Eating specific foods isn’t going to make you look noticeably younger overnight. However, nutrition is one of the key aspects of aging well. What goes on your plate can affect what you see in the mirror down the road. This may sound intense, but your diet has a huge impact on how you feel and look as you get older. It is important to note that the quantity of food also plays an important role in our aging outcome. Healthy overeating can still create stress for the body. The idea is to eat clean, while also consuming reasonable proportions.
Avoid Foods That Accelerate the Aging of Your Skin
The key approach to keeping your body health and your skin youthful starts with eating better. Poor-quality foods can keep our bodies in an “inflammatory state”. Below are foods to limit when assessing the quality of foods that you put into your body.
Foods that are deep-fried contain an excessive amount of oil which adds to inflammation in your body. Not only do these foods affect how you look, but they also greatly impact blood tests. Trans fats can negatively affect your diagnostic results – raising your LDL cholesterol and lowering your HDL. LDL, also known as low-density lipoprotein, is sometimes coined as “bad cholesterol” which raises your risk of heart disease and strokes. HDL (high-density lipoprotein), on the other hand, absorbs cholesterol and carries it back to the liver, minimizing these health risks.
Not only do these foods affect our internal health, but they play a role in the aging process on the outside of the body. Consumption of these types of fats and oils in foods will also result in premature aging and wrinkles. As these types of food impact your cardiovascular system, blood flow to your skin is weakened. In addition, your liver can experience strain as toxins build up and are no longer broken down properly. As a result, your skin will experience negative results as well including loss of collagen, loss of elasticity, acne, excess wrinkles, redness, dehydration, and puffiness.
Favorite fatty carbs include
- Potato Chips
- Many crackers and such in the snack isle
- French Fries
- Onion Rings
- Anything breaded and deep fried
To avoid foods high in fatty carbs, check the food labels on items such as crackers and baked goods. It is beneficial to avoid “partially hydrogenated oils” and “vegetable shortening” labeled ingredients. At home, substitute healthy oils like coconut, avocado, and olive oil. When you are out avoid deep fried entrees and look for broiled or grilled alternatives.
Processed foods often contain high levels of saturated fats, which can also negatively impact your body’s cholesterol. Again, this can really affect the health of your skin due to a reduction in blood flow. Meats that are “processed” contain nitrates and saturated fats, which contribute greatly to inflammation. Processed meats can also contain harmful chemicals, even known carcinogens which are linked to cancer. Excess inflammation in the body is directly related to pre-mature aging and excess wrinkling of the skin.
The harmful chemical compounds present in are not present in fresh meat. It is a good idea to purchase meats that are on the “leaner” side. Great lean options include meats like turkey breast, chicken breast, and tenderloins. When cooking with ground beef, selecting items that are at least 95% lean is advised and grass fed meat is best. Here are the processed meats that are best to stay away from.
- Bacon – I know. On occasion, you can get “Uncured Bacon” which is cured with salt and celery instead of nitrates.
- Hot Dogs
- Deli Meat – Some deli meats like Boar’s Head have fewer chemicals and nitrates
- Sausage – Consider making your own from fresh meat and spices you have in your cupboard. You might even get your butcher to grind the meat for you.
- Pizza – Especially when loaded with the above meats
Processed foods are often high in processed salts, which will age your body and skin faster. Therefore, consuming processed foods causes your body to retain water, becoming bloated and actually dehydrated. Processed meats also reduce the production of vitamin C in the body. In turn, your skin is typically drier, much less healthy, and more prone to wrinkles.
Many people understand that it is beneficial to our bodies to avoid foods high in carbohydrates, including all bread. When you do choose to eat bread, we recommended a whole grain or whole wheat option over white bread. White bread in particular is worse for your body than you may think. It may not seem much different from the other options, but white bread is higher in additives and is far more processed than the alternatives. A diet that regularly includes white bread can result in high blood pressure, obesity, heart attacks, memory issues, and strokes.
With these health issues and added inflammation to the body, the aging process is considerably accelerated. Your skin’s collagen is compromised by eating foods high in carbohydrates. To keep your skin “springy” and wrinkle-resistant, be sure to avoid high-carb foods such as white bread.
Sugar is linked to an increased risk for heart attack and stroke. The effects of added sugar include high blood pressure, diabetes, weight gain, fatty liver disease, and inflammation. Sugar can also be linked aged skin and wrinkling.
When we consume added sugar, we mess with our collagen molecules, causing our skin to lose its elasticity. Sugar can also result in acne, sagging skin around the neck and chin, and initiate dark spot development. Cuts and scars are slower to heal when sugar is present in the body. Below are added sugars that we should avoid in our diets.
- White Sugar
- Sugary Cocktails
- Donuts and Sugary Pastries
There is, however, a difference between total sugar and added sugar. Total sugar is the sugar that you get from squeezing an orange, whereas added sugar is adding a packet of sugar to that juice. These sugars can add flavor or even extend the “shelf” life of certain foods.
It is said that moderate drinking may offer some health benefits. These potential drinking perks are relatively small and may not apply to every individual. It should be noted that avoiding alcohol altogether may be the best route and therefore no one should begin drinking based on potential health benefits. In the instance that an individual is healthy and already drinks moderately, it is considered acceptable in terms of health.
Moderate drinking means consuming one drink a day for a woman or two drinks a day for a man. One drink includes 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits. There are severe health risks associated with heavy consumption of alcohol.
- Heart Damage
- Liver Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Weakened Immune System
- Alcohol withdrawal syndrome
Any of the above medical conditions takes a toll on the body and will result in accelerated aging. In addition, alcohol is very dehydrating to the skin and body. Overconsumption of it can deprive our skin of the moisture and nutrients it needs to stay youthful. Therefore, alcohol can negatively affect your skin with an increased appearance of wrinkles, dryness, and sagging skin.
The foods you consume have a major effect on your internal health, the overall health of your skin, and your physical appearance. The above list, although tasty, is not recommended if you want to look and feel your best. The good news is there are some really amazing alternative foods that can actually help your skin stay young and healthy looking. We will cover those next… Stay tuned!
In addition to a good diet, you should also protect your skin while in the sun, and get your skin checked regularly. Contact Lady Lake Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Dermatology & Mohs Surgery for a consultation today.