You probably already know about the major factors that can make you age faster, such as the sun, stress, and smoking, but were you aware that your diet can make you old before your time? Read on to find out which prematurely aging foods to avoid.
1. Baked Goods
You likely know to avoid trans fats in your diet as it has been shown to lead to some health issues, but trans fats can be found in baked goods as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, so make sure you read the ingredients labels before you buy.
Sneaky manufacturers have started putting the labels on the underside of baked goods, hoping you won’t look there, so be sure to check.
Everyone is different, but according to Amy Shapiro, RD, some people can age quicker when they eat dairy products.
Dairy can also cause or worsen skin reactions in some people, such as eczema or psoriasis. People who suffer from these conditions may find they improve if they find alternatives to dairy foods.
3. High Fat Proteins
Bacon and sausage are some of our favorite breakfast foods, but they are very high in saturated fats, and can contain trace amounts of trans fats, says Paul Salter, RD.
When you eat these foods, they negatively affect your cholesterol and blood lipids, which leads to inflammation and weight gain. This is hard on your body, and your skin.
4. Super Salty Foods
A tiny amount of salt is good for you, but it’s important to eat salt in moderation. It can have a bad impact on your body, and that includes your skin.
If you eat a dinner that’s high in sodium, you’ll probably wake up next morning with a puffy face. This is because too much salt causes you to retain water. One way to lessen the damage is to drink plenty of water to encourage your body to eliminate the excess water it’s holding on to.
If you want to keep your skin looking young, it needs proper hydration. Alcohol dehydrates you, and if you throw in a night of poor sleep, it can make you look much older than you are.
6. Deep Fried Food
If you want to keep looking young, you’re going to have to sacrifice the pleasure of deep fried foods. They offer very little nutritional value, and are probably made in frying oil that contains trans fats.
Some of the bigger fast food chains have changed their oils to be free of this unhealthy ingredient, but even without trans fats, fast foods can cause weight gain. According to Keith-Thomas Ayoob, PhD, the extra pounds won’t do much for your skin’s longevity, and could make you look older than you are.
7. Sugary Drinks
Premature aging is just one reason to avoid soda, powdered drink mixes, and other sugar filled drinks.
Colas contain phosphoric acid, which can speed up erosion of your tooth enamel, and he damage to your teeth can make you look older than you are, says Ayoob. If you’re a coffee drinker who can’t stand the thought of unsweetened coffee, he recommends using Stevia as a sweetener instead, as it doesn’t add to tooth decay.
8. Saturated Fats
If you regularly enjoy a diet of red meat, dairy, and cheese, you may look older than you should, says Rebecca Lewis, RD. This is because saturated fats speed up your aging clock, and contributes to inflammation and weight gain.
9. Non-Dairy Coffee Creamer
Non-dairy coffee creamer can contain trans fats, which create dangerous free radicals in your body. These free radicals build plaque in your arteries, and if you regularly consume non-dairy coffee creamer, you could be at risk of circulatory problems. That’s not good for aging well, says Ayoob, as it can increase inflammation and stress.
If you love a bowl of popcorn, and eat it regularly, you could be adding years onto your skin. Popcorn is full of salt and trans fats, especially if you opt for extra butter or choose the microwave kind. For a healthier alternative, choose DIY microwave popcorn instead.