Some unhealthy eating habits do worse than make you fat and tired – they age you from the inside out. Do you know that certain foods you eat wreak havoc not just with your health but also with how youthful you look and how well you age in every way? The old adage ‘You are what you eat” is true. It is nutrition, not our chronological age, that determines how youthful we look and feel.
Foods That Make You Age Faster
The sugar circulating in your bloodstream attaches to the protein in your body that creates new molecules appropriately and precisely named AGES or advanced glycation end products.
Sugar not only causes you to gain weight easily but also creates wrinkles, sagging skin, and poor health. An interesting process called “glycation” takes place that literally renders your bodily tissues inflexible or simply damages them. Glycation is the caramelization of bodily tissue.
Think of those crispy browned potatoes on the stove – the crispy part is an example of glycation. The same process happens in your body. Collagen and elastin that keep our skin firm and youthful are the most vulnerable; once damaged, these lead to wrinkles and sagging skin.
2. Trans Fats
Make sure you read the nutrition label for “hydrogenated fats” as this is the code for trans fats.
Trans fats exert an inflammatory effect within the body, such as creating a stiffening of the arteries or constricted blood vessels that lead to less blood flow to the skin and much more, leaving skin older, stiffer, and more wrinkled.
Trans fats can be found in highly processed foods such as fast food, junk food, pie crust, deep fried foods, margarine, canned frosting, Bisquick-type products, non-dairy creamers, and much more. The label might say zero trans fats, but food manufacturers are allowed to state zero even if they have half a gram of trans fats. A half gram of trans fats still has a mighty unhealthful impact on our health.
If you are steering clear of red wine due to the staining factor it exerts, white wine actually causes dental damage by making teeth more prone to longer-lasting stains. Alcohol in moderation exerts a healthy effect. However, excess alcohol can really speed up aging in the form of premature wrinkles, loss of collagen, elasticity, redness, dehydration, and puffiness. Nutrient depletion, liver inflammation, and dehydration are the culprits when too much alcohol is ingested.
4. Excess Carbohydrates
You can look at refined carbs as simply sugars in disguise.
Just like how sugar creates a caramelization effect, refined carbs (healthy carbs stripped of all the good stuff) and excess healthy carbs have a bad impact as well. Once these carbs hit the blood stream – they behave just like sugar. Also, refined/excess carbs trigger insulin in excess and too much insulin prevents fat loss and slows or prevents lean muscle growth.
In addition, excess insulin also leaves you hungry just 30 min after eating, and this becomes a vicious cycle. The main stimulus for insulin secretion is dietary carbohydrates. Stick to complex carbs such as legumes and veggies as the fiber slows down the release of sugar; this equates to less glycation and less weight.
5. Low-Fat Foods
Everywhere you see, you find the result of decades worth of bad advice that has left the majority of people gaining weight and unknowingly aging their bodies. Remember the era of fat-free cookies? That is just a small example of a much larger problem. Fat does not make you fat. In fact, fat promotes weight loss and youthfulness. But the low-fat era is, unfortunately, still with us. Most people are more concerned with the fat grams in the nutrition labels.
Low-fat eating simply deprives one of all the nutritious fats that keeps us healthy and youthful.
A diet rich in essential and healthy fats plays a crucial role in how skin ages by reducing inflammation in the skin, encouraging hair growth and building strong cell membranes that reduce water loss in skin cells among other advantages.
Sources of healthy fats include the following:
- Chia seeds
- Cold water fish
- Hemp seeds
- Wheat germ
- All nuts and seeds
- Dark green leafy veggies
- Omega 3-fortified eggs
- Coconut oil
Excess salt in the diet with foods such as chips, crackers, pretzels, bagels, cereals, bagels, cereals, canned foods, cheeses, and even cottage cheese can retain fluid in the body, creating a puffy look and paradoxically causing the cells to shrink; this creates dehydration. And this results not just in the sensation of thirst but also older, dehydrated, wrinkled skin.
Reducing or avoiding these foods is your key to a more energetic, vibrant and youthful you – inside and out.