food is heated to the point at which it turns brown or begins to burn. This is referred to as the Maillard reaction, and manifests through a reaction between sugars and amino acids present in proteins. This is the reason for the characteristic flavour and aroma of roasted food as well as the brown crust in bread.
Do not overcook or over heat (Photo: Google images)

Experts say the notion of raw foods being healthier, and the disfavour for cooked food is born out of the general idea that heating food destroys its nutrients as well as the natural enzymes present in it. The truth remains that overcooking/ overheating of food is generally unhealthy because enzymes enhance digestion and combat chronic diseases. This directly implies that as you are cooking it, you are destroying it.
Nutritional health experts and health watchers even are of the opinion that many at times, cooking makes food toxic. It is also claimed that a raw food diet can get rid of headaches and allergies, improve immunity and memory, as well as alleviate the problem of arthritis and diabetes.
Avoid burns by all means (Photo: Google images)

AGEs are not completely benign chemicals, and when they build up in the body it can result in oxidative stress and inflammation, experts say. Furthermore, studies are beginning to associate AGEs with the increase of insulin resistance and type2 diabetes. In addition, scientists are now investigating the possibility of their inflammatory action also bringing on the onset of dementia.
In a study, rats that were bred on a diet high in AGEs were discovered to be much more likely to manifest symptoms that were in agreement with dementia compared to rats that were raised on a low AGE diet. Rats that grew on the high AGE diet exhibited the presence of elevated amounts of amyloid beta proteins in their brains. These proteins are the sticky materials that can result in plaques in the brains of Alzheimer's disease patients.
Consume lots of raw, unprocessed foods (Photo: Google images)

Now, apart from the studies done with mice, the study team within a period of nine months was able to keep an eye on the blood levels of AGEs in 93 adults who were aged above 60. Within this short time frame, the individuals with more AGEs present in their blood suffered a greater deal of cognitive decline in addition to lowered sensitivity to insulin in contrast to the individuals with low AGE levels.

What does this mean?

However, experts say the study made to look into the relationship between AGE and inflammatory diseases remains premature for anyone to begin to draw conclusions, nevertheless the outcomes obtained from both animal and human studies are for sure inspiring researchers to go further. But it’s rather heart-warming that a diet low in AGE greatly corresponds with the rules for healthy eating. It is made up of greater quantities of fruits and vegetables as well as minimally processed foods and less of more than usually processed foods, baked and fried foods in particular.
The bottom line therefore is that when cooking, you should limit the length of heating periods; apply lower temperatures and high moisture content while doing away with over-browning or charring your food. Also, slowing down your cooking fits well into a low AGE diet, experts say.

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