The Foods that are Aging You

Let’s face it, you don’t want to look older than you are. At some point, there seems to be no amount of cream, no amount of water to consume or magical elixir to make those wrinkles disappear. No one has invented a time machine yet and sometimes, our genetics just tend to take over and progress the aging process.

As you may know, there are plenty of things you can do to at least not speed the aging process up. You want your skin to glow, your waistline to shrink and for people to assume you are not eligible for Medicare yet. One of the easiest things you can do for your body is to choose foods wisely. Your diet can absolutely make you appear your age or younger. Here are the top foods that are aging you.

1. Coffee Drinks

Those sweet and sugary macchiatos and lattes are really doing a disservice to your body. They sure do taste sweet and certainly warm your body on a cold winter’s day. Ranging from 40 grams of sugar for just a measly medium cinnamon dolce latte to upwards of 85 grams for a medium frappuccino, there is certainly a cause of concern for drinking these sickening sweet drinks everyday or multiple times a day.

When your sugar intakes reaches these heights, you are promoting something called Advanced Glycation End Products, ironically abbreviated as AGEs, which advances the aging process. While AGEs are a common byproduct of metabolism, when you consume too much sugar it can lead to oxidative stress and inflammation. More AGEs can be created than necessary and essentially it wreaks havoc on your skin.

Next time a sugary, caffeinated beverage is calling your name, strongly consider the damage that it may cause to your skin.

2. Red Meat

Sugar is not the only thing that releases unwanted AGEs. Unfortunately, animal-derived high fat protein sources are also a source of AGEs, which therefore leads to more oxidative stress and inflammation. The biggest culprit here is beef and the method of grilling or frying the meat will release even more.

Now I know many of your are about ready to stop reading this article and pretend you didn’t just read that. To ease your mind, there are ways to reduce the amount of AGEs released in meat. One way is to marinate your beef in an acidic (like lemon or vinegar) based marinade. You can also choose to poach or steam your meat, as well as using methods to reduce the cooking time altogether. Moderation is key in this instance.

3. Soups, Sauces and Salad Dressings

This is really just code for hidden sugar. Soups, sauces and salad dressings just scream sugar. They may not taste too sweet, but they are definitely hiding spots for copious amounts of unnecessary sugar.

Before dousing your next salad in your perceived healthy dressing, take a quick look at the nutrition label. You may be surprised to learn how much sugar you are really consuming. Keeping your blood sugar elevated consistently is not good for your body or your skin.

4. Packaged Snacks

Crackers, chips and cookies sound like a tasty afternoon treat. However, these snacks are setting you up for advanced aging. These products are made with butter, oil and cheese and then finished off with a dry-heat process. What does this mean? It means a huge party for all the AGEs that are dying to be released into your body. High sugar, trans fats and cholesterol are a recipe for disaster if you are working to stay youthful looking.

5. Alcohol

We’ve all heard the benefits of drinking wine in moderation, but beyond that, alcohol is not doing your skin and body any real favors. Reactive oxygen species (ROS), also known as free radicals, are formed in various ways when our bodies begin to metabolize alcohol. This can then lead to oxidative damage to our skin, which of course is not good. A huge side effect is less protection to UV light and increased risk of sunburn. Sun damage can quickly age our skin.

6. Butter or Margarine

While butter and margarine are incredibly delicious, they are also completely full of saturated fats. Research has shown that saturated fats increase your chance of having wrinkles. Also, when compared gram for gram, margarine contains the most concentrated amount of AGEs found in food. Seems best to just avoid it altogether.

7. Fried Goodies

Who can resist fried chicken, french fries or those fried dessert concoctions from the county fair? They are delicious, but of course not very nutritious. The biggest culprit here is trans fats. Fried food is full of trans fats. This leads to chronic inflammatory processes and oxidative damages occurring over time when fried foods are consumed continually. It may be hard to steer completely clear of these mouth watering foods, but it may be necessary in order to keep your body and skin healthy.

Final Thoughts

It is no surprise to anyone that our diets can greatly affect the appearance of our skin and the overall aging process. It is important to consider our diet at all ages and stages of life. Some foods are just going to contribute to more wrinkles and damage. Choosing whole foods and adding more fruits and vegetables to our diets will help make a difference.

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