Research carried out at the University of Illinois determined the effects of cooking methods and the production of advanced glycation end products (AGEs).
AGEs are byproducts of food preparation methods that feature high, intense and dry heating, explained professor of nutrition Karen Chapman-Novakofski.
As such, AGEs tend to end up on other tissues in the body where they cause long-term damage, meaning they are potentially more harmful to heart health than saturated fat.
Some 65 participants were called on to take part in a ten-day study which examined their food intake to analyse the effects of AGEs on cardiovascular disease risk.
It was revealed that for every unit increase in AGEs intake, the threat of cardiovascular disease was heightened by 3.7 times.
According to Professor Chapman-Novakofski, sticking to a diet low in saturated fat and high in fruit, vegetables and fibre is vital for diabetes sufferers, but food preparation should also be taken into account.
"AGEs are higher in any kind of meat, but especially in ground meat," she said. "If you put hamburgers or brats on the grill, you'll likely have higher AGEs content than if you chose a whole cut of meat, say round steak or chicken."
While boiling or stewing meat is likely to drive down AGEs content, so too will using a cooking spray instead of frying to prepare scrambled egg, the study revealed.
"These findings are preliminary, but they give us ample reason to further explore the association between AGEs and cardiovascular disease among people with diabetes," the professor concluded.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death across the globe, taking more than 88,000 British lives each year and prompting 124,000 heart attacks.