Let’s face it – most of us really don’t want to look precisely our age if we’re over 40. We don’t want to appear 20 years younger either, but we do want to look and feel our best. We exercise, try to eat our vegetables (and may get an occasional Botox injection), but most of us are probably still eating foods that wreak havoc on our skin without even realizing it. So, FirstLantic.com has identified a list of foods that could contribute to premature aging so that you can try to eliminate them from your diet entirely or at least cut back substantially. Trust us; your skin will thank you!
- Salt and salty foods: While a little salt doesn’t hurt you, overconsumption of salt will make you look puffy and retain water. Salt can also dehydrate your skin, so replace salt with herbs such as rosemary and thyme to give more flavor to your food.
- Sweets: For many of us, cutting back on sugar can be challenging. However, when people consume more sugar than their cells can synthesize, excess sugar molecules bond with proteins and trigger a process that can affect the skin collagen. Carl Thornfeldt, a dermatologist with over 30 years of skin research experience, says sugar has two significant effects on the skin—it activates inflammation and binds to the collagen to make the skin stiff.
- Alcohol: We know that this one is tough as well, especially as most of us are stuck at home trying to protect ourselves from COVID-19! However, alcohol can affect your liver and prevent it from functioning correctly. If the liver isn’t working correctly, it can prevent toxins from being expelled naturally through your body. If toxins are allowed to build up in your liver, your skin can develop various issues, like acne, sallowness, and wrinkles.
- Trans Fat: Besides not being good for your heart, trans fats also cause your skin to age as inflammation can increase. Avoid products that list hydrogenated oil on the label. Trans fat can increase the amount of harmful LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream and reduce beneficial HDL cholesterol. While artificial trans fats are now banned, there are still some foods that contain small amounts.
- Processed meats: Think bacon, ham, sausages, salami, corned beef, jerky, hot dogs, lunch meat, canned meat, and meat-based sauces. Many of these meats have sulfites, and other preservatives, which can trigger inflammation, and they also tend to contain large amounts of salt.
- Fatty meats: Fatty meat generates free radicals that affect the skin’s ability to protect itself and generate collagen. Eat lean meats like turkey or chicken or substitute meat completely for vegetables and seafood such as salmon.
- Fried Foods – If fried chicken is a favorite, consider baking the chicken instead which will make it much healthier. Generally, fried foods such as french fries and donuts can cause collagen to break down in your skin, increasing wrinkles’ appearance.
- Caffeine: Like any other diuretic, caffeine can make you excrete fluid and deplete your body of moisture, which dehydrates your skin. It doesn’t mean that you can’t have a cup of coffee, but try to limit your intake.
- Soda: Unfortunately, soda has two downsides, sugar and caffeine, which, as we have already explained, are both terrible for your skin. Sugary drinks are also linked to Type 2 Diabetes and obesity. Studies showed that for every 150 calories of sugar per day — about one can of soda — the risk of type 2 diabetes increased by 1.1% (28Trusted Source).
- Charred meat: Black char on your meat may contain pro-inflammatory hydrocarbons, which can break down essentials for your skin like collagen, leading to an aged appearance. You can still eat BBQ occasionally but make sure that you remove the black char from your meat.
Summary: By now, you’re probably thinking, “Wow, why don’t you just take all the fun out of my life?” However, we aren’t saying that you can never have a piece of cake or a glass of wine. We’re just suggesting that you partake with moderation. As George Burns famously said, ‘You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old!”
FirstLantic has also put together a list below of some of the healthiest foods for your skin!
- Pomegranates: contain vitamins and antioxidants, help fight off sun damage.
- Extra virgin olive oil: contains omega 3 and fatty acids that are good for the skin.
- Blueberries: are rich in antioxidants, they help to keep blood vessels elastic and lower blood pressure.
- Green tea: helps to prevent oxidative damage to your skin from UV radiation.
- Green leafy vegetables: like spinach and kale are anti-inflammatory vegetables that fight against aging and are packed with vitamins K, A, C, and E.
- Fatty fish: like salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids that reduce inflammatory conditions.
- Water: plays the most crucial role in fighting the aging process. Drink it to keep your organs and joints functioning well, to support your metabolic processes, and to hydrate your skin.