Collier Edition

The AGE-ing Process – Staying Young by Eating Smart!

By Betsy Opyt, RD, LD/N, CDE The Southwest Institute for Cardiovascular Fitness & Treatment –

The AGE-ing ProcessWhen we often think about the aging process, we usually think about wrinkles, gray hair, slowed motor function and loss of memory. It is something we will all go through sooner or later. What if I told you that you have more control over your aging process than you once thought? After all, you have heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” What you are eating may end up killing you faster.

What are AGE’s?
AGE’s is not just a number determining your decade, but a lethal combination of sugars and fats that create a destructive compound in our bodies and shift our aging process into fifth gear. AGE’s is an abbreviation for Advanced Glycation End products and are found in some of our most common cooking methods – grilling, frying, and microwaving – along with the way foods are processed commercially. If you have a high amount of AGE’s in your diet, even in your 20’s, you are on your way to developing chronic diseases you would normally see later in life. Just by cutting your AGE’s consumption, you can save your eyesight, your memory, skin and blood vessels, and delay “Father Time’s” natural process.

AGE’s Destroy Healthy Cells
This may be a new concept for you to digest, but AGE’s have been around ever since cavemen discovered fire. AGE’s form when dry heat causes sugar and fat to break down into protein molecules that shrivel up and turn brown or black. Well-done meats, crispy coating on chicken, golden crust on bread and muffins, lunch meats, hotdogs, potato chips, etc. are all perfect examples of AGE’s at their best. AGE’s process in the body is that of an attack dog—they aim for healthy young cells and cease to destroy. They also cause an inflammatory response in the body which is related to conditions such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and heart disease. They also create a free radical response in the body, which can lead to signs of aging such as crows feet, to more serious health conditions such as cancer.

A Recipe for Aging
Since AGE’s have been around since the stone-age years, why are we just now hearing about their destructive paths? In the past 50 years, we have upped our AGE consumption dramatically, moving away from whole foods to a more processed diet. We are also consuming foods away from the home where high fats are being cooked with carbohydrates, creating a recipe for aging. Bottom line…next time you order your steak “well-done” you may be getting more than what you pay for.

Promoting Health and Well-Being
With an unparalleled commitment to promoting health and well being, board certified cardiologists Dr. James V. Talano, MD, MM, FACC and Dr. Sajan K. Rao, MD, FACC have developed the SWICFT HEALTH program within the Southwest Institute for Cardiovascular Fitness & Treatment (SWICFT). SWICFT HEALTH is a comprehensive health and wellness program specifically designed for the cardiovascular patient. This new offering enables patients to better manage wellness through lifestyle modification and rigorous clinical management and includes a scope of unrivaled amenities.

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