Have you ever wondered how some people who are of the exact same age can look years apart? There are lots of things that may affect a person’s skin and appearance such as genetics, environment, and more. One of the most important determining factors is diet.
It’s important to have a diet full of healthy, whole foods that are also anti-inflammatory. At the same time, it is also important to ensure you avoid certain foods that may affect your skin negatively. Taking these foods off your daily diet could help you delay aging, achieve a healthy, natural glow, and keep you looking young – and all that without any sort of cosmetics or surgery!
So, here are 11 foods you should avoid if you want younger-looking skin:
Regular consumption of wheat-based foods can speed up your body’s aging process – and yes, that includes whole wheat too!
The wheat available in the market today is a scientifically engineered food product that is high in starch gluten. Wheat also contains a rare type of carbohydrate called Amylopectin-A, which studies have found to cause a spike in blood sugar and insulin several times higher than table sugar. There is a similar quantity of Amylopectin-A present in whole wheat flour too.
The body produces age-accelerating substances called Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs) during a natural process called glycation. Consistently high blood sugar levels cause your body to produce higher levels of AGEs, which makes your body store more belly fat and trigger inflammation. This leads to issues such as fatty liver disease, obesity, diabetes, and more. AGEs also damage your skin’s collagen, which makes you look older.
Lots of people are also allergic to gluten, a condition called Celiac disease. In this case, gluten damages your gut lining and causes bacteria and toxins to leak through your gut barrier and trigger immune-system reactions. As for your skin, this could cause inflammation, swollen face, pigmentation, pimples, skin redness, and more.
Celiac disease is just one of the health issues caused by eating gluten. Gluten damages your gut lining, causing bacteria and toxins to leak through your gut barrier and trigger immune-system reactions. This causes inflammation in your body, which shows up through a swollen face, pigmentation, pimples, and skin redness.
Consider replacing wheat with gluten-free alternatives such as amaranth, buckwheat, millet, brown rice, and quinoa.
Everything from corn oil and corn cereal to corn syrup is high in starch. This could lead to a spike in blood sugar, which, as we know, speeds up the production of AGEs that can cause your skin to age quicker.
Fructose, present in high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is very damaging as it cause AGEs to form at a much, much higher rate than glucose!
Corn-based foods are also very high in Omega-6 fatty acids, which can lead to an imbalance between Omega-6 and Omega 3. This can also lead to body inflammation and oxidation. This is why its best to avoid corn-based foods as much as possible.
You probably know that sugar can weight gain, but did you know that it can also make you age faster? Sugar is another facilitator for high AGE-production in the body, which damages the building blocks of your skin – collagen and elastin. Excessive consumption of sugar can directly lead to wrinkles, age spots, blemishes, lackluster skin, cellulite, and even cause fatty liver disease.
On top of all this, sugar can cause addictions, which makes it harder to give up. When you consume sugary desserts, they also likely contain things like wheat and other ingredients that can further exacerbate the issue.
You may think that oils extracted from vegetables such as canola, corn, safflower, sunflower, soybean, and others sound “healthy”, but the reality is that these polyunsaturated fats have been so processed and overly heated that they lose any nutrients they may have had to begin with!
On the contrary, such oils can actually cause inflammation of the body and promote rapid aging, wrinkles, and make your skin more vulnerable to sun damage. Therefore, it’s better to avoid them whenever possible. Instead, go for healthy fats like extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil, virgin coconut oil (cold-pressed is better), and grass-fed butter.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that deep-fried foods aren’t exactly healthy for you. They are high in artificial trans fats and AGEs, especially since they are usually cooked in vegetable oils, which as we already mentioned, promote inflammation.
If you regularly consume deep-fried foods, your risk of diabetes and heat disease becomes much higher. It can also cause cellular damage and weaken the skin’s elasticity.
The main ingredient in margarine is partially hydrogenated oil, which is just a fancy name for artificial trans fats, as opposed to dairy and meat contain natural trans fats. Artificial trans fats have been found to cause gut inflammation and increase the risk for several diseases.
Trans fatty acids also make your skin more vulnerable to UV radiation, which can damage collagen in the skin and elasticity, which causes wrinkles.
Eating foods with high amounts of salt regularly increases your risk of high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and kidney disease. Lots of salt in your diet will lead to dehydration of the skin, which causes water retention and puffiness – which makes you look like you are perpetually sleepy.
Long-time overconsumption of salt will lead to a depletion of your body’s collagen reserves, which makes your skin age much faster. Therefore, high-sodium, processed foods like canned foods, sauces, potato chips, processed meats, etc.
If you want to keep your skin looking young, healthy, and glowing, it’s better to give up drinking alcohol or stick to a glass on rare occasions. You should also be drinking lots and lots of water, which does wonders for your skin.
Alcohol, on the other hand, dehydrates the skin, causing fine lines and prominent wrinkles. It can also cause body inflammation, acne, and rosacea outbreaks. Alcohol also strips your body of vitamin A, and antioxidant that is essential for cell renewal.
As we mentioned earlier, processed meats like pepperoni, bacon, sausages, and deli meat are high in sodium, which is highly inflammatory and harmful to the body. Additionally, they are also full of additives and preservatives such as sulfite, phosphate, and nitrate. These substances dehydrate your skin and weaken collagen.
Better alternatives to processed meats include grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, fish, eggs, and bone broth – all foods that encourage the production of collagen in your body.
Caffeine is a diuretic, and with excessive consumption of it, your body could become dehydrates, leading to a build up in toxins. This then leads to inflammation and loss of collagen. All of these things spell trouble for your skin. However, sticking to a cup or two of black coffee a day can provide you with a healthy source of antioxidants. Just make sure you don’t load it with sugar and dairy!
Say bye-bye to your favorite carbonated drinks, because they are definitely a contributing factor in making you look older! You may think you’re smart by choosing “zero-sugar” or “zero-calorie” varieties but how can a beverage that is basically just flavored sugar water be anything but bad for you?
Soda is usually full of high fructose corn syrup, which causes inflammation, insulin resistance, and fatty liver disease. It also speeds up production of AGEs in the body. Studies have also shown that phosphates, which are present in abundance in carbonated beverages, can accelerate signs of aging through thinning skin and wrinkles. Did you know that the caramel color used in colas is directly linked to the production of wrinkles?