Hey there readers! Aging is a process that none of us enjoy. You may end up spending a lot of time and money on your skin, hoping to find the magic combination of anti-aging products.
There are factors like stress, sun, and smoking which also contribute to speeding up aging. But did you know that apart from these, one of the biggest contributors is bad and unhealthy foods? From sugar, processed foods to certain meats, we will tell about all of these and more. So stay tuned!
There is a reason it is on top of our list. Sugar is the biggest aging contributing food. It interferes with collagen and elastin, which are your skin’s favorite proteins. When sugar is broken down, it binds to collagen. This binding to collagen can cause wrinkles and sagging of the skin. Processed sugars are also metabolized faster in your body and can lead to high insulin response in the blood. High blood sugar speeds up your body’s ageing process and is also responsible for making your skin look wrinkly. It also leads to weight gain, making you look older than you are. It is better to keep away from sweets, candies, chocolates with processed sugars, and donuts. Dark chocolates are safe as long as they’re without added sugars.
2. Energy Drinks
Energy drinks are loaded with refined sugars, acids, and other harmful chemicals. They can damage your teeth, and your smile will never be the same again, making you look older. They also contain high sodium and caffeine content which leads to dehydration. When you’re dehydrated, your skin looks older and wrinkled. The high amount of sugar in these drinks is also responsible for making you look older.
3. Deep-Fried Foods
Cooking foods at high temperatures increases inflammatory compounds known as “advanced glycation end products” or AGEs. And yes, AGEs do indeed age you. They encourage oxidative stress and inflammation in your body, which can speed up aging. High levels of AGEs in your body has been linked to osteoporosis, neurodegeneration, heart disease, stroke, and other age-related diseases. While some AGEs occur naturally in your body, increasing the load with deep-fried foods can accelerate their damage. To avoid them, try to cook the majority of your foods at low temperatures. Eat wholesome, unprocessed foods that aren’t deep-fried. This will allow your body to undergo its natural aging process rather than throwing it into overdrive.
4. Processed Meat
Processed meats like salami, bacon, and sausages have become an integral part of daily diet. But they can really speed up the aging process. This is due to the presence of preservatives and sulphites in these meats which are pro-inflammatory, making you look older. Additionally, the high amounts of salt in these processed meats boosts your water retention and makes you look puffy. Processed meats also contain nitrates and other compounds which are known to be pro-inflammatory. Inflammation causes aging from the inside out. The saturated fat in these meats is responsible for aging of your heart. You can replace processed meats with lean meats such as chicken and turkey. Or simply load up on more greens instead for slowing down aging.
5. Fast Foods
Your much loved fast foods like pizza, hamburgers and french fries, don’t do you any favours in the aging department. They are loaded with harmful trans fats which causes blockages within your arteries and results in storage of fat in your body. This makes your skin appear stiff and dull. Trans fats also reduce the fluidity of your cells, put a burden on the liver and exert an inflammatory effect within your body leading to older, stiffer, and more wrinkled skin. You can replace the unhealthier versions of these fast foods with healthier versions like meatless pizzas, quinoa burgers and baked fries.
6. Vegetable Oils
Vegetable oils like canola and soybean, are highly processed and can lead to damaged cell membranes. This fastens ageing process and leaves you with an increased risk of heart disease. Vegetable oils are also rich in trans fats which promote inflammation, making your skin more vulnerable to UV damage. A weakened skin barrier can lead to hyperpigmentation and sunspot galore. Since vegetable oils are used on a regular basis, their risks are increased. You can opt for healthier options like coconut and olive to avoid harmful effects of vegetable oil.
Alcohol affects the functioning of your liver the body’s number-one detoxifying organ. When the liver is damaged or slowed in its ability to function well and flush toxins from your system, the effects like acne, wrinkles and sallowness are visible on your skin. Alcohol consumption can also prevent you from entering into the deepest, most restorative stages of sleep which is necessary for replenishing your skin. When you’re skimping on sleep, your skin misses out on important repair time and the results are visible with effectively older looking skin, dark circles and puffy eyes. You can replace heavy alcohol with light beer and red wine, but don’t do it everyday.
8. Spicy Foods
Spicy foods can aggravate skin conditions like rosacea, and can even damage your skin further. This is because they dilate your blood vessels, leading to a more blotchy-looking complexion. Spicy foods can also make your skin look older by causing broken capillaries or spider veins, puffiness, and permanent redness. Spider veins can be tricky and expensive to treat, and apart from expensive laser or intense pulsed light procedures, there’s not a lot you can do about them. The only way you can avoid spicy food related flare ups is if you avoid it completely and opt for mild or non spicy food.
9. Carbohydrates Or Wheat
Carbs and wheat products are converted to sugar if you do not use them. This results in high blood sugar. Not only will this lead to wrinkled skin, it could also lead to weight gain which will make you look and feel older. Always try to keep your carbs in check — and unless you need the energy for a workout, it’s best to grab fresh veggies or grilled chicken to munch on.
10. Salty Foods
Foods with too much salt in them lead to an excess amount of sodium in your blood. This, in turn causes water retention in your body and the skin. This makes you feel bloated and makes your skin look puffy, tired and aged. High-salt foods also cause dehydration. They are also known to damage the DNA, by shortening the telomeres, which accelerates ageing. This is the reason why most detox diets involve little to no salt. Sodium is important for the body, but can wreak havoc for your skin and health, if consumed in high quantities. So always try to keep your salt intake to a minimum.
11. Dried Fruits
Dried fruits are loaded with sugars which tend to get stuck in your teeth. And when sugar sticks to your teeth, bacteria forms, causing discoloration and eventually plaque and cavities if it’s not removed. This can make you look older than you are. They are also high in sulfites, which preserve food but are not all that great for your skin. Sulfites increase free radicals which impede collagen growth making your skin older. So opt for whole fresh fruit instead. If nothing but dried apricots will do, brush your teeth right after eating, or chew sugarless gum.
12. Rice Cakes
Rice cakes are usually considered to be healthy food but they are not as healthy as they seem to be. They have a glycaemic index of more than 70 which is considered very high and are broken down by your body the same way as sugar. Excessive levels of sugar in your body can deplete collagen, exacerbating the signs of ageing. So try and go easy on those rice cakes next time.
For a long time, margarine was touted as a better choice than butter because of its lower saturated fat content. But it has been found that people who regularly consumed heavy amounts of margarine had more wrinkles than those who ate less due to the presence of harmful polyunsaturated fats. These polyunsaturated fats tend to increase inflammation, leading to an increase in oxidative stress. This damages your body’s organs, including the skin leading to a dry, dull appearance and the formation of wrinkles. Avoid margarine and opt for small amounts of real butter instead.