Food for Thought: How You Cook Could Help Prevent Alzheimer's

Dorian Martin Health Guide
  • Like many people, I'm looking for things that I can do to help prevent me from getting Alzheimer's disease. Much of what I've read involves the usual - physical exercise, stress reduction, mental exercise, and diet. Recently, I found a new piece to add to the prevention puzzle while reading Body+Soul magazine. In the "Conscious Eating" section, the article shared the concept that how we cook is as important as what we cook.


    The column's authors noted that grilling - often one of the favorite and fastest methods - "has been shown to create chemicals called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which appear to increase the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and other chronic diseases." The article went on to note that overcooking fats and oils also may result in toxins.

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    The healthiest ways to cook, according to Body+Soul, include baking, steaming, stir-frying, and sautéing. Other methods (such as boiling, broiling, microwaving, and grilling) have mixed results, depending on the types of food as well as the preparation method (marinades, types of pans used, etc.). And deep-frying and pan-frying are listed as "steer clear" as often as possible because of the unhealthy changes caused in some food by this type of cooking.


    That information is important to think about as you plan your next meal or your weekly grocery list. How will you prepare the food in the most nutritious and healthiest manner (and still ensure that it tastes good)? And which ways can you cook in order to be proactive in trying to stave off Alzheimer's, dementia and other diseases? In my mind, it's worth the time and energy to research what to do and learn how to cook these ways.

Published On: January 10, 2008