People tend to be scared of growing old. The fear of aging is one that sticks with us, and we often try to find all sorts of different ways to stop the slow march of time.
Did you know that food might be a culprit in making us look older?
We should talk a little about advanced glycation end products (or, AGEs if you’re into the whole brevity thing).
AGEs are one of the main culprits that accelerate the aging process of our skin, and they form when protein or fat combine with sugar.
We bring this up because the food we’re about to discuss, more often than not, will contain some sort of advanced glycation end product.
Plus, wasn’t it fun to learn a new scientific term?
Now you can sound smart in front of all your friends!
1. French Fries.
French fries might be one of the most universally loved side dishes. Everywhere you go, you can always get a side of those salty sticks of goodness. But it’s their salt that brings them down.
Turns out, french fries, and most fried food has properties in them that make your skin age faster.
HEALTH LINE puts it best when they say: “Foods fried in oil at high temperatures release free radicals that can cause cellular damage to the skin.
Exposure to free radicals accelerates the aging process due to an action called cross-linking.
Cross-linking affects DNA molecules and can weaken skin’s elasticity.” Also, the salt from the fries might lessen your skin’s elasticity as well. What You Should Replace It With: Sweet Potatoes.
Of course, you’re going to want to avoid frying the sweet potatoes and opt for baking them instead.
Not only are they better for you, but as an added bonus they might even make you look younger as well. Sweet potatoes are rich in anti-aging copper, which makes your skin look fresh faced.
2. White Bread.
Ahhh, white bread. It’s a staple of all three meals– toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and… erm… stuffing your turkey for dinner.
Unfortunately, not only is white bread not good for you, but it might make you look older as well. The components in the refining process of white bread create AGEs.
Essentially, when the refined carbs mix with the protein, you’ll get advanced glycation end products.
Also, as some scientists have put it “Foods with a high glycemic index, like white bread, can cause inflammation in the body, which is directly linked to the aging process.” So yeah, not so great for your health and also, not so good for your healthy skin.
What You Should Replace It With: Sprouted Bread. You know those breads with all the grains and seeds all over them?
The whole wheat variety, like the ones that are called “a thousand year grains” or something? That’s the kind of bread you should eat instead of white bread.
Make sure however that they contain no added sugar. Also, know that sprouted breads also contain antioxidants that are beneficial to the skin.
3. White Sugar.
Everybody loves sugar! Sugar on candy, sugar on pastries, sugar in drinks, sugar, sugar, sugar. But not only does sugar give you terrible, unwanted skin blemishes like acne, but it contributes to our skin looking older as well.
As we said earlier, one of the greatest contributors to the creation of AGEs is sugar.
“When our sugar levels are elevated, this AGE process is stimulated.
It’s sped up even more if sunlight is involved.
So, instead of eating ice cream on the beach, opt for refreshing frozen fruit or a popsicle with no sugar added.” What You Should Replace It With: Honey Or Fruit.
We hear you say. How the heck is bee juice and FRUIT supposed to replace sugar! Well, if you’re looking to preserve your skin’s age, you’re going to have to make the switch.
In fact, some can even make you look younger. A study done by the ARKANSAS CHILDREN’S NUTRITION CENTER linked blueberries with collagen production, some thing that is integral in keeping your skin looking younger.
Can you really believe it’s not butter?
Whether you can or you can’t, there’s no denying that margarine has really snuck its way into the hearts of North Americans.
A cheap alternative to butter, it’s almost as good and it is really versatile. Unfortunately, it can make you look older than you actually are.
None other than the world renowned HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL discovered that “Margarine is worse than moderate amounts of real butter due to the fact that it’s high in partially hydrogenated oils.
These trans fatty acids make skin more vulnerable to ultraviolet radiation, which can damage skin’s collagen and elasticity.”
Also, a piece of research done by the JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF NUTRITION uncoveredthe fact that “those who don’t consume butter or margarine have less skin damage and wrinkles than those who do.” Our advice: put down the butter knife and pick up…
What You Should Replace It With: Olive Oil Or Avocados Some Olive Oil and Avocados! You can use some olive oil in all your cooking needs. Instead of smearing that pan with butter, sprinkle on some olive oil.
And as for toast, you can smear avocados onto it instead of the breakfast staple, as they are rich in anti-aging antioxidants.
Hey, maybe you can throw some smushed avocado on your Sprouted Bread toast.
5. Processed Meats.
There’s nothing better than a barbeque.
Our writing staff is Canadian, and they tell us that there’s no better combo than these meats on the grill: Hot dogs, pepperoni, bacon, and sausage.
HEALTH LINE tells us that “These meats are high in sodium, saturated fats, and sulfite, which can all dehydrate the skin and weaken collagen by causing inflammation.” Which, obviously, is what we’re trying to avoid.
What You Should Replace It With: Turkey Or Chicken. If you’re looking to cut back on the aged look of your skin, try leaner meats like turkey or chicken.
These meats are packed with protein and amino acids that are essential in the natural formation of collagen. Also, if you’re a vegan or vegetarian, try some eggs or beans.
Don’t worry writing staff, chicken is great on the barbeque and we hear the turkey version of pepperoni sticks are to die for!
Looks like you might have to cut out an entire food group in order to look healthy and young.
The bad news is that although this might sound crazy and undoable, it is in fact backed by science. The good news is that it really varies from person to person.
A study done by the UNIVERSITY OF NAPLES discovered that: “It all depends on the person. For some, dairy may increase inflammation in the body, which leads to oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress is one of the main causes of premature aging.” Which stinks if you’re one of those unlucky people, but if you’re not… well, we guess that you can still eat cheese then.
What You Should Replace It With: Seeds, Beans, Almonds, Leafy Greens, And Figs. Pretty much anything that will be a good source of calcium.
This is because when you lose dairy, you lose one of the best sources of this essential vitamin. Worse comes to worst, we recommend taking a supplement. Or sunflower seeds.
7. Soda And Coffee.
We know how hard it might be to give up these two, for two different reasons.
Water is boring and juice you have to put in a glass, but soda is convenient, sweet and so, so delicious.
And as for coffee, well, as Lorelai Gilmore said: “I can’t stop drinking the coffee, I stop drinking coffee, I stop doing the standing, and the walking, and the words-putting-into-sentences doing”.
How ever, it might be vital to quit if you want your skin to look younger. Turns out, these drinks don’t affect your skin directly, but they affect some thing that does: your sleep.
When you consume drinks high in caffeine like coffee and soda, your sleep is affected and that’s bad for your skin.
UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS CASE MEDICAL CENTER did a study where they found that “Poor sleep has been linked to increased signs of aging and more dark eye circles, wrinkles, and fine lines.”
What You Should Replace It With: Swap It Out. HEALTH LINE has some great tips on what to do about your coffee and soda addiction: “See if you can decrease the amount or make swaps, like having golden milk instead of coffee.
Turmeric, the main ingredient in golden milk, is rich in antioxidants and one of the most powerful anti-aging compounds around.” And so, our list of the food that makes you look older is complete.
What did you think of our list? Did you learn what not to eat? Did we forget any of the most important ones?