New research from Mount Sinai School of Medicine has identified a link between heat-processed foods and a higher risk obesity and type-2 diabetes.
The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicated that mice with increased exposure to MG had significantly higher abdominal weight and type-2 diabetes.
The compound known as methyl-glyoxal (MG) is a form of advanced glycation endproduct (AGE) and may be a byproduct of grilled foods.
AGEs, meanwhile, have been proven to lower the body's ability to control inflammation.
For the research, mice in one group were fed a diet high in MG foods over four generations, while a control group was fed similar foods but without MG.
While the mice consumed the same level of calories and fat, the group that ate the high-MG diet began to develop early insulin resistance over the four generations, as well increased body fat.
However, the control group did not display any of these reactions, suggesting that MG-free diets lead to a lower risk of weight gain and type-2 diabetes.
"A specific AGE compound abundant in foods, within only a few generations in mouse terms, contributes to the increase in weigh gain, insulin resistance and diabetes," said Dr Helen Vlassara, leader of the research team.
She argued that the results could lead to a greater understanding of how to prevent the "human epidemic of obesity and diabetes" being witnessed across the western world.
This is an encouraging finding considering estimates from the Department of Health suggest obesity will be prevalent among 60 per cent of British men, 50 per cent of women and 25 per cent of children by 2050.
For a quick cooking tip, why not steam-cook salmon fillets, which are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, rather than popping them under the grill?