Who's going to tell George Foreman Why 'healthy' grilled food could actually be making you fat
Compound released when food cooks in dry heat can lead to weight gain and diabetesdigg]
13:14 GMT, 24 August 2012
It is regarded as a healthier alternative to frying food.
But eating grilled and roasted meals could actually increase the risk of obesity and diabetes, research suggests.
This is because when food is cooked in a dry heat it produces a compound that is linked weight gain and insulin resistance, experts from Mount Sinai university say.
George Foreman barbecue may help drain fat – but food cooked in a dry heat could still lead to obesity
The compound – methyl-glyoxal (MG) – is a type of of advanced glycation endproduct (AGE), which have been found to lower the body’s protective mechanisms that control inflammation
In a study, reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, one group of mice was fed a diet high in MG over four generations, while the control group was fed a diet without M.
The mice that ate the MG started to develop early insulin resistance and increased body fat, whereas the control group did not have either of these conditions.
Professor Helen Vlassara said: 'This was a prolonged but rewarding study showing that a specific AGE compound abundant in foods, within only a few generations in mouse terms, contributes to the increase in weight gain, insulin resistance, and, diabetes, reproducing the pattern seen increasingly in humans over the last decades.
'These key findings should inform how we understand and prevent the human epidemic of obesity and diabetes.'
She added: 'The study demonstrates how the prolonged ingestion of seemingly innocuous substances common in human food, such as MG, can reduce defenses and compromise native resistance to metabolic and other diseases.
Lean mean grilling machine: Foreman with one of his world-famous cooking devices
'The mouse findings are also quite exciting because they provide us with new tools, not only to study, but to begin taking measures to prevent diabetes, either by suppressing their formation or by blocking their absorption with our food.'
A recent study by her team showed that a modest cut in foods high in AGEs improved insulin resistance in adults with type 2 diabetes.
Dr Vlassara said: 'For more than 30 years we have been studying the potential of eliminating harmful AGEs from the body, and now from food, as one way to curb the diabetes epidemic.
'Thus far, our findings reflect the need for a dramatic departure from standard clinical recommendations, which should now include a reduction in the amount of dry heat and processed foods in the diet.'
Her team recommend different methods of cooking such as stewing, poaching or steaming in the place of grilled meats. Even George Foreman's grill, which removes the fat from meat as it cooks, could produce the offending compound.