Estimating Your AGE intake

For more than thirty years we have investigated AGEs and more than ten of these years have been dedicated to AGEs in common foods.  With this information we created a unique database of AGE content in many foods and used it conduct a number of clinical trials, under healthy or diseases conditions. We also assessed the source and amounts of AGEs generally consumed.

For example, the table below compares the AGE content in common foods consumed during a single day. The foods are of similar weight and contain identical amounts of nutrients and calories. However, foods are cooked either under High-AGE conditions (grilled, fried, baked) or Low-AGE conditions (stewed, boiled, steamed).  It is easy to see that the same food item can provide very different amounts of AGEs depending on how it was prepared.

In order to estimate the AGE content in foods, the following simple information is needed:

1.  What is the amount of each food item you eat during your day?

2.  How was the food bought? Was it fresh, pre-cooked, etc.?

3.  How did you prepare it? What ingredients did you add, how did you cook it, at what temperature, for how long, and by what method? For example, did you cook it in a pot with water, on the broiler, in a steamer, in the microwave, in the oven or in a frying pan?

The AGE-Less Way will help you learn how to use this type of information. It will show you what to look for as you develop your own AGE-Less Way. For example, you will learn that the daily AGE consumption should not exceed 5,000-8,000 AGE kilo units.  Don’t be surprised if you find that you consume more than that. In the New York City area we found the average AGE consumption to be at 15,000 AGE kilo units per day.  Of course, this number varies a great deal.  Many people in fact consume more, and some, over 25,000 kilo units.  This is more than double the healthy level. Those persons who consume more than 10-15,000 kilo units are, also overweight or have diabetes and other health problems.

Note that, even if your caloric intake and nutritional consumption are reasonable, you may ingest an unhealthy amount of toxic AGEs, just because of the way you choose to have your food prepared.

The Table below illustrates how easy it is to reduce the AGE content of food by simple modification of    the culinary techniques without changing food composition.

High AGE Low AGE
Menu Foods Portion AGE * Menu Foods Portion AGE*
BREAKFAST
Fresh Fruit 1 cup 30 Fresh Fruit 1 cup 30
Fried Egg 1 1240 Scrambled Egg 1 75
Toasted Bagel 2 oz 100 Fresh Bagel 2 oz 60
Cream Cheese 1 Tbsp 1500 Margarine 1 tsp 180
Coffee 1 cup 5 Coffee 1 cup 5
Cream 1 Tbsp 325 Whole milk ¼ cup 3
LUNCH
Bean soup 1 cup 100 Bean soup 1 cup 100
Grilled Chicken 3 oz 5200 Poached Chicken 3 oz 1000
Mixed green salad 3 cups 50 Mixed green salad 3 cups 50
Italian dressing 2 Tbsp 220 Italian dressing 2 tbsp 220
Crackers 1 oz 275 Whole Grain Roll 1 oz 25
Iced tea 8 oz 5 Iced tea 8 oz 5
SNACK
Apple 1 15 Apple 1 15
American cheese 1 oz 2600 Yogurt 6 oz 10
DINNER
Broiled Steak 3 oz 6600 Braised beef 3 oz 2200
French fries 3 oz 690 Baked Potato 3 oz 70
Steamed vegetable 1cup 20 Steamed vegetable 1 cup 20
Butter 1 tsp 630 Olive oil 1 tsp 150
Fresh Fruit ½ cup 15 Fresh Fruit 1/2 cup 15
Total AGE 19,620 4,233

* AGE expressed in arbitrary AGE kilounits as described in detail Uribarri J el al. J Am Diet Assoc 2010; 110:911-916