Avoiding red hot meat may help you live longer

Frozen meat.
Consumption of high advanced glycation end (AGE) foods can contribute to vascular and myocardial stiffening, inflammation and oxidative stress, the study says. Image courtesy: IANS
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Sydney: If you're consuming too much and processed meat, kindly take note. Researchers have found that consuming red and processed meat increased a protein compound that may increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and complications in diabetes.

The study, published in the journal Nutrients, suggests high-heat caramelisation of red meat - a process used extensively in cooking for the resulting nutty flavour and brown colour - could be bad for our health.

The research from University of South Australia (UniSA) in partnership with the Gyeongsang National University, South Korea provides important dietary insights for people at risk of such degenerative diseases.

"When red meat is seared at high temperatures, such as grilling, roasting or frying, it creates compounds called advanced glycation end products - or AGEs - which when consumed, can accumulate in your body and interfere with normal cell functions," said study author Permal Deo from the UniSA .

"Consumption of high-AGE foods can increase our total daily AGE intake by 25 per cent, with higher levels contributing to vascular and myocardial stiffening, inflammation and oxidative stress - all signs of degenerative disease," Deo added.

For the results, the research team tested the impacts of two diets - one high in red meat and processed grains and the other high in whole grains dairy, nuts and legumes, and white meat using steaming, boiling, stewing and poaching cooking methods.

It found that the diet high in red meat significantly increased AGE levels in blood suggesting it may contribute to disease progression.

According to the researchers, while there are still questions about how dietary AGEs are linked to chronic disease, this research shows that eating red meat will alter AGE levels.

"The message is pretty clear: if we want to reduce heart disease risk, we need to cut back on how much red meat we eat or be more considered about how we cook it," said study researcher Peter Clifton of UniSA.

"Frying, grilling and searing may be the preferred cooking methods of top chefs, but this might not be the best choice for people looking to cut their risk of disease," Clifton added.

"If you want to reduce your risk of excess AGEs, then slow cooked meals could be a better option for long-term health," the study author noted.

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