Do you know that certain foods you eat wreak havoc not just with your health but with how youthful you look and how well you age in every category? The old adage ‘You are what you eat” is true. It is nutrition, not our chronological age that determines how youthful you look and feel.
6 foods that have a profound influence on how you age:
Sugar not only creates weight gain easily, but it also creates wrinkles, sagging skin and poor health. An interesting process takes place called ‘glycation’ that literally renders your bodily tissues inflexible or simply damages them. The sugar circulating in your bloodstream attaches to protein in your body that create new molecules appropriately and precisely named ‘AGES’ or advanced glycation end products. Glycation is the caramelization of bodily tissue <-Yes.
Think of those crispy browned potatoes on the stove – the crispy part is an example of glycation. That same process is happening in your body. Most vulnerable? Collagen and elastin which keep our skin firm and youthful; once damaged this leads to wrinkles and sagging skin.
2. 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, more wrinkled. Be careful to read the nutrition label for ‘hydrogenated fats’ as this is code for trans fats.
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. Even if the label says zero trans fats, the food manufacturers’ are allowed to state zero even if they have a half gram of trans fats. One half gram of trans fats still has a mighty unhealthful impact upon our health.
Alcohol in moderation exerts a healthy effect that results in a you that ages well. 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. *By the way, 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.
4. Excess Carbohydrates.
Just like sugar that creates a caramelization effect (see ‘sugar’ above) inside and outside your body, refined carbs (healthy carbs stripped of all the good stuff) and excess healthy carbs do too. You can look at refined carbs as simply sugars in disguise. 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, slows or prevents lean muscle growth.
In addition, excess insulin also leaves you hungry 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 and this equates to less glycation and less weight.
5. Low-Fat Foods.
Everywhere you look you see the result of decades worth of bad advice that has left the majority of people fat and unknowingly aging their bodies. Remember the fat-free cookies Snackwells era? Snackwells is a small example of the much larger problem. Fat does not make you fat. In fact, fat promotes weight loss and youthfulness. The low-fat era is, unfortunately, still with us. Most people when they look at the nutrition label are more concerned with the fat grams. 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 skin, encouraging hair growth and and build strong cell membranes that reduce water loss in skin cells and much more.
Sources of healthy fats include: walnuts, salmon, flaxseed, chia seeds, avocados, almonds, 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 from 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 can cause the cells to shrink thus creating dehydration. This results not just in the sensation of thirst, but older, dehydrated, wrinkled skin.
Reducing or avoiding these foods is your key to a more energetic, vibrant and youthful you – inside and out.