Stay clear of the sun, don’t smoke, get adequate sleep, and limit your stress is all you need to prevent accelerated aging, right? Wrong! The older we get the more we tend to invest our money in anti-aging beauty products. There are so many serums, lotions, masks, and so on that are targeted to help prevent aging skin and we’re willing to try anything to stay youthful! But did you know that diet plays a huge role in how our skin looks and feels?

Studies show that what you put in your body is just, if not more important than what you put on it and that is precisely what we’ll be discussing today. Before you go and spend all that money on skincare products you may want to reaccess your current diet. If you’re excessively eating or drinking these 12 foods, it may be time to cut back! Limit these foods and you may look and feel like you took a sip from the Fountain of Youth!

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1. Sugar

Sugar is irresistibly sweet and can be addictive but it could be damaging your skin! Sugar can cause your insulin levels to spike which in turn, can cause inflammation in the body.

Inflammation is bad because it produces enzymes that can damage collagen and elastin which could result in more wrinkles and sagging skin. Further, glycation, which is a process caused by digested sugar permanently adhering to collagen of the skin can increase the effects of aging and provoke skin conditions such as rosacea and acne. All in all, the less sugar we digest, especially as we get older, the better!

2. Alcohol

Your nightly glass of wine may do no harm, however, excesses drinking could lead to accelerated aging. This is because excessive alcohol can dehydrate the body. Plus, alcohol can hijack the body of vitamin A, and antioxidants both of which are vital for cell renewal.

Further, drinking too much alcohol can lead to depletion in important minerals such as zinc and magnesium, along with essential fatty acids. All of these play an important role to help slow down early aging.

3. Sugary Cocktails

Though alluring, sugary cocktails could wreak some serious havoc on your skin. As we just discussed, excessive drinking can onset premature aging, however, indulging in sugary cocktails could be even worse.

The combination of excessive sugar and alcohol is a recipe for disaster! When sugar comes in contact with proteins in the body, they can come together and damage the collagen of the skin which could have an aging effect. That combined with dehydrating alcohol can make wrinkles appear deeper. So you may want to stay clear of the sugary cocktails altogether or enjoy them only for special occasions.

4. Refined Carbs

Bagels, breakfast cereals, and pasta are all examples of refined carbs. Although delicious they could be the culprit to aging you faster. This is because refined carbs can increase the production of advanced glycation end, also known as AGE’s.

AGE’s are proteins that become glycated when exposed to sugar such as refined carbs, and in result, deteriorates the body’s ability to repair and regenerate cells. When this happens, our skin’s elasticity may decrease and wrinkles may deepen. As we get older, it may be best to treat refined carbs as an occasional treat instead of having them every day!

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5. Salty Foods

Eliminating salt from your diet entirely isn’t a good idea. Salt can actually help prevent muscle cramps, reduce headaches and keep you hydrated especially if you’re highly active. However, there’s a fine line between a healthy amount of salt and an unhealthy amount.

While you may not think you cook with a lot of salt, it can be hidden in many foods! It’s often used to preserve canned foods, is found in processed foods, fried foods, and so much more. Too much salt could actually cause fluid retention and could dehydrate the body. Both of which can lead to aging skin. Be sure to limit your salt consumption and try your best to stay away from processed foods.

6. Processed Meats

Processed meats are delicious but you may want to stay clear of them if you want to slow down the appearance of aging. Charcuterie boards are all the rage these days and they are fun little platters to enjoy with friends but those deli meats are very high in salt.

As we discussed previously too much salt can make you look puffy and the preservatives found in processed meats may cause inflammation. Both of these can accelerate the appearance of aging. While it may be tempting to enjoy an Instagram-worthy charcuterie board, it may be best to enjoy them only on a special occasion!

7. Deep-Fried Foods

Deep-fried foods are just so darn delicious and they can be hard to avoid. Many fast-food chains and restaurants use this cooking method because it’s fast and inexpensive. However, indulging in fried food too often may accelerate the aging process.

Firstly, fried foods are insanely high in calories and trans fats both of which can put you at risk for obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Further, we do need fat to maintain healthy skin, just not the fried kind! Fried foods can make your skin prone to breakouts and could dehydrate your skin and in turn, make you appear older than you are.

8. Pizza

Fast food is convenient and it is certainly delicious. I know how hard it is to resist that ooey-gooey cheesy pizza! It’s so savory and comforting. Having said that, just like deep-fried foods, we often lean on fast food like pizza as a quick fix to tide us over. However, fast foods may accelerate the aging process.

Firstly, fast food could cause breakouts in the skin, can increase bad cholesterol levels, may put you at risk for heart disease, and may cause bloating and puffiness. If you want to keep feeling young it’s key to enjoy fast foods like pizza, in moderation and instead, enjoy a healthy balanced diet as well as regular exercise more frequently.

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9. Spicy Foods

Okay, it’s safe to say your favorite spicey takeout isn’t going to shorten your life but it could affect some people. Firstly, those that have rosacea-prone skin could be at risk as spicy food tends to aggravate it.

Further, if you’re going through menopause you may want to stay clear of spicy foods! Some studies show that spicy foods dilate the blood vessels which may leave your skin looking blotchy and less youthful. Indulging in spicy foods may be harmless, however, frequent flare-ups could lead to permanent redness.

10. Steak

We’re not trying to say give up steak forever, you just may want to be more mindful of your consumption of red meats overall. Red meat is a great source of iron, B vitamins, and vitamin D however, they do contain more saturated fat than chicken or fish.

Too much-saturated fat can increase levels of cholesterol in the bloodstream which in turn could put you at risk for heart disease. You may want to reduce your red meat consumption and when you do enjoy it, pair it with nutritious sides like steamed broccoli and carrots or any of these Anti-Aging Foods You Should be Trying!

11. Margarine

You may want to take it easy the next time you plan on lathering your toast with margarine. Margarine is loaded with trans fats which are not only bad for your skin but could also put you at risk for heart disease.

Trans fats can encourage inflammation which can be bad for your collagen. This also means it can be detrimental to the elasticity of your skin. So if you’re trying to fight off wrinkles you not only want to stay clear of margarine but any foods that are high in trans fats too.

12. Coffee

Do you start your morning with a delicious cup of coffee? Perhaps, you find yourself reaching for another for an afternoon pick me up! Anything in moderation is considered good for us but too much coffee may accelerate aging!

Caffeine has a mild diuretic effect which means your kidneys will flush extra water and in turn, may dehydrate you. We’re not saying omit the coffee altogether, just be sure to enjoy an extra glass of water for every cup of coffee you drink!

Clarissa Vanner

Clarissa loves experimenting with food of all cultures to make unique healthy dishes. When she’s not browsing Pinterest for new recipe inspiration she likes to pick up a DIY project and use her creative hands to make art or crafts. In her down time you can find her watching the latest documentaries on Netflix or going for nature walks.

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