If you are a diabetic and at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease, avoid being tempted by crusty bits you'd find on a grilled hamburger, says a new study.
"We see evidence that cooking methods that create a crust -- think of the crispy borders of meats prepared at very high temperatures -- produce advanced glycation end products (AGEs)," said Karen Chapman-Novakofski, a University of Illinois professor of nutrition.
"AGEs are associated with plaque formation, the kind we see in cardiovascular disease."
For years nutrition experts have advised people with diabetes to bake, broil, or grill their food instead of frying it, she said, the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition reported.
"That's still true, but if you have diabetes, you should know that AGEs -- by-products of food preparation methods that feature very high, intense, dry heat -- tend to end up on other tissues in the body, causing long-term damage," she added, according to an Illinois statement.
If you're fighting this vascular build-up anyway, Chapman-Novakofski thinks that consuming products containing AGEs could worsen the cardiovascular complications of diabetes.
In the study, scientists compared the 10-day food intake of 65 study participants in two ethnic groups: Mexicans (who have higher rates of diabetes and a greater risk of complications from the disease) and non-Hispanic whites.
"We found that people with higher rates of cardiovascular complications ate more of these glycated products. For each unit increase in AGEs intake, a study participant was 3.7 times more likely to have moderate to high risk for cardiovascular disease," said Claudia Luevano-Contreras, first author of the study.
Eating less saturated fat and more fruits, vegetables, and fibre are important for people with diabetes, but this study shows that food preparation may be important too, she added.