Thursday, July 28, 2011

DrMirkin's eZine: AGEs, diverticulitis, more . . .

Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fitness and Health E-Zine
July 31, 2011

Avoid Foods Cooked at Very High Temperatures

When foods are cooked at temperatures above that of
boiling water (100 C or 212F), sugar sticks to proteins and fats
to form chemicals called Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs).
Eating food cooked at high temperatures markedly elevates tissue,
blood and urine levels of AGEs to increase risk for; diseases of
inflammation such as cancers, arteriosclerosis, asthma, arthritis,
diabetes, Alzheimer's Disease, heart attacks and strokes; damage
to the eyes and kidneys, and conditions such as cataracts, gum
infections, nerve damage and muscle injuries in athletes.
HOW AGEs FORM IN FOODS: When carbohydrates (chains of
sugars) are cooked with proteins or fats at high temperatures and
WITHOUT WATER, sugar binds to proteins or fats to form AGEs. When
carbohydrates are cooked in water, they do not attach to protein
and fat. Browning during cooking is a sign that AGEs are being
formed. AGEs are found in grilled, roasted, broiled, fried or
baked foods, and in coffee (made from roasted coffee beans).
YOUR BODY ALSO MAKES AGEs whenever your blood sugar level
rises too high. This is most likely to happen when you eat sugary
foods and become inactive after eating. A high rise in blood
sugar causes sugar to stick to cell membranes. Once there, sugar
cannot get off and eventually destroys the involved cells. Blood
sugar levels rise after you eat. If you exercise just before or
after you eat, contracting muscles can draw sugar from the
bloodstream without even needing insulin.
* Avoid foods that cause a high rise in blood sugar, such as
sugared drinks and foods with added sugars
* Eat plenty of foods that do not cause a high rise in blood
sugars such as raw, streamed or simmered vegetables and fruits.
* Restrict processed carbohydrates such as foods made from flour
(bakery products and pastas),
* Use water-based cooking methods whenever possible: steaming,
simmering, blanching or boiling. Water prevents the sugars from
attaching to proteins and fats.
* Limit or avoid brown-cooked foods: those that are grilled,
broiled, roasted, fried or baked.

References: Am J Clin Nutr, June 2011; Am J Clin Nutr. May 2010,
Neurobiol Aging, May 21, 2009; J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci Sept


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Dear Dr. Mirkin: I have diverticulitis; do I need to avoid nuts
and seeds?

All recent data discredits the old-wives tale that seeds
and nuts get into the linings of the colon to irritate diverticula,
outpouchings in the U-shaped colon tube. A plant-based diet reduces
diverticular disease by nearly one-third (British Medical Journal,
published online July 19, 2011). Symptoms of diverticulitis
include alternating constipation and diarrhea, painful abdominal
cramps and bloating.
47,033 adults were followed for 12 years. Vegetarians had
a 31 percent lower risk than meat eaters for developing diverticular
disease. The more fiber they took in, the less likely they were to suffer
intestinal symptoms. Those who took in 25 grams of fiber/day were
far less likely than those taking in fewer than 14 grams/day to be
hospitalized for diverticular disease. Meat eaters who ate the
most fiber had a 26 percent lower risk of diverticulitis than meat
eaters who ate the least.
HOW FIBER PROTECTS THE COLON: When you eat, the pyloric
sphincter at the end of the stomach closes and no solid food is
allowed to pass into your intestines. The food is turned into a
liquid soup in your stomach and only this soup moves on to the
intestines. When the soup reaches the colon, the fluid is
absorbed to form solid stool. The longer the stool remains in your
colon, the more fluid is absorbed so the the stool becomes harder
and more difficult to pass.
Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and beans contain large
amounts of fiber that hold water in the stool to prevent a cast
from forming and sticking to your colon. Fiber pushes the stool
rapidly through your colon to increase the number of bowel
movements. The faster transit of stool lowers pressure in the
colon to prevent pouches from forming.


Dear Dr. Mirkin: What causes interstitial cystitis?

Interstitial cystitis is diagnosed after a person
complains of severe bladder pain, worse when the bladder is full,
and doctors cannot find a cause. It affects almost seven percent
of North American women (The Journal of Urology, August 2011).
Urine cultures and urinalysis do not find an infection,
kidney X rays do not find kidney stones or other kidney damage,
and inserting a tube to look directly inside the bladder and doing
a biopsy reveals no obvious cause. One theory is that a yet
unidentified germ may cause an autoimmune disorder.
Treatments include Elmiron, a drug that is chemically
similar to a substance that lines the bladder. It may help heal
the bladder lining, but can take several months to start working.
Other drugs include tricyclic antidepressants, gabapentin
(Neurontin, Gabarone), antihistamines, aspirin, ibuprofen, Prodium,
and Uristat. Some people benefit from having their bladders filled
and stretched with saline.


Recipe of the Week:

Black Bean Jumble Salad

You'll find lots of recipes and helpful tips in
The Good Food Book


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