Simmer, don't sizzle to reduce AGEs in animal-based foods

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They are called advanced glycation end products or AGEs. 

AGEs are naturally present in uncooked animal-derived foods, and cooking results in the formation of new AGEs within these foods.

In particular, grilling, broiling, roasting, searing, and frying increase AGEs, which create oxidative stress or free radicals that some believe can cause damage to the vascular system.

Exposure to AGEs is thought to be even more significant in people with diabetes or chronic diseases.

Cooking with moist heat, using shorter duration cooking times, and at lower temperatures, and using acid, like vinegar or citrus, decreases the formation of AGEs. 

Chef Ricardo Castro was the former culinary director at the Tampa Art Institute. He now co-owns Xilo Street Mexican Restaurant at the Hall on Franklin.        

Shallow-poached salmon

Yield: 4 portions | Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes


4 five-ounce salmon fillets (or equivalent weight in

salmon steaks

1 orange, juiced

2 sprigs parsley (or substitute another herb such as

fennel, basil, tarragon, chervil, marjoram, thyme, dill or


1 tbsp olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, or butter

2 tbsp salt

3 cloves garlic minced

1 tbsp ginger grated

2 tbsp honey

2 to 3 cups of water


Season the salmon with salt and set aside. Choose a straight edge, heavy pan just large enough to fit the salmon snugly in one layer

Add garlic, ginger, herbs, honey, and oil. Add the orange juice and water (just enough water to come halfway up the salmon pieces).

Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Once simmering, immediately turn the heat to very low so it does not boil.

Cover and cook for an extra 3 to 5 mins.

Remove the fish pieces to a warm plate then turn the heat to high to reduce the liquid by half. Season to taste if needed with extra salt. Pour the sauce over the fish and garnish with a little chopped parsley.

Poached Eggs

Yield: 4 portions | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 6 minutes


8 whole eggs in shell, preferably organic, very fresh and


4 cups of water

1 tbsp salt (optional)

1 tbsp white vinegar


Choose a straight edge sauce pot medium sized. Add water, salt, and vinegar

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, immediately turn the heat to very low so it does come down to a simmer. Wait until the temperature comes down to a simmer (or you don't see any more bubbles breaking the surface.

Break the eggs one at a time into a small dish or bowl.

Carefully lower and drop the egg into the middle of the pot.

You may add up to 2 more eggs into the water for a medium-sized pot. Do not overcrowd eggs.

Using a slotted spoon carefully check for doneness on the eggs based on your preference.