Advanced Glycation End Products Can Increase Risk of Disease

Recent evidence has found that excessive consumption of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), harmful compounds that stem from cooking foods at high temperatures and accumulate in the body as people age, are a major cause of this inflammation that can increase the risk of disease.

Dietary interventions that reduce the consumption of foods high in AGEs, which are common in the standard Western diet, can be effective in helping prevent these metabolic disorders.

AGEs naturally form inside the body when proteins or fats combine with sugars (glycation). This affects the normal function of cells, making them more susceptible to damage and premature aging. AGEs are particularly high in animal-derived foods that are high in fat and protein, such as meats (especially red meats), which are prone to AGE formation through cooking. Sugary foods and highly processed and prepackaged products also are high in AGEs. Cooking methods that use high temperatures to brown or char foods, such as grilling, roasting, and broiling have the largest impact on the amount of AGEs consumed.

The body naturally rids itself of harmful AGE compounds, but it doesn’t eliminate them effectively when too many are ingested through food. All of the body’s cells are affected by the accumulation of AGEs, which not only have been linked to aging but also the development or worsening of many chronic illnesses, such as cardiovascular, liver, and Alzheimer’s diseases.

Reducing AGEs

Dr. Feng recommends that most effective way to reduce intake of foods high in AGEs is to switch to a plant-based diet and modify your cooking methods. Water based cooking methods, such as boiling, stewing, poaching and steaming, reduce AGEs consumed. Eating more vegetables and fruits is another way to reduce AGE consumption. Baird stresses the importance of dietary phytonutrients, which are found in the pigments of various colorful fruits and vegetables. One type of phytonutrient in particular, called iridoids, which are found in deeply colored blueberries, cranberries, and noni fruit, can lower AGEs in the body, she says. Read more.

Inflammation Is Associated With Every Health Condition

Did you know that inflammation is the common link between such debilitating conditions as Alzheimers, heart disease, cancer, and arthritis? Inflammation is also thought to be the culprit behind the visible signs of aging.

Inflammation is your body's response to stress - whether from your diet, lifestyle or environment. Think of what happens when you catch a cold. You may experience inflammation in the form of a fever as your body heats up to eradicate the effects of the invading virus.

Inflammation has been found to be associated with just about every health condition and researchers are furiously investigating chronic inflammation’s effects on health and possible preventive medical applications.

It’s “an emerging field,” says UCLA’s Dr. David Heber. “It’s a new concept for medicine.”

Why is it a new concept? Because modern medicine focuses on treating symptoms, not addressing the root cause of an issue. Arthritis is inflammation of the joints. Heart disease is inflammation of the arteries. Instead of taking a medication to reduce joint pain or lower cholesterol, we would be better served by reducing inflammation in the body. 

FengFit Foods Plant-Based Cuisine is a great choice for a low inflammation diet.


Taste of the Orient

Have you tried our FengFit Taste of the Orient salad? A colorful mix of organic black and green kale balances the texture of crunchy savoy and napa cabbage in this far east influenced salad. Complimented with bok choycarrotsjicama, red peppers, mung and rice beansedamame, red and white quinoa, sunflower seeds and served with an asian sesame dressing.

How Cooking Methods Add Inflammation To Your Food

Could eating that charred steak lead to arthritis and other diseases linked to inflammation? Very possibly, say researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.

The researchers found that when foods are cooked with high, dry heat, it creates toxins known as advanced glycation end products (AGEs) that are absorbed by the body. For example, a 3.5-ounce slice of raw beef has about 707 kUs of AGEs. Cooked, that number increases more than eight times to 6,071.

AGEs are compounds that can trigger inflammation and accelerate aging, says Sandra Woodruff, RD, a nutritionist involved in the study, which was published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association in June 2010.

Eat too many AGEs, and you’re inviting a number of health issues connected to inflammation, including diabetes and chronic kidney disease, says the study’s lead author Jaime Uribarri, MD, a professor of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. Dr. Uribarri also suspects that excessive AGEs could lead to arthritis, but no direct link has been found. 

FengFit Foods Plant-Based Cuisine is only cooked in water based cooking methods (poaching, stewing, steaming) to reduce the AGEs added during the cooking process.


Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.

Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” The importance of a healthy diet is well-known, yet statistics for obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other lifestyle-related diseases are at an all-time high.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 68.8 percent of adults are considered overweight. The organization warns that being overweight contributes to “heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, liver disease, stroke, and some types of cancer.”

The solution: a healthy, plant-based diet and physical activity.

Casey Health Institute in Gaithersburg, Maryland, uses a multifaceted approach in treating patients, including integrative primary care, naturopathic medicine, health coaching, and nutritional counseling.

Carrie Runde, ND, Naturopathic Physician at Casey Health explains,  “Food, it turns out, can be a major factor for re-establishing good health when it is compromised. This is why the concept of ‘food as medicine’ is becoming better understood all the time.”

The American Institute for Cancer Research says, “Health experts agree that putting mostly plant foods on your plate is the healthiest diet.” Because these types of food are high in antioxidants, healthy fiber, essential vitamins and minerals and protein and are easy for the body to process, a plant-based diet promotes proper bodily functions and healing.