A new study shows that eating a plant-based diet reduces inflammatory dietary advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) by 79% while eating meat and dairy products only reduces them by 15%.
Researchers from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine authored a paper on obesity for the journal Obesity Science & Practice.
They concluded that “A drop in AGEs was linked to a 14-pound weight loss on average and better insulin sensitivity.”In the study, 244 overweight people were randomly put into either an intervention group that ate a low-fat plant-based diet or a control group that didn’t change their diet for 16 weeks.
Body composition and insulin sensitivity were examined at the start and finish of the trial. Dietary AGEs were calculated using self-reported food intake records. A database of dietary AGEs was used to estimate the number of dietary AGEs.
In the plant-based group, AGEs dropped by 79%, while they only dropped by 15% in the control group. About 55% of the decrease in AGEs in the plant-based group was because they ate less meat, 26% because they ate less dairy, and 15% because they ate less added fats. Most of the change in AGEs from meat came from less white meat consumption (59%), followed by less processed meat (27%).
The plant-based group lost about 14 pounds (6.4 kg), while the control group lost about 1 pound (0.5 kg). This was mostly due to a decrease in fat mass, especially visceral fat. In the intervention group, insulin sensitivity got better.
The authors say that these results back up what was already known about how low-AGEs diets help with weight, body fat, and insulin resistance.
“The decrease in AGEs was also associated with weight loss and improved insulin sensitivity.”
“Simply swapping fatty meat and dairy products for a low-fat plant-based diet led to a significant decrease in advanced glycation end-products—inflammatory compounds found to a greater degree in animal products than plants,” says lead study author Hana Kahleova, MD, Ph.D., director of clinical research at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
How are Advanced Glycation End products Produced?
When proteins or fats combine with glucose in the bloodstream, they make AGEs. AGEs cause inflammation and oxidative stress, which can lead to long-term illnesses like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
AGEs are also formed during normal metabolism and are formed at an increased rate when a person has metabolic syndrome—high blood sugar, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and insulin resistance.
Diet and AGE’s
Foods that are high in AGEs include animal products such as meat, poultry, and fish. Processed foods such as chips, crackers, cookies, grilled, roasted, or fried foods, and processed sugars, are all known to increase levels of AGE’s.
To help reduce your intake of AGEs, choose unprocessed plant foods most of the time and cook your foods using methods that don’t involve high heat, such as steaming or boiling.
Avoiding foods that are high in AGEs, as well as eating an overall healthy diet and being physically active, can help reduce your risk of developing metabolic syndrome and other chronic illnesses related to AGEs. Additionally, some studies suggest that taking antioxidant supplements may also be beneficial for reducing the effects of AGEs on your health.
The effects of AGE’s in rheumatoid arthritis
AGEs are known to contribute to inflammation in RA, so eating an anti-inflammatory diet is vital to help reduce inflammation.
Some specific foods that may help reduce inflammation in RA include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats.
It is also important to avoid processed foods and foods that are high in AGEs. Reducing inflammation through lifestyle changes, such as exercise and stress management, can also help to lower AGE levels.
Regular exercise can help reduce AGEs in the body. Low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, or yoga can be beneficial in reducing inflammation and improving overall health.
Finally, it is important to manage stress levels, as stress can increase AGEs in the body. Meditation, journaling, or talking to a therapist may all be helpful in managing stress and reducing inflammation.
By making these lifestyle changes, RA patients can help reduce their AGE levels and manage their symptoms more effectively.
This study provides more evidence that a plant-based diet is healthier for us than a meat and dairy-based diet. Not only did the plant-based group lose more weight on average, but their insulin sensitivity also improved. Furthermore, a plant-based diet may help reduce inflammation, as well as AGEs in the body. While this study only looked at RA patients, it’s likely these findings are also applicable to other chronic diseases.
It is clear that making healthier lifestyle and dietary changes can have a profound impact on our overall health and well-being.
If you’re looking to drop some pounds or improve your health, consider switching to a plant-based diet. You may be surprised at how great you feel!