There are two main culprits that accelerate the aging process of our skin: ultraviolet radiation and advanced glycation end products (AGEs). They are formed when proteins and lipids are exposed to carbohydrates.
But we can keep them under control by using sunscreen and being careful about our diet. The latter, of course, is easier said than done, but you can reduce the harm to the body by replacing harmful “aging foods” with a healthy alternative.
1. French Fries
French fries are at the top of the chart – both the pleasure center in the brain and the list of foods that cause aging. This is all because it is fried and salty. Foods fried in oil at high temperatures release free radicals that can damage skin cells. Exposure to free radicals accelerates the aging process through an action called cross-linking.
Increased cross-linking negatively affects DNA and can weaken skin elasticity. Let’s not forget about sodium. Consuming too much salt can draw water out of your skin and lead to dehydration. This can make it more prone to wrinkles.
Try baking potatoes or sweet potatoes. The latter is rich in anti-aging copper, which helps to synthesize collagen.
2. White Bread
When refined carbohydrates bind to proteins, glycation end products are produced. This has a direct impact on the development of chronic diseases, as well as on the aging process. White bread has a high glycemic index. Thus, it can cause inflammation in the body, which is responsible for accelerating the aging process.
Try an alternative to traditional bread, such as sprouted grain bread with no added sugar. Among other things, it contains antioxidants that are beneficial to the skin.
3. White Sugar
Sugar is one of the top contenders for a supervillain in skin health. As we discussed above, sugar contributes to the formation of AGEs, which damage collagen. When our blood sugar rises, the aging process gets stimulated. It gets accelerated even more by sunlight (which is why ice cream on the beach is not a good idea).
If you really want something sweet, replace sugar with fruit or dark chocolate. Blueberries, for example, prevent collagen loss.
Take it easy with these sandwiches. According to research studies, people who don’t eat margarine or butter have less skin damage and fewer wrinkles.
However, if you choose between these two products, margarine will go to the very bottom of the rankings due to its high trans fat content. They not only harm the heart but also make our skin more vulnerable to UV radiation. This, in turn, can damage collagen and reduce skin elasticity.
Butter is better than margarine, but olive oil is healthier than butter. And if you want a sandwich, make it with an avocado rich in anti-aging antioxidants.
5. Alcohol And Drugs
Drinking alcohol and abusing drugs can cause a variety of skin problems, including redness, swelling, loss of collagen, and wrinkles. Even prescription opioid medicine, when abused, has similar side effects on the skin. Such substances reduce the moisture filling of the skin and deplete our supply of nutrients, including vitamin A.
This vitamin has a direct effect on the depth of wrinkles. Besides, vitamin A is important for the growth of new cells and the production of collagen, which provides elasticity and smoothness to the skin.
If you want to have a drink with friends, limit yourself to one drink (for women) or two (for men). Also, keep your body hydrated.
6. Processed Meat
The sausages, bacon, and ham are definitely delicious (salt and fat!). But they all relate to processed meat, which can be harmful to the skin. These meats are very high in sodium, saturated fat, and sulfites, which can dehydrate the skin and weaken collagen, causing inflammation.
Among the inexpensive options for protein, eggs, legumes, and poultry will be useful. It is rich in protein and amino acids, which are essential for the natural formation of collagen.
7. Dairy Products
Does milk generate mixed feelings in your body? Science is also in some confusion. Several studies have documented positive skin changes from reduced consumption of dairy products. Others did not notice a significant difference at all.
In some people, dairy products can increase inflammation in the body, leading to oxidative stress. And it is one of the main causes of premature aging. Diets low in dairy can protect the skin from wrinkles caused by sun exposure. Or they may not protect, so watch your feelings.
Dairy products are an excellent source of calcium, which is very important for skin health. If you feel that milk isn’t good for you, look for calcium in seeds, legumes, almonds, leafy greens, and figs.
8. Lemonade And Coffee
Exposure to coffee and lemonade is more related to sleep disturbance than directly to skin damage. Both of these drinks often contain caffeine, which, if consumed in excess, can disrupt sleep. Sleep deprivation has been linked to accelerated aging and also causes dark circles under the eyes and wrinkles.
Estimate how much caffeine you consume and how much sugar is in your drinks. If you want to drink less coffee, look for an alternative. For example, green tea is a healthy alternative.
9. High-Temperature Food Processing
Certain polyunsaturated oils that are high in omega-6 fatty acids (such as corn or sunflower oil) can generate harmful free radicals and increase inflammation. If you fry or otherwise use a high temperature while cooking, the negative factors add up and can become noticeable.
However, this does not mean that all oils are unhealthy. When it comes to oils and wrinkle prevention, choose monounsaturated fats to help keep your skin hydrated.
You should use olive oil; it is a healthy alternative. Besides, it is rich in antioxidants, vitamin E, and phytosterols that reduce inflammation.
In this article, we listed those food items that you should avoid as they can cause early skin aging. Besides, we provided healthy alternatives to these harmful foods. We are hopeful that you will follow our tips and keep your skin youthful.