Avoid These 10 Foods That Make You Age Faster
Nutrition • December 30, 2022 • 10min read
Food is one of the enjoyable aspects giving us energy and keeping us alive. Besides these factors, we gain vitamins and essential nutrients from food. However, we have to be cautious about what and how much we eat. While some food helps to maintain a youthful appearance, some food makes us age faster.
Foods that promote accelerated aging include unhealthy fats, excess sugar, and an excess amount of salt. In addition, foods high in acidic compounds cause tooth erosion and yellowing. Further in this article, we are talking about foods that put our health in peril. We also share recommendations from dietitians, dermatologists, and studies to help you recognize foods that make you age faster and how to avoid them.
Avoid These Foods Making You Age Faster
Certain foods make us age faster affecting our digestive system, blood sugar levels, and even mental health. Aiming to prevent skin aging we should avoid foods that cause wrinkles, also skin flashes, or pigmentation. Here are 10 foods that make us look older.
1. Spicy Food
Spicy food is known to lower appetite and even help with weight loss. Spicy food may also help kill bacteria and accelerate metabolism. Yet, it should be avoided in cases of irritable bowel syndrome, heart health conditions, and inflammatory bowel disease.
While it is generally safe to eat spicy food occasionally, everyday consumption of it may cause skin inflammation. The flashes felt after a bite of a chili paper may first give you chill feelings (pan not intended). Yet, excessive consumption of spicy foods can cause facial skin irritation, redness, and spider veins leading to faster skin aging. Hence, put spicy food on your list of foods to avoid aging your face.
2. Fried Foods
AGEs or advanced glycation end products are the primary toxic elements found in foods inducing diabetes. AGEs are also known as glycotoxins, highly oxidative compounds accelerating the aging process. This compound is naturally present in animal-derived foods like meat (especially red meat). Milk, eggs, and cheese comparatively contain lower levels of AGEs.
However, their content increases when cooked at high temperatures like grilling, frying, and roasting. The consumption of food high in AGEs was shown to be the cause of chronic disease development, kidney disorder, type 1 and 2 diabetes, deteriorated heart health, and possible cancer cell formation.
Modern eating habits assume high consumption of foods like grills, french fries, donuts, etc., cooked in high temperatures or deep fried. These foods high in AGEs cause oxidative stress (the main cause of cell damage and death) and inflammation. Inflammation and oxidative stress are two of the main causes of organismal and skin aging.
3. Trans Fats
Nothing good to tell about trans fats – they are the worst fats and foods containing trans fats age you double-fold. Trans fats are harmful in numerous ways, unlike natural fats, necessary for fatty acid formation. The latter is not produced naturally and is essential for Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E absorption.
Overconsumption of trans fats like margarine and oil shortening (solid fats) may lead to heart disease, accumulation of bad cholesterol (LDL) and lower good cholesterol (HDL), weight gain, and heart disorder.
When shopping for biscuits, ready-baked cakes, frozen dough, snacks, and processed food, pay close attention to trans fat content. However, the FDA banned the production of foods containing trans fats, some manufacturers may indicate 0 g of trans fats on the label, even if the product contains 0.5 g of it.
Hence, substitute margarine and butter with sunflower or olive oil, white bread with sourdough bread, and avoid processed food that ages you faster.
You may agree, that alcohol may sometimes help to fall asleep faster. However, it disrupts the restorative phase of sleep called REM (rapid eye movement sleep). Missing this stage of sleep will destroy your circadian rhythms and make you feel drowsy for the next few days. Sleep deprivation, saggy eyes, swollen face, and low energy levels make us look older.
After missing your sleep, your body loses its restorative abilities, hence is more susceptible to contracting diseases. Besides sleep deprivation, alcohol causes wrinkles, a saggy face, bags under the eyes, and busted blood vessels.
You may have at least once experienced dehydration the next morning after heavy drinking. Dehydration causes skin dryness and ruptures moisture causing damage to the deeper layers of the skin. No wonder why heavy drinkers look older than their age.
Alcohol affects your health not only physiologically, but also interrupts mental health. Scientists looked into the brain activity of drunk and sober people and detected reduced brain activity. The consequences of heavy drinking on brain activity include blurred vision, wobbly movements, vertigo, and memory impairment.
One glass of wine may put you in a good mood and relaxation, giving you a sweet winy mouth. Plus, it may grant you a tiny amount of rejuvenating compound called Resveratrol. But you should limit white or red wine intake if you want to avoid dental erosion.
In a study published in the journal Nature, scientists successfully demonstrated how white and red wine cause teeth yellowing, and enamel erosion. Moreover, it was concluded that wine is more harmful to teeth than coffee and black tea.
The reason for the above-mentioned effects of wine is due to high acidity. One crucial culprit of teeth decay to avoid is washing your teeth right after drinking. As your teeth are already in a very acidic environment, cleaning with toothpaste will double damage. Dentists recommend cleaning your teeth a few hours before or the next morning after drinking wine.
6. Salty Foods
It is not for nothing that salt is known as white death. Excessive consumption of salt can increase the risk of cardiovascular disorders, kidney issues, high blood vessel pressure, and osteoporosis.
Humans need 500mg of salt a day, mainly sodium in it, to maintain bone health, muscle relaxation, and contraction, also balance minerals and water in the body. A teaspoon of salt contains 2300mg of sodium which is enough to consume in a day.
7. Sweet Foods
Sugar is known to cause weight gain, heart disease, and diabetes. Besides this, the above-discussed AGEs production is caused by excessive sugar usage. The accumulation of AGEs not only leads to organismal aging but also makes your skin look older and puffy.
Sugar rises AGEs levels in the body which pumps out collagen leading to damaged skin cells and wrinkles appearance. Also, sugar gets stored in the teeth causing tooth plaques and holes. To avoid this, you may clean your teeth with simple water after eating sweets.
8. Charred Meat
You should avoid burnt meat when offered at a barbeque party. In any type of charred meat, there is a high concentration of HCAs (heterocyclic amines) and PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). These chemicals may increase the risk of cancer cell development.
Plus, HCAs are pro-inflammatory chemicals that similar to AGEs lower the collagen levels in the skin causing premature skin aging. Hence, lower the intake of any type of burnt, charred, or fried meat in your diet, and replace it with vegetables, legumes, and nuts.
9. Soft And Energy Drinks
Besides being rich in acids that destroy your teeth and enamel, energy drinks contain high amounts of sugar. Excessive consumption of energy drinks or any kind of soft and carbonated drinks may lead to blood sugar increase, weight gain, heart problems, and even diabetes.
Caffeine is one of the main ingredients in energy drinks to make you feel elevated. Due to this ingredient, after even a bottle of the beverage, you may experience sleep disturbance, anxiety, and blood vessel issues. All of these consequences are direct causes of faster aging caused by unhealthy food.
10. Processed Meat
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) processed food, especially meat carries carcinogens. On the other hand, processed meat is also considered to increase the risk of diabetes and heart problems. It is worth mentioning that not only read but also white processed poultry may fall into this group of foods that quicken aging.
Some meat products contain preservatives such as high amounts of salt. Though salt is a perfect means of killing harmful bacteria in meat, its excess content causes dehydration and a puffy face.
How Toxic Protein Affects The Skin
The human body needs protein to repair damaged cells and build new ones. When you eat protein-rich foods, they break down into amino acids important for maintaining healthy weight, muscles, and growth.
Most of the protein is found in animal products such as meat, poultry, milk, fish, and eggs. Also in nuts, legumes, quinoa, buckwheat, and others. There are three categories of proteins your body needs
- Essential proteins are not produced by the body and should be obtained from food.
- Nonessential proteins that are made by the body from amino acids and natural protein breakdown
- Conditional proteins are needed when the body is under stress or illness
However, there is a risk of proteins turning toxic to the body. Meat and dairy products are most likely to deliver toxic proteins. The best way to avoid toxic proteins is to balance meat, egg, fish, and milk intake. One of the harmful results of toxic protein accumulation is oxidative stress which can cause cell death and DNA damage.
Proteins may become toxic in different cases, for instance,
- When the body receives more proteins than it can process
- Toxic proteins may occur after they are metabolized or converted into toxic compounds as byproducts
- Our body may also accumulate toxic proteins causing disorders as in the case of Alzheimer’s disease when toxic proteins are produced and accumulated in the brain.
Collagen is the main structural protein in the skin which helps to maintain skin elasticity. As a result of the toxic protein accumulation, collagen levels get depleted causing skin inflammation. Thus, think of consuming foods that contain a healthy amount of proteins and eliminate toxic proteins that cause sagging skin and wrinkle appearance due to collagen decrease.
How To Avoid Foods Aging You?
To avoid premature skin and organismal aging, reduce the foods discussed above. In addition to these
- avoid canned, ready-made food high in harmful chemicals
- shop for organic vegetables and fruits
- choose grass-fed meat
- choose organic eggs
- accompany high-protein foods with vegetables
- replace grilled or fried with boiled and steamed vegetables and meat
- replace cow milk with vegan milk. Yet, if you prefer cow’s milk, reduce its consumption and fat content
- avoid UV radiation from direct sunlight to avoid skin aging
- turn food into energy by exercising
- increase your vital vitamin levels through food and supplements
In addition to these, try to enhance your body’s protective mechanisms with foods that contain NMN. The latter is an essential component having a central role in heart health, cellular function, DNA protection, and healthy organismal and skin aging. Besides food, NMN supplements can also enhance your youthfulness.
Although food keeps us alive and active, it may also accelerate the aging process. To slow down aging, we should reduce the consumption of certain types of harmful food. Most importantly, we should listen to the signals our body sends us through inflammation, skin sagging, and low energy levels.
By lowering processed, fried, fatty, sweet, and salty foods we can eliminate the risks of chronic diseases. And by balancing vegetable and healthy protein intake, we can significantly prolong our youthful appearance.