Diet strategies to keep you as young as possible, inside and out.
Did you look in the mirror this morning and think, “Wow I look great!” Or instead, did you think, “When did I get so old?” If it was the latter, you may want to look inside your refrigerator and kitchen cupboards for one of the culprits! Aging happens to all of us however, an unhealthy diet can send your aging process into overdrive, leaving you looking older than your real age!
There is an incredible amount of evidence that shows eating junk food puts your body into an inflammatory state. Poor quality foods, like trans fats cause inflammation–and aging is basically a chronic inflammatory state. Can a person look older because of a poor diet? Absolutely!
For example, too much sugar and processed carbohydrates in your diet can lead to the production of advanced glycation end products. This is associated with a number of diseases like heart disease and diabetes. It can also damage the collagen fibers of your skin but remember, it’s not just your looks that are on the line. Eating too much of the foods that ramp up inflammation and clog your arteries or pack on extra pounds can be bad news from head to toe!
Foods To Limit: ( I hear the sighs)
- Potato chips and french fries–anything that is deep-fried in oil is laden with trans fats which contribute to inflammation throughout your entire body. The American Heart Association recommends you keep trans fats to less than 1% of your daily diet.
- Doughnuts and sugary pastries.These pack a multiple whammy–often they are high in trans fats and packed with sugar, which is also linked to inflammation. They produce the advanced glycation end products that generate wrinkles.
- Hot dogs, bacon, and pepperoni. Sad to say–any processed meats, including your favorite home-delivery pepperoni pizza and ballpark hot dogs are not your friends. They are high in saturated fats and nitrates, both of which contribute to inflammation.
- Less than lean red meats. The key with red meat is to keep it lean, minimizing saturated fats which are big producers of inflammation and unhealthy for your arteries. The American Heart Association recommends you keep saturated fats from all sources, not just red meat, to less than 7% of your daily calorie intake.
- Alcohol. This is a tough one. Some alcohol may be good for you, but too much can absolutely age you prematurely. If you drink 1-2 alcoholic drinks per day that may be good for your heart. More than that and you may be revving up the aging process and its associated diseases (like liver disease and certain cancers.) If you don’t drink, no one is advising you to start.
More inportantly, eating a diet rich in high quality foods can reduce inflammation and help keep you looking your very best!