Eating grilled or roasted food could increase your risk of obesity and diabetes, according to a new study by US scientists.
In a study on mice, the researchers from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York found that a compound produced when food is cooked in dry heat (for example, over a grill) may be linked with weight gain, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
They discovered that mice fed the methylglyoxal – a type of advanced glycation end product (AGE) – became fatter, gaining weight largely around their abdomens, and also developed early insulin resistance – a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
However, no increases in body fat or cases of decreased insulin sensitivity were reported among mice that didn’t receive the compound.
The researchers explained that methyl-glyoxal and other AGEs have been found to lower the body’s protective mechanisms that control inflammation – the body’s first response to infection or irritation. Inflammation is closely linked to insulin resistance and diabetes, as well as other chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and arthritis.
In a statement, Dr. Helen Vlassara, Director of the Division of Experimental Diabetes and Aging at Mount Sinai, said: “The study demonstrates how the prolonged ingestion of seemingly innocuous substances common in human food, such as MG [methyl-glyoxal], can reduce defenses and compromise native resistance to metabolic and other diseases .
“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.”
She added the findings, which are published the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest that people are better off stewing, poaching or steaming meat and other foods instead of grilling or roasting them.

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