Posted on Wed, 16 Jun 10
Many modern foods are produced quickly via very high heat cooking methods, on one hand this makes for convenient and tasty food but on the other creates compounds that may raise your risk of heart disease and diabetes. You may need to reconsider the way you cook and prepare food.
Where there is smoke there is fire
When exposed to high heat chemical reactions occur in food that result in browning and the development of flavour, at the same time however potent cancer causing molecules are also generated, such as acrylamide and heterocyclic amines. For some time there has been evidence to suggest that these chemicals can also lead to diabetes and heart disease.
A hot experiment
To examine the effects of a diet rich in high heat processed foods a group of people consumed either a high heat processed diet using conventional techniques such as grilling, frying, and roasting a well as industrial food known to be highly cooked, such as corn flakes, coffee, dry cookies, and well-baked bread with brown crust while another group ate a low heat processed diet comprised of some raw food and foods that were cooked by steaming only.
It was discovered that after just one month those eating the high heat processed diet had increases in risk factors for diabetes and heart disease. Specifically they had signs of insulin resistance, low concentration of important nutrients (omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C and vitamin E) and increased cholesterol.
Cool off your diet
To reduce your intake of toxic compounds produced via high heat cooking consider slow cooking food at lower temperatures and with water more often (this will naturally keep the temperature down) such as soup, stews, broths or steaming. Enjoy plenty of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables and avoid industrially produced foods such as pastries, breads, pizza, crisps, cookies, cakes and fast foods.
Birlouez-Aragon I, et al. A diet based on high-heat-treated foods promotes risk factors for diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 May;91(5):1220-6.