Reducing Glycotoxin Intake to Help Reduce Brain Loss

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Reducing Glycotoxin Intake to Help Reduce Brain Loss

Each of us has about six billion miles of DNA. How does our body keep it from getting all tangled up? There are special proteins called histones, which act like spools with DNA as the thread. Enzymes called sirtuins wrap the DNA around the histones and by doing so, silence whatever genes were in that stretch of DNA, hence their name SIRtuins, which stands for silencing information regulator.

Although they were discovered only about a decade ago, the study of sirtuins “has become one of the most promising areas of biomedicine,” since they appear to be involved in promoting healthy aging and longevity. Suppression of this key host defense is considered a central feature of Alzheimer’s disease, as shown in Reducing Glycotoxin Intake to Prevent Alzheimer’s.

Autopsies of Alzheimer’s victims reveal that loss of sirtuin activity is closely associated with the accumulation of the plaques and tangles in the brain that are characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease. Sirtuin appears to activate pathways that steer the brain away from the formation of plaque and tangle proteins. “Because a decrease in sirtuin activity can clearly have deleterious effects” on nerve health, researchers are trying to come up with drugs to increase sirtuin activity, but why not just prevent its suppression in the first place?

Glycotoxins in our food suppress sirtuin activity, also known as advanced glycation end products, or AGE’s. Our modern diet includes excessive AGE’s, which can be neurotoxic. High levels in the blood may predict cognitive decline over time. If you measure the urine levels of glycotoxins flowing through the bodies of older adults, those with the highest levels went on to suffer the greatest cognitive decline over the subsequent nine years.

As we age, our brain literally shrinks. In our 60’s and 70’s, we lose an average of five cubic centimeters of total brain tissue volume every year, but some people lose more than others. Brain atrophy may be reduced in very healthy individuals, and a few people don’t lose any brain at all. Normally, we lose about 2% of brain volume every year, but that’s just the average. Although the average brain loss for folks in their 70’s and 80’s was 2.1%, some lost more, some lost less, and some men and women lost none at all over a period of four years.

Researchers in Australia provided the first evidence linking AGEs with this kind of cerebral brain loss. So, limiting one’s consumption of these compounds may end up having significant public health benefits. Because sirtuin deficiency is both preventable and reversible by dietary AGE reduction, a therapeutic strategy that includes eating less AGE’s may offer a new strategy to combat the epidemic of Alzheimer’s.

Some glycotoxins are produced internally, particularly in diabetics, but anyone can get them from smoking and eating, particularly foods high in fat and protein cooked at high temperatures. In my video, Avoiding a Sugary Grave, I listed the 15 foods most contaminated with glycotoxins; mostly chicken, but also pork, beef, and fish, which may help explain why those that eat the most meat may have triple the risk of getting dementia compared to long-time vegetarians. Note there are some relatively high fat and protein plant foods such as nuts and soy products; so, I no longer recommend toasting nuts and would steer clear of roasted tofu.

I’ve covered advanced glycation end-products in GlycotoxinsBacon, Eggs, and Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy, and Why is Meat a Risk Factor for Diabetes?.

More on slowing brain aging in How to Slow Brain Aging By Two Years.

In health,

Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations:


Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.

121 responses to “Reducing Glycotoxin Intake to Help Reduce Brain Loss

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  1. So, by toasted nuts do you mean we should avoid peanut butters and other butters made from roasted nuts, or are you speaking of a more extreme version of “toasting”? And how does this affect all the studies you’ve cited which indicate higher health markers for people who eat nuts regularly? Thanks for all your work on dietary issues. I’m so grateful for your website! :)

    1. Thanks for your comment Dani.

      In this publication, AGE compound Nε-carboxymethyllysine (CML) was assayed. Roasted nuts do have significant amounts of CML:

      “High-fat spreads, including butter, cream cheese, margarine, and mayonnaise, were also among the foods highest in dAGEs, followed by oils and nuts. As with certain cheeses, butter and different types of oils are AGE-rich, even in their uncooked forms. This may be due to various extraction and purification procedures involving heat, in combination with air and dry conditions, however mild they are.

      (…)The highest dAGE level per gram of food in this category was found in dry-heat processed foods such as crackers, chips, and cookies. This is likely due to the addition of ingredients such as butter, oil, cheese, eggs, and nuts, which during dry-heat processing substantially accelerate dAGE generation. Although AGEs in these snack types of food remain far below those present in meats, they may represent an important health hazard for people who consume multiple snacks during the day or as fast meals”

      I have attached an image that was used by Darryl in a previous comment and shows the data from this investigation very well

      As you can see, roasting does increase AGE content in nuts but animal products have far more of it. But the level of toasting is not specified, it just refers to dry heating.

      Hope this answer helps.

      1. Howabout fried tofu in the pan? In a very small quantity of canola oil?
        I also always buy almond butter made with raw almonds. Is it less than butter made with roasted almonds?
        And finally, tempeh in the pan?
        It seems that it is becoming very complicated to eat healthily…And thanks for stating the daily upper limit. Now, it is easy to have the caloric value of food, not as easy to have Age kU. I have enough calculations to do (calory and protein content), can you give us more global guidelines for the cooking method to avoid and which ones are better? Slow cooker? Microwave? Braised? Thank you so much for helping us.

        1. I switched from making baked tofu with teriyaki glaze to making a sort of faux stir fry – lightly steamed vegetables with drained, cubed tofu in a low-sodium sauce. The tofu just needs to be heated through. I think I like it better and it is quicker to make, also.

          The roasted nut butters are hard to give up.

        2. Thanks for your question Louiselle.

          I don’t think any form of frying or oil can be healthy, no matter how much and here is why.

          But you can find some excellent oil-free recipes here with great and tasty alternatives

          As far as I know, most nut butters available on the market are made from roasted nuts but I may be wrong.

          The only quote I found on cooking method in the publication attached, was this regarding animal foods:

          “(…) frying, broiling, grilling, and roasting yielded more dAGEs compared to boiling, poaching, stewing, and steaming. Microwaving did not raise dAGE content to the same extent as other dry heat cooking methods for the relatively short cooking times (6 minutes or less) that were tested.”

          Hope this answer helps.

          1. Glad to hear some legit benefit of microwaving since I am a once paranoid enthusiastic (that means impatient and lazy) convert who still hears about the “horrors” of microwaving food. I haven’t read any science to support the claims, and it’s been around since the 40’s, so I would think there would be some legit science by now. Of course you don’t “cook” your face staring into the device, and a few other specific cautions, but as I understand it, it’s the friction of the vibrating molecules that creates the heat to cook, and any radiation is gone once the process is finished?

            1. The microwave has been around since the early 60’s – Amana’s Radar Range was the first residential one I recall. In a small kitchen it just takes up a lot of space and using the precautionary principle – when it doubt, err on the side of waiting til we know, I don’t use it and since anything it can do my oven and stove top can do…I don’t use it.

              1. Microwaves have been around for over 50 years and there still isn’t any research showing harmful effects from cooking with them (unless you’re cooking microwave dinners lol). I spent a while looking because I was sure there had to be something wrong with them but the research just doesn’t support that stance.

                In fact, microwaves break down less nutrients compared to some cooking methods and microwaves don’t create carcinogens like some cooking methods (for example frying and barbeque)

                At this point microwaves are safe until proven otherwise because people have been trying to prove otherwise for decades and have been failing.

          2. I disagree with you about oil I lived in Germany, People were on rations during the war. I asked a friend about the dent her Mother had in her fore head. She said her Mother gave her oil ration to her 15 year old son because he was growing and needed it. Her bones began to disintegrate. The American Doctors saved her life by treating her .A Japanese friend cut out oil because of a cholesterol problem Her skin became like dried paper and wrinkled. Her Doctor told her to stop eating that way. We need oil

            1. Such a preoccupation with ‘cooking’. I only ‘cook’ my Thai Jasmine brown rice and my black beans. Everything else is ‘live’…WFPB.

              As for Oil…I haven’t had it in my diet for the past 9+ years. Best thing I ever did!

        3. Looks like the chart provided by Darchite MSc. R.D. Your pan fried tofu is very high , yet vodka was the only one at 0? or did I miss some? Vodka might create other problems,
          Oh wait I see a couple of syrups are also 0 , all soups look low too.

        4. Hi Louiselle, as a sincere raw plant based consumer my wife and I don’t cook in oil, using purified water to cook tofu works great and adding turmeric to the mix even better :-) many blessings to you

      2. Now I’m confused. Before Dr. Greger posted a video on all the benefits of eating nuts, and weight loss. Now he says nuts and nut butters are best avoided? Geeeeesh.

        1. Hello,

          Dr. Greger said that toasting nuts and would steer clear of roasted tofu should be avoided, he didn’t say that nuts should be avoided in general :)

        1. Thanks for your question Ron,

          It is referring to roasted almonds containing 1995 of Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) kU per 100g. And cooked dry heating process of nuts appears to accelerate the formation of these AGE compounds.

          Hope this answer helps.

          1. I just don’t know what the AGE per 100g means other than AGE is the number means bad AGE and the higher the number to compare other bad AGE. So nuts are not nearly as bad as other foods with higher numbers but any AGE is bad, so avoid it. It will reduce your longevity and can or will affect the brain.

          2. I just don’t understand what significance 1995 AGE’s other than it’s much lower that many of foods. Are all AGE of significant importance to health? at what point is it most important. I can’t imagine a small handful of almonds, cashews or walnuts being significant.

            1. hi ron, AGE stands for advanced glycation end products which is what this article discusses. You are right in assuming that we want to avoid those foods that have high numbers. The number 30 stands for 30 grams, one serving, whicjh is approximately one ounce. The nuts are all high in AGE’s and so we are wise to limit them to a small quantity. Whole fresh foods are very low in AGEs , as are whole grains like porrige oats.

              In the lists I checked, foods are generally listed with values of AGEs in 100 grams (a little over 3 ounces) and for the typical serving size of that food.. ie 30 grams, or maybe 5 grams in the case of spices. Hope this helps !

      1. Actually consuming raw nuts is very dangerous! Raw Almonds contain cyanide!!! Unless you want to disintegrate slowly from the inside out, DO NOT CONSUME RAW NUTS!

  2. >>>As we age, our brain literally shrinks. In our 60’s and 70’s, we lose an average of five cubic centimeters of total brain tissue volume every year, but some people lose more than others. Brain atrophy may be reduced in very healthy individuals, and a few people don’t lose any brain at all.

    It’s still not clear to me how much of brain aging is due to “lack of use” and lack of physical conditioning. A group of so-called healthy / normal older adults could well not generally have done or currently do much that is really intellectually stimulating or physically challenging. I’m a big believer in “use it or lose” it. So I like to think the jury is still out on whether losing significant brain volume over time is any more natural / inevitable than getting high blood pressure.

  3. question: AGEs are carbohydrates chemically bound either to proteins or to fats, right? So don’t they get digested in the gut? Even if they aren’t, aren’t they too big to be absorbed? Thanks.

    1. ” The fact that the modern diet is a large source of AGEs is now well-documented (3,7,13).
      Because it had previously been assumed that dietary AGEs (dAGEs) are
      poorly absorbed, their potential role in human health and disease was
      largely ignored. However, recent studies with the oral administration of
      a single AGE-rich meal to human beings as well as labeled single
      protein-AGEs or diets enriched with specific AGEs such as MG to mice
      clearly show that dAGEs are absorbed and contribute significantly to the
      body’s AGE pool (14–16).”

      1. I wonder if there is something to going high percentage raw diet? I did try it, but being in canada I found it to be very expensive, and limited

            1. And have you noticed her neck, arms, and hands all look youthful, too – so it isn’t just retin-A and/or plastic surgery. Probably a combination of good genes and diet at work.

          1. There are many other raw fooders that may not look that good. But beauty is inside the brain, which is subjected to other ideas. I always kept an open mind about the idea that maybe the best health come from a lifelong perspective (very long) that cannot be detected from the lab or immediate feelings feelings or scientific news about food but from a life long term balance perspective. Yet this hypothetical idea is easy to manipulate by actors and attract certain minds that look for magic.

        1. Not only is it stratospherically expensive, but unless you eat a lot of high fat food like nuts and avocados which isn’t good, you end up spending all day eating just to satisfy your caloric requirements. And you have to go shopping all the time because the stuff doesn’t store very long. I eat the daily dozen (minus nuts) but I’m also a huge believer in starches thanks to Dr. McDougall and “The Starch Solution”. A very good book.

          1. Thanks Blair Rollin, you are right on all accounts. I have not read ‘The Starch Solution’ yet but you certainly seem to be doing well by it, I’ll pick up a copy.

          2. I agree, McDougall made the WFPB dietary idea totally doable, even with a poverty “budget”, the starches are still a bargain! (Until WFPB becomes status quo) The best part is you can get the entire McDougall plan free on his website, so everyone has access! Of course you have other Dr’s like Furhman who insist we need to maximize nutrient density and forgo the starchy stuff. I think it’s not only impractical, but totally elitist because our foraging ancestors always had to make do with whatever was local before the advent of agriculture… which may have been the advent of “civilization” but evolution had already shaped our needs. I kind of look at it as a nice theory, and good for you if you have the disposable income to implement it, but along the lines of taking supplements. Your body only takes what it needs and the rest gets flushed away.
            I love that “Spud Fit”, aka Andrew Taylor in Australia decided to eat nothing but spuds for an entire year, and contrary to the many warnings and naysayers, he’s not only lost around 120 pounds so far, (11+ months) but cured his chronic depression and has never been healthier! Go Spuddie!

            1. Yea, I saw that guy in an interview with Dr. McDougall. He was great.

              I agree completely tater. From an evolutionary, and common sense, perspective, it couldn’t be clearer. How long have refined vegetable oils been available? How long has refined sugar been available? How about refined foods in general? I don’t know but my guess is only on the order of a few hundred years at most. I think the Romans were the first to even process (mill) grains. Ten thousand years ago there were no metal tools so it would have been exceedingly difficult (and very dangerous,) to kill animals in the first place. No factory farms ten thousand years ago. So what are we left with to eat for all those years in which we’re evolving? Whole plant foods. That’s it. Now why would it be that all of the sudden, in the blink of an evolutionary eye, supplements, animal products, and refined, heavily processed foods are beneficial for human health.

              Yes , starches are not only the best food on the planet and the one that you’re designed to eat, but super cheap too. For most of my lunches I microwave taters, collards and baby lima beans, with herbs and spices. Super great and super cheap.

    2. There are endogenous and exogenous AGEs. Too big of a topic to cover in a comment. But exogenous AGEs come from food (mostly high fat food especially animal, not carbs) and they are curiously avoided topic on high fat diets forums since they only talk about endogenous AGEs as the culprit of all evils. I am glad this topic came up.

  4. I am having trouble finding information on how and/or how long it takes for glycotoxins to be removed or decreased from the body ? Eating plant based, low fat, low sugar seems to help in the decrease of age’s circulating, but is it possible to detox from other tissues or is this a ridiculous idea? Apparently vit c, ALA , taurine, and aspirin are among the substances which can inhibit AGE formation.

  5. I’m still concerned about molasses and AGEs. On the one hand, molasses is not high protein, on the other – it sure looks and tastes like the product of a Maillard reaction. Are there any published values for molasses?

  6. What is the best way to cook tofu to minimize exposure, or is tofu not recommended at all? I would think that roasting would be the method with the lowest temperature exposure versus frying?

    1. You don’t need to cook it. Any method that just heats it through will work. Microwaving is typically the best, followed by any moist-heat method (steaming, boiling). Cooking with acid also helps lower AGE formation.

      1. lemonhead: Glad you mentioned the microwave. That reminded me of a dish I want to share with people. I sometimes just take a 1/4 inch slab of tofu, rub a little black salt (the sulfur-tasting kind), and microwave until it gets firm, but not burnt. It’s kind of like a hard boiled egg in taste and texture. It could be a nice part of someone’s breakfast or a snack. Sometimes I also sprinkle on pepper or experiment with other spices.

        1. I have some black salt but I stopped using it because… *sigh* … I think it produces hydrogen sulfide in the stomach… but I don’t know for sure, so I could be wrong. I hope.

          1. lemonhead: For myself, I don’t pretend the black salt is healthy. If nothing else, it’s salt… I just guess that I eat so little of it as to not make a difference. I probably use the stuff 3 or 4 times a year. I don’t know what the healthy cutoff would be. Just saying it might not be a black and white issue.

            1. I agree Thea, black salt is awesome and irreplaceable for the times you need that bit of authentic egg flavor with very minimal risk…you only need a dash in blended tofu along with a bit of lemon and mustard powder to make a super convincing WFPB oil free “mayo”. Or mixed into some chickpea batter to make “scrambled eggs”, or into actual chickpeas with the other typical ingredients to make a filling for deviled baby potatoes! I doubt the amount used along with the frequency could possibly be of any real concern…and if it is, oh well…beats bacon bits or whatever!

    2. Thanks to both – it would have never crossed my mind to eat it raw. Or boil it, for that matter. The first time I had fried tofu I knew I could be vegan forever. Now…….. *crying* ….. lol

      1. Amber C: Oh whew, I’m not the only one. I know a vegetarian food cart that sells bowls of rice, beans, veggies, delicious vegan sauces – AND cubes of fried tofu. It is SOOOOO good. I’m bawling with you.

        1. Ok. This conversation is stressing me out! We all eat amazingly! Did you hear/read today the life expectancy is decreasing! (USA) That is crazy. Thea. That is the SAD at work. Not WFPB. I will continue to have an occasional piece (3 times per year) of fried tofu when I meet people for sushi. I am sure our veggies, fruits, whole grains, and lentils will protect us.

          1. WFPBRunner: I totally agree that some perspective is in order. I have wanted to say something similar in response to other conversations on this page.
            My particular comments are in response to my own situation: Which is that that cart is very near where I work. If I let myself do it, I would eat there 3 to 5 times a week. That kind of eating along with other exceptions here, exceptions there, and my diet really isn’t so good, even when I’m trying to be good. I have no qualms what-so-ever about eating fried tofu as part of a meal a few times a year or even once a month. Sadly, that’s not my inclination. Anyway, I don’t need to understand about AGEs to know that deep fried tofu is not good for me. I’ve been trying to practice restraint with this food cart until I can get the food out of my system. :-)

            1. Good strategy Thea. Luckily I don’t love tofu. When I originally gave up animal products I was a little bit confused about what to put in place of the slab of meat when cooking dinner. We had tempi and tofu. But I realized two things. I was eating way too much and I really didn’t like it. I like the soy sauce.

              1. I find regular tofu nasty, but silken tofu works well as a creamy base for sauces, and to make chocolate pudding. Silken tofu is taste neutral, tales on whatever you put on it.

        1. I don’t suppose anyone has any amazing (and not too difficult) replacements for butter and cheese? I could get my spouse to go full vegan instead of just vegetarian if I had good replacements

          1. I don’t know about amazing. Butter and cheese, I have to admit, taste really good and have certain properties that make cooking easy and interesting. But I’m getting by pretty well, better than expected.

            Butter, as a spread – mashed avocado, slow roasted garlic mashed into a paste, olive tapenade

            For cooking, forgo fats altogether and steam in the pan with a little water or steam in the microwave. Works for all the veg I’ve tried so far. Sometimes I cheat and smear around 2 grams of oil on the pan with my fingers. You can also roast a lot of things just fine without butter or oil. Eggplant does just fine in the microwave or sliced and roasted without oil, IMO.

            Cheese – I like using hummus and nutritional yeast in my wraps in place of cheese. Avocados are very good, also, but like nuts, it’s easy to eat too much.

            They sell vegan cheese; it isn’t a whole food but as an occasional treat, I suppose it is better than dairy cheese.

            Cream – cashew cream – 50g raw cashews soaked overnight in 100g water, blend cashews and water until smooth.

            Banana Ice Cream – freeze banana slices and pulse in a food processor until smooth; serve immediately.

            Gradual reduction might be easier than going cold turkey.

          2. Ryan: I think you got some good ideas already. But if those ideas seem a bit too advanced in terms of tastes/moving toward a healthier diet, you might consider some good transition options. For example, for butter you could try Miyoko’s vegan butter recipe from her Vegan Pantry cookbook. I think the recipe is available for free on line somewhere. I have a relative who makes that recipe. He says that it is a) extremely easy to do and b) as good as any butter. It’s been a while since he had butter, so I don’t know what someone would think who eats butter now. But it might be a very good option for someone who is making a transition. There’s also a new vegan buttered flavored coconut product from nutiva. OMG. It is soooo good. I swear it is just like butter. (But then again, it’s been *years* since I had butter.)
            Cheese can be harder for someone who is deep into cheese addiction. But I thought I would share that my absolute favorite store bought cheese is the original CIAO. It tastes amazing and has a really good texture and it melts.
            Just to repeat: None of these options are the healthiest. But they could be a good temporary option for someone who is making a transition.
            Good luck!

    3. I, too, put tofu in my hot-n-sour soup which only gets warmed and absorbs the delicious soup flavor. I also sometimes eat cold tofu with just a splash of soy and/or sweetened rice vinegar over it with a sprinkling of sesame seeds or drizzle of sesame oil. You can also dob sweet chile sauce over tofu for a wonderful light cold lunch (with salad, etc.). Here is a link to what I’m referring to:

      Pour Bar-B-Que sauce on tofu – its great! Get creative – lots of ways to eat tofu uncooked, cold, cool, warmed without frying it. :-) have fun exploring!!

    4. From what I’ve read an acidic marinade containing vinegar or lemon juice significantly reduces AGE production in meat, so why not tofu? – especially since tofu absorbs through and through rather than on the surface. Hopefully there will be more research on food prep techniques and whether AGE’s in food are the real culprits.

    1. I know, this is getting ridiculously complicated. I thought we just had a video on how good soy was? Now we need to know specific cooking methods for each food? And I found out one of my staple starches, potatoes, aren’t good for you? I give up. I also love popcorn and coffee and assumed that since they are whole plant foods that they are good for you. Dr. G recommends both in his book. (Luckily, the only Daily Dozen foods I don’t eat are nuts.)

      1. Look at Darchites chart that he provided

        coffee is only 4 per serving , soy milk was 77 , which is still low compared to a lot of foods , tofu is rather high if it is fried.

      2. “And I found out one of my staple starches, potatoes, aren’t good for you?”

        I’m not convinced about that. Some varieties of potato are more healthy than others, but I’d have to see very convincing data to give up eating potatoes of any type.

        Go to the link below for one of Dr Greger’s videos on potatoes.
        But don’t watch the video, read the Comments.

        There is a good discussion in the Comments section and the NF Moderator Rami Najjar provides a link to a post by the nutritionist Jeff Novick that discusses potatoes and diabetes.

        1. Wow! That was a really good article by Novick. Thanks. I wasn’t about to give them up, but that completely relieves my mind. I add no oil to any of my food and will continue to enjoy my taters on a daily basis. I microwave sliced taters, collards, and baby lima beans for lunch most days. Seasoned with a lot of herbs and spices. It is a fabulous meal. Much Metta for that link Gatherer.

      3. cheer up there Blair Rollin, the nay sayers on the spuds may want to take a look at the positive side of potatoes. On the AGE list , potatoes come in at only around 200 for roasted with a tiny bit of oil! Compared to many foods we USED to eat, I think thats a bargain.
        I fully admit this article has been a wakeup call for me. Its shocking to see the values beside food items like cookies. wow, its a miracle I’m still alive LOL
        @Gatherer, ty for your post and links, awesome !

        1. Check out that link to the article that Gatherer provides below susan. It really eliminates any concerns over tater consumption. Dr. McDougall is right again: potatoes are among the best foods on the planet. Yea, right. Compared to SAD, anything is great. I don’t eat any high fat foods and I don’t add any oil so no worries there either.

      4. My whole strategy has become…keep it basic and simple. Eat a variety of whole plant foods and prepare them with minimal cooking of any kind, avoid products as much as possible. May not be a perfect plan, but that would be futile anyway, close enough. We are obviously pretty adaptable over a broad spectrum since we’ve overpopulated the entire planet. Trying to memorize all the details is impossible, I just focus on the big picture and file the new info accordingly as I go.
        Potatoes are no good? Tell it to this guy…

    2. hi Mary, I think we’re fine with both the popcorn and the coffee. I looked them up using the link that Darchite posted first thing this morning in his response to Dani. Both have very low values, popcorn is 33 per serving microwaved. coffee is negligable. page 19 of that paper. its a pdf download.

      1. Thanks Susan and Esben… Can’t live without my coffee and popcorn:). I am afraid to ask or check coconut oil – I use high quality kind – organic and virgin – hope it is safe for us.

      2. The coffee value(s) are especially surprising, given most commercial blends roast to medium or even dark levels, leading me to presume they would be higher.

        At one time, I worked in a coffee processing plant, observing how beans were roasted and the smells they emitted in the process. On completion of roasting, some batches seemed even over-roasted but were not always tossed out, inexplicably.

        Although inexperience probably led me to presume high production standards were the norm, the experience taught me a lot of quality can be lost within normal parameters– passed through as “acceptable” when only marginal. Consumers must be aware food processing is the same as production anywhere else– it varies, so caveat emptor.

    3. It is getting so complicated that it turns people off of the main message, WFPB. Why bother it can’t be done correctly without a lot of time, trouble and knowledge. If it isn’t simple people will not change from their SAD lifestyle.

  7. A decades-long trend of rising life expectancy in the U.S. could be ending: It declined last year and it is no better than it was four years ago.

    In most of the years since World War II, life expectancy in the U.S. has inched up, thanks to medical advances, public health campaigns and better nutrition and education.

    But last year it slipped, an exceedingly rare event in a year that did not include a major disease outbreak. Other one-year declines occurred in 1993, when the nation was in the throes of the AIDS epidemic, and 1980, the result of an especially nasty flu season.

    In 2015, rates for 8 of the 10 leading causes of death rose. Even more troubling to health experts: the U.S. seems to be settling into a trend of no improvement at all.

    “With four years, you’re starting to see some indication of something a little more ominous,” said S. Jay Olshansky, a University of Illinois-Chicago public health researcher.

    An American born in 2015 is expected to live 78 years and 9½ months, on average, according to preliminary data released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An American born in 2014 could expect to live about month longer, and even an American born in 2012 would have been expected to live slightly longer. In 1950, life expectancy was just over 68 years.

    The United States ranks below dozens of other high-income countries in life expectancy, according to the World Bank. It is highest in Japan, at nearly 84 years.

    The CDC report is based mainly on 2015 death certificates. There were more than 2.7 million deaths, or about 86,000 more than the previous year. The increase in raw numbers partly reflects the nation’s growing and aging population.

    It was led by an unusual upturn in the death rate from the nation’s leading killer, heart disease. Death rates also increased for chronic lower lung disease, accidental injuries, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, kidney disease and suicide.

    The only clear drop was in cancer, the nation’s No. 2 killer.

    Experts aren’t sure what’s behind the stall. Some, like Olshansky, suspect obesity, an underlying factor in some of the largest causes of death, particularly heart disease.

    But there’s also the impact of rising drug overdoses and suicides, he noted. “There are a lot of things happening at the same time,” he said.

    Some years the CDC later revises its life expectancy estimate after doing additional analysis, including for its 2014 estimate.

    Average life expectancy declined for men, falling by more than two months, to 76 years and 3 ½ months in 2015. It fell by about one month for women, to 81 years and 2 ½ months, the CDC said.

    Death rates increased for black men, white men, white women, and slightly for Hispanic men and women. But they did not change for black women.

    The new CDC report did not offer a geographic breakdown of 2015 deaths, or analysis of death based on education or income. But other research has shown death rates are rising sharply for poorer people — particularly white people — in rural areas but not wealthier and more highly educated and people on the coasts.

    “The troubling trends are most pronounced for the people who are the most disadvantaged,” said Jennifer Karas Montez, a Syracuse University researcher who studies adult death patterns.

    “But if we don’t know why life expectancy is decreasing for some groups, we can’t be confident that it won’t start declining for others,” she said.

    1. When they talked about the much heralded increase in life expectancy, the biggest issue to skew the figures that make it appear we are adding years to our lives, was the major decline in neonatal deaths due to advances in medical care, especially for preemies. I forget who said it, but…we aren’t living longer, we’re dying slower.

  8. I appreciate all of the good info that and the book “How not to Die” provides—but the AGEs issue is confusing.

    Here is a research study that found higher AGEs in the blood plasma of vegetarians and lower AGEs in omnivores. This would indicate that diet AGEs is not the major factor in determining AGEs levels in the body. There were no differences in blood glucose levels between the groups.

    What gives?

        1. And I forgot that some vegetarians / vegans supplement with carnosine or beta-alanine (beta-alanine is the rate-limiting component for generating carnosine and is cheaper as a supplement).

        2. By the way, thanks for bringing this issue up. I’m the type of person that would rather know than not. I wasn’t aware of the discrepancy and I had thought that if your dietary intake of AGEs is low and you have good blood sugar control, you need not be concerned. I know some of some smart, well-informed vegans who take taurine and beta-alanine regularly; I had thought they were just being super vigilant. I take taurine from time to time, but I think I will add both to my daily supplements.

      1. …so curious. I read the abstract and what I get from it is that there was no conclusive proof that either vegetarian or omnivore diets showed less AGEs.

      2. …so curious. I read the abstract and what I get from it is that neither diet, vegetarian or omnivore, had any significant effect on the AGEs found in their bodies.

        1. They did have a vegan group but ironically they had the highest honey consumption out of all groups. I won’t debate whether or not honey is vegan (personally I do not think it is), yet it should be noted that excess fructose especially in sweetners can also raise AGEs. So you do make a good point.

  9. I know it is difficult for that food list with their AGE-rating to be exhaustive. I am referring to this one

    I was a little bit disappointed that cacao and cocoa wasn’t on the list. I would have loved to know if the processing effect of cacao to cocoa which involves high temperature roasting of the cacao beans as explained here does have an effect on its AGE-related rating.

    Because it seems to me from this article that quite apart from the type of food affecting its AGE-rating, dry heating food seems to have a significant effect on the rating too, turning what should be a good food into bad in an instant.

      1. Susan, that new source was helpful. It doesn’t specifically answer the question but I certainly can draw some conclusions from that list. It looks like either way the AGE content of cacao is going to be well below the 16,000 kU limit seeing as the cocoa branded products are pretty low in the rankings. Thanks

    1. Rivka: Nice to “see” you around.
      It’s a good question. I forwarded your question to the volunteer coordinator at NutritionFacts. I found out that for a question like this, staff would like you to submit the question on the Help/Support page so that the question can be routed to the right person and make sure you get a response.

      To submit your question, click on the Help Center link at the bottom of this page. Then click the ‘Submit a Request’ link that is in the upper right corner of the Help Center page.

  10. If glucose is the starting chemical that follows multiple pathways to forming AGEs, does that suggest that people should be eating low-carbohydrate diets to reduce the amount of glucose that may go down those pathways?

    1. Actually proteins and lipids are the building blocks of AGEs that get glycated at high heat causing a cross linkage which incites an inflammatory response highly associated with disease. There are charts ranking foods with the highest AGE scores. If you want to avoid AGEs avoiding those foods will put you on the right path. Here is a great article that not only defines the type of foods that put you at risk but contains some charts for easy reference

  11. I tried to find raw peanuts but this seems to be rather hard (in Germany) because even if they are still in their shell most peanuts have gone through a roasting process. I don’t know at what temperature this takes place and if it is necessary to make peanuts edible at all (some say you can’t eat them /fully/ raw, i.e. without this initial heating process?) but I wonder if this also causes a noteworthy increase in AGE? Or does the shell “buffer” some of the heat and I can still eat them without concern? Maybe the temperature is also low enough to not induce AGE formation?
    If anyone has insight into this topic I’d be thankful to read your thoughts.

  12. Sorry, me again.

    If it is dry heating that primarily affects AGE levels in nuts,would adding raw nut butters to cooking water lead to lower AGE levels compared to roasted nuts? I like to make gravy or sauce by cooking water, nut butters and spices but if that’s a bad idea I’ll try to refrain from it.

    1. Peanut, I do this as well. Such “gravies” are delicious! Does the very small amt of nut butter matter? I’m recalling that somewhere Dr. G. said peanuts/peanut butter are good…. (?)

  13. Does this process also take place when you mix fat and protein from different sources for example beans (protein) and avocado (fat)? For example, I like to bake chickpea pancakes. Since I don’t cook with oil and still want them to have a rich taste I mix avocado paste to the batter. Since this (baking in a pan) is still a form of dry-heating I wanted to make sure if there is any information on this.

  14. Does roasting other foods like chick peas cause their AGE’s to go up as well, to the point it might be healthier to avoid doing so?

  15. Are humans more resistant to glycotoxins than other primates or mammals? I would guess that we are after reading “Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human” by Richard Wrangham who argued that humans have evolved for at least half a million years to eat cooked food.

  16. Hi,

    I know someone asked this at the beginning of this thread but I didn’t find an answer.
    What is an acceptable way of cooking tempeh then?

    Thank you :)

  17. Hi Lisa,

    I am a volunteer for Dr. Greger. Thanks so much for your question!

    The levels of glycotoxins and AGEs will be lower than most animal foods, but perhaps on the higher end of the spectrum for plant foods. If you are concerned about it, however, marinading, steaming, and sauteeing tempeh might be the better options. You can also bake tempeh at a lower temperature for a longer period of time. The ways to avoid or minimize might be frying, baking at high temperatures, or grilling tempeh.

    I hope that helps answer your question!

  18. I came across this page in my endeavor to understand Dr Greger’s take on sirtuin control using various compounds such as NAD+, NMN etc. Irrespective the information on this page will help me make better dietary choices. I only consume raw nuts since I came across his take on it about 8 months ago. Nevertheless, it would be really interesting to see what he thinks of these recent supplements for reversal of aging and his take on the associated studies of Dr David Sinclair .

  19. Its a good question that I have not seen any evidence for or against, but please keep in mind that soy milk is not a whole food, and the typical soy milk found in markets is highly processed, which is never a good thing. In general, many plant milks that I’ve seen have added sodium which is VERY unhealthy.

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