Does frying meat end up frying your brain? Researchers working with lab mice have discovered that a diet high in a compound created when meat is fried or grilled caused them to have memory loss and other problems associated with Alzheimer's disease, reports the BBC. The advanced glycation end products—AGES—are formed when proteins and fats react with sugar, and mice on a low-AGES diet performed much better on cognitive function tests, say researchers, who found a similar link between AGES and memory loss in people over 60.
Earlier studies have linked AGES to other diseases including diabetes. Experts not involved in the study say far more research needs to happen to prove a definite link with dementia and the researchers agree, though they note that switching to a healthier diet already has its benefits. They suggest people cut down on foods high in the compound by using "less heat and more water" to cook, using methods like poaching and steaming. "You don't have to become a vegetarian," the lead researcher tells WebMD. "But pay attention to what you eat and how you prepare it."