NEW YORK, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- Inflammatory markers declined by as much as 60 percent in those eating poached, stewed or steamed meals, U.S. researchers found.
Lead author Dr. Helen Vlassara of New York City's Mt. Sinai School of Medicine said inflammatory markers have been linked to increased risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, suggested inflammation linked to oxidants -- in particular those that proliferate in fried, grilled or baked food -- may overwhelm the body's defenses.
"The good news is that unlike genetics, we can control oxidant levels," Vlassara said in a statement.
In a clinical study involving more than 350 people, Vlassara and colleagues randomly assigned a subset of 40 healthy participants -- either between the ages 18-45 or older than 60 -- as well as another nine patients with kidney disease to eating either a regular Western diet or one of similar caloric and nutrient content but lower in oxidants because meals were poached, stewed or steamed rather than fried or grilled.
Vlassara says oxidant-producing cooking can be addictive since these methods provide flavor. However, she advises keeping the heat down and the water content up in food as well as avoiding pre-packaged and fast foods could help the body restore its own defenses.