Can food preparation influence the chances of developing diabetes?

by Mark Benson on August 26, 2012

Can food preparation influence the chances of developing diabetes?

Researchers at the Mount Sinai University in New York have revealed some very interesting and potentially groundbreaking details about the way in which food is prepared and the impact this has upon the chances of developing diabetes. This is not a new area of research into diabetes but this particular study would appear to suggest that previously “healthy” food preparation techniques may influence the development of diabetes.

Grilled and roasted food

Despite the fact that the medical profession has for some time now suggested that grilling and roasting food is a much healthier method of preparing meals there is some evidence this may increase the chances of developing diabetes. It is believed that grilling and roasting food creates a compound known as methylglyoxal (MG) which is a type of advanced glycation end product (AGE).

It has been known for some time that AGEs weaken the body’s protective mechanism and individuals will be more susceptible to inflammation which is commonly known to trigger a range of conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, arthritis and Alzheimer’s. There is also the fact that cooking food in “dry heat” is known to trigger weight gain, insulin resistance and in extreme circumstances type II diabetes. So, while the medical profession have been telling us for some time that it is safer to grill and roast food, as opposed to fry food, this particular research note has muddied the waters yet further.

Does food preparation have any impact upon diabetes?

It is becoming more and more evident that there are a variety of different factors which can influence the potential development of diabetes and especially type II diabetes. Slowly but surely these factors are emerging on a regular basis now and while it is difficult at this point in time to comprehend the best way to remain healthy and also avoid the development of diabetes we now understand the condition better than ever before.

One of the main issues is the fact that what may be seen as generally healthy for an individual, in relation to the way their food is prepared, may have a positive and negative impact upon certain conditions and medical situations. One thing that is becoming very clear is the fact that it is almost impossible to comprehend a diet and lifestyle which will help you avoid some of the more common medical conditions today because what is good for one condition may not be good for another condition.

New diets

The researchers from New York are now suggesting that governments and health organisations around the world should take into account the impact of AGEs on the body and in particular in relation to diabetes. They are not saying that grilled or roasted food should be avoided completely but there should be a general reduction in the amount of this particular style of food consumed. They also suggest that those specifically at risk of type II diabetes should look to reduce their intake of processed foods as well because this is seen as potentially encouraging the development of the condition.

As an alternative to roasting and grilling your food you may well like to consider stewing, poaching or steaming instead. Whether or not this will impact upon the quality of your diet and the quality of your food remains to be seen but scientists are now looking to target those at specific risk of developing diabetes and looking to change their diets before the condition emerges.

Is type II diabetes a lifestyle condition?

One thing which becoming more and more evident is the fact that while some suggest that type II diabetes is not a lifestyle condition there are a number of lifestyle elements which can be adjusted and amended to reduce the chances of developing the condition. This would seem to suggest, more for type II diabetes than type I diabetes, it is possible to adjust your diet accordingly and reduce the potential of developing type II diabetes. Those who are at risk of this condition should be taking medical advice before it develops because there is the opportunity to avoid a full-blown outbreak of diabetes type II.

For many years now governments around the world have been banging the drum of improved diets and increased exercise not just because of the threat of diabetes but also because of major changes in the way we live our personal life and our working life. We need to make time to improve our diet, improve our food intake, improve our hydration and also improve our exercise. Grabbing takeaway foods and high cholesterol meals is a recipe for disaster because this feeds the problem of obesity which is not only directly connected with type II diabetes but also a range of other potentially life-threatening conditions. Yes, we do have the chance to change our life, we do have the chance to change our diet and we do have the chance to change our exercise regime, hopefully before it’s too late!

Further research

There is no doubt that the latest flurry of research notes into the threat of type II diabetes, and also type I diabetes, has been groundbreaking and changed the landscape within the medical profession. We now know about more ways in which the condition can be encouraged and on the flip side of the coin discouraged. We now know that there is a direct link to your lifestyle and your diet and that each and every one of us can make changes.

For many years now we have seen governments and research labs around the world investing money in the treatment of diabetes type I and diabetes type II without really knowing the ins and outs of the condition. Over the last few years scientists have been able to effectively map the DNA of diabetes and specifically target areas of the worldwide population which are potentially most at risk. This investment in early-stage prevention may be very difficult work and relatively slow but it has the chance to not only save millions of lives but potentially save billions of dollars in future healthcare costs. A win-win situation for everybody?


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the DiabetesForum.com Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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