You Are What You Eat

You know certain foods are bad for your waistline, but did you know that some of the same certain foods can make you look older? Here are the 14 top offenders.shutterstock_228898015

Sugar breaks down collagen in the skin through a process called glycation, leading to premature aging, fine lines and wrinkles. The good news: cutting it out can improve your complexion in just one week.

Artificial Sweeteners may seem like a good alternative to sugar, but they make you crave sugar!

Trans Fats lead to clogged arteries, which aren’t just bad for your heart; they’re bad for your skin, leaving it stiff and inflexible. Trans fats also attack youth-promoting collagen, which leads to fine lines and wrinkles. Instead, use healthy fats like the mono and poly-unsaturated kind found in olive oil, coconut oil, nuts and fish.

Salt is sneaky. First, it can make you look and feel puffy and bloated. Aside from puffiness, salt can lead to dehydration, making skin look tired and wrinkly.

Coffee might make you feel awake, but it’s making you look tired. Caffeine dehydrates the skin, making wrinkles more prominent. It also ages your smile by staining your teeth. But you don’t have to quit cold-turkey! Just make sure to hydrate throughout the day, or better yet, try replacing coffee with green tea, which offers a caffeine boost with anti-aging benefits.

Alcohol and that includes wine, beer and liquor all dehydrate the skin and deplete collagen levels, leading to wrinkles, redness and puffiness. As if that weren’t enough, alcohol can also age your smile. It breaks down enamel and causes tooth decay, turning your pearly whites to a dingy yellow.

Soda contains sugar, salt and caffeine, the three strikes of premature aging. It damages collagen and dehydrates the skin, making it look tired and puffy. The sweet drink is also highly acidic, which can erode tooth enamel and damage your smile.

Energy Drinks do eight times more damage to tooth enamel than sodas. They’re also high in skin-dehydrating caffeine.

Simple Carbs are just sugars masquerading as real food. They damage collagen and elastin, and can lead to skin inflammation. Instead, opt for whole grains like whole wheat, brown rice and corn.

Fried Foods clog arteries and stiffen the skin because they’re full of trans fats. They also pose a threat because the high-heat cooking technique can create hydrocarbons, which cause inflammation and lead to the breakdown of collagen.

Grilled Foods, whether cooked over gas or charcoal, are loaded with hydrocarbons (especially in those black sear marks), which can lead to inflammation, which damages collagen and causes wrinkles.

Processed Meat like hot dogs, bacon, sausage and cold cuts can are full of sulfites and nitrates in that lead to skin inflammation, which weakens collagen. These meat products also tend to be high in sodium, causing puffiness, bloating and dehydration. The final result: ruddy, sallow skin.

Red Meat is full of a protein called carnitine; red meats harden blood vessels, causing skin creasing. To avoid this premature aging, limit consumption to once a week.

Spicy Food for those with rosacea and women going through menopause can have an intense reddening effect that takes a long time to subside.

 

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