Did you know that there are two different ways of measuring our age? There’s the chronological age which refers to the amount of time we have actually existed on this Earth. Then there’s the biological age which expresses how healthy our body is and how well it is functioning.
The biological age can be influenced by several lifestyle factors and choices, from sun exposure and environmental hazards to habits or diet. So, the old adage “you’re as old as you feel” is quite true. You can control your biological age through your lifestyle choices.
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Foods that speed up the Aging Process
Let’s look at 12 foods that speed up the aging process in your body and how to stay away from them.
The amount of added sugar in soft drinks is truly mindblowing. Soda represents 17.1% of the added sugar intake in the US.
The high amount of sugar in soft drinks can increase the risks of inflammation, double the aging speed and also affect your teeth. For example, in a study from 2016, scientists measured the acidity of 379 store-bought beverages from the US. 85 of them were deemed “extremely erosive”, with a pH of under 3.0. The ones with a pH between 3.0 and 3.99 were considered “erosive”. Popular beverages such as Pepsi or Fresca made this list.
Furthermore, most soft drinks contain a high amount of caffeine, affecting your sleep patterns. And you know that sleep is one of the most powerful weapons we have against aging. Like the old saying goes, “a good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the docto’s book”.
Ok, you were probably expecting this one. When it comes to aging, alcohol is the usual suspect. It can cause a lot of problems, from loss of collagen to wrinkles, redness of the skin, and poor nutrient absorption and hydration.
Alcohol can also damage the lining of your stomach and intestines. So, drink in moderation or don’t drink at all. Make sure you keep hydrated with water. Alcohol is not water. Don’t drink it like it is.
3. Fried fast food
Fried fast food is usually all about delicious empty calories. You love the taste, but you have to pay for it with minutes of your life.
This is because fast food is usually deep-fried in hydrogenated vegetable oil. That means trans fats. These fats impede hydration, and your body, especially your skin, won’t love that at all.
If you already have conflicting feelings about dairy, you’re not the only one. For some people, dairy can provoke inflammation in the body, leading to oxidative stress – one of the main causes of premature aging.
Dropping dairy can also have positive effects on your skin health. Nevertheless, this is different from one person to another. Studies have shown that for some people, the calcium in dairy can play a major positive role in their overall skin health.
So, dairy can be great for some people and not-so-great for others.
5. Processed meat
According to a study from the University of Glasgow, eating processed meats, especially red meat, can increase our biological age.
Processed meats are full of phosphates to amp up their shelf life, flavor, and texture. However, eating phosphates in excess can be bad news for our bodies. Studies have suggested that too much serum phosphates can increase the risk of heart and kidney disease, weaken bone mass and even lead to premature death.
But there is more….
If you are your neighborhood’s grill god, you should think twice before lighting that barbecue again. Those delicious sausages, hot dogs, bacon, and pepperoni are full of sodium, saturated fats, and sulfites. These compounds can cause the skin to dehydrate, weaken collagen and promote inflammation.
So, how about you turn to chicken or turkey for the next barbecue? They might not be as delicious, but they’re surely not messing with your biological clock that much. Other affordable protein options include eggs and beans.
In 1869, during the Franco-Prussian wars, Napoleon III offered a big prize to anyone who could find a cheap and consistent substitute for butter. French chemist Hippolyte Mège-Mouriès came with the solution – margarine. It was created by mixing beef tallow with skimmed milk. It was a ready and cheap energy source that the war troops could carry with them.
However, margarine is worse than butter when it comes to your health. The trans fatty acids in margarine weaken the skin’s collagen and elasticity. Butter is not much better either. So, if you want to turn back your biological clock, you might also want to put the butter knife down.
You can replace margarine and butter with olive oil or avocados. They’re rich in anti-aging antioxidants, slowing down your biological clock.
7. Sweet cocktails
Mojitos, Margaritas, Sex on the Beach and all the other cocktails are so sweet they will steal minutes or hours of your life without you noticing it.
First of all, they are sugary drinks that can contain up to 50 grams of added sugar. The sugar will damage the collagen, while the alcohol will dehydrate you, causing wrinkles and fine lines to appear.
So, even if they’re tasty and refreshing, sweet alcoholic cocktails are a dangerous combination of alcohol and sugar that will speed up your biological clock. So, skip them, will you?
8. White bread
White bread has a high glycemic index. This means it has the potential to cause inflammation in the body and thus speed up the aging process.
Besides, white bread also contains highly processed flour and additives that can prove dangerous to your health, contributing to obesity, increased risks of heart disease and even diabetes. So, take it easy on white bread. Try healthier alternatives such as sprouted bread.
9. French fries
We know french fries are tasty, easy to make and snack on. But your biological clock does not agree with them.
I mean, let’s look at it. French fries are fried in oil at high temperatures. This releases free radicals that contribute to oxidative stress causing cellular damage.
Besides, french fries are also highly salty, drawing water out from the skin and dehydrating your body without you even noticing it. In time, it can cause fine lines and wrinkles to appear, damaging the skin’s elasticity.
In addition, the deep-friend oils can impede cell regeneration and hinder your body’s immune function.
So, if you want to look younger for longer, you should definitely stay away from french fries. Try replacing them with sweet potatoes. They are at least high in anti-aging copper, which supports collagen production.
10. Canned soup
Canned soups are usually teeming with sodium. Some brands of canned soups contain well over the recommended daily sodium limit of 2000mg, which can cause high blood pressure and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Moreover, this much sodium can dehydrate your skin and damage its elasticity.
Canned soups are also loaded with lots of unhealthy fats and calories that can mess with your biological clock as well. So, why not stay away from canned soup? You could try a few easy-to-make and fast soup recipes at home. With a little bit of patience, you can learn to make your own soup much faster and much more delicious.
Candy is another source of processed sugar that can wreak all sorts of havoc in your body. First of all, it can lead to high insulin response. And if that wasn’t enough, high candy consumption will not be very gentle on your weight or teeth health.
If you are a candy lover, we recommend you swap it for dark chocolate. It might be a bit of an acquired taste at the beginning, but you’ll come to love it in the long run. It boasts superstar anti-inflammatory qualities that will make you look younger than ever.
12. Frozen Dinners
We know. You just got home from work. You’ve worked overtime again, it’s 8 pm, and you’ve got nothing to eat. So, you feel frozen meals are your salvation. But they’re not.
They are notably rich in sodium which contributes to water retention. In the long run, that will make you look puffy and older than you really are.
Therefore, we know that sometimes it’s really difficult to cook dinner but try to make an extra effort. It is for your health and your wellbeing. Throw away the frozen dinner meals and do some meal preps the day before. Cook dinner for a few days. Put it in some Tupperware in the fridge, and your biological clock will really love it.
In the end, age is just a number, and with the right diet choices, you can look a lot younger than you really are.