April 18, 2022
You’ve probably heard about foods that are anti-aging, such as the good fats found in avocados and good quality olive oil, cold water fatty fish such as mackerel, anchovies and salmon as well as walnuts and other nuts. But you might not realize there are also foods that can actually speed up aging, and these you definitely want to avoid!
There are a lot of factors that can affect how fast you age, including your genetics (no control over that!), how well you manage stress in your life, whether you smoke or not, how much air pollutants you are exposed to, how much exercise you get, whether or not you get enough high-quality sleep and what you eat.
Each one of these could be a discussion topic all by itself, but today, we’ll focus on food, as this is one of the most obvious places to start and for most people, the easiest place to begin implementing changes.
Many of the aging factors we listed above have to do with inflammation. When the levels of inflammation in your body go up, this can not only cause premature aging of your cells, but it can also directly interfere with your immune system’s ability to fight off disease. So, it makes sense that you will want to choose foods that have anti-inflammatory effects and avoid ones that promote inflammation.
So which foods are particularly bad when it comes to accelerating aging? Let’s take a look at five of these:
One - White Bread and White Pasta
These foods are highly refined and eating them will almost immediately spike your blood sugar. This rise in blood sugar can lead to inflammation. Plus, these foods contain almost no fiber, and you may notice you get hungry again soon after eating them. Replace these foods with spiralized zucchini or squash noodles instead of white pasta, or choose pasta made from beans such as lentils. Whole grain breads are healthier and have more fiber and nutrients than white bread.
Two – Processed Meats like Hot Dogs, Sausages, Salami, Ham Etc
Processed meats of any kind are high in sodium as well as unhealthy saturated fat. Plus, they are filled with additives such as sodium nitrate. These foods are also very high in calories, which when consumed frequently can cause weight gain. Choose lean turkey or chicken instead of processed meats or cold-water fatty fish like salmon.
Three - French Fries And Other Fried Foods
Foods fried in oil can release a type of molecule called free radicals which contribute to aging and disease. Plus, fried foods are very high in calories. Try sweet potato fries instead, cooked in an air fryer or in the oven. Lightly coat sweet potato slices with some good quality olive oil and sprinkle with smoked paprika, garlic powder and a sprinkle of salt then cook.
Four - Alcohol
Drinking too much can cause all sorts of age related problems including memory loss, high blood pressure, heart problems and an increased risk of cancer. Substitute sparkling water, mineral water or unsweetened black or herbal iced tea.
Five – Soda Pop
Not only does soda pop accelerate aging, it puts you at a higher risk of diabetes. A single 12-ounce can of soda has nearly ten teaspoons of sugar! Home-made lemon or fruit-infused water, unsweetened tea, water and coffee are all better choices than soda. Diet sodas have their own dangers as well from artificial sweeteners, so it’s best to also avoid them.
Yes, all of these foods accelerate aging, but does that mean you can never have a hot dog again? The occasional indulgence is ok, but it’s when you make these foods a regular part of your diet is what will get you into trouble. As in all things, moderation is the key!