4 Foods That Age You Faster

Can what you eat determine how soon you succumb to wrinkles? Certain foods can do more that widen your waistline; they actually accelerate aging in your body. If you eat highly inflammatory foods on a regular basis, they can do real damage to your body’s regulatory functions, leading to disease, cellular degeneration and yes, wrinkles. Here are 4 foods to avoid that speed up aging on a cellular level.

Partially hydrogenated oils. Partially hydrogenated oils, often found in highly processed foods, spread inflammation throughout your body, which creates free radicals.  Free radicals eventually begin to damage your DNA, causing affected cells to malfunction in a state of disease or die. The Environmental Working Group estimates that although “trans fat” appears on only 2 percent of nutrition labels, this inflammatory fat is potentially used in as much as 37 percent of processed foods, since trans fat doesn’t have to be labeled if a serving contains less than half a gram. Besides partially hydrogenated oils, trans fat is also found in refined oils, emulsifiers, fully hydrogenated oils, and certain added flavors and colors. So how can you avoid prematurely aging your cells with trans fats? The safest bet is to spend the majority of your diet eating nutrient-dense, whole foods that don’t come in a package.

Excess sugar. We have an instinctual draw towards sugary foods. It’s ingrained within us. They are rich in easily accessible energy, which would be great if we were still hunter gatherers. But we aren’t. In fact, most of us are highly sedentary and eat way too much sugar. So, when we get that regular sweet fix, the sugar just cruises around our bodies doing damage. Excess sugar in the bloodstream leads to loss of collagen in the skin and encourages wrinkles, while also damaging mitochondria in our cells. The harm to the energy powerhouse of our cells leads to degeneration of memory, vision and reduced energy, among other things. Besides premature aging, too much dietary sugar encourages the progression of diseases like Type II diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s. The issue is, sugar is highly addictive and so easy to get. Again, your best bet is to avoid processed foods and use only small amounts of natural sugars — raw honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, dates — in strict moderation.

Refined carbohydrates. Carbohydrates that are stripped of their nutritional value, like white flour, act very similarly to refined sugar in the body. With little fiber to slow down its absorption in the bloodstream, these carbs wreak havoc on insulin levels and encourage the development of insulin resistance over time. By consuming wholesome carbohydrates, like whole fruits, legumes and whole grains like quinoa and brown rice, you’ll receive a much more prolonged energy release, and the fermentable fibers and starches will feed your gut bacteria, who can exercise significant control over your insulin response.

Deep fried/grilled foods. Cooking foods at high temperatures increases inflammatory compounds known as ‘advanced glycation end products,’ or AGEs. And yes, ironically, AGEs do indeed age you. They encourage oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. High levels of AGEs in the body are linked to osteoporosis, neurodegeneration, heart disease, stroke and other age-related diseases. While some AGEs occur naturally in  the body, increasing the load with heavily cooked foods can accelerate their damage. To avoid them, try to cook the majority of your foods at low temperatures, although indulging in something deliciously fried or charred on the grill is certainly alright for a healthy person in moderation.

Essentially, if you eat wholesome, unprocessed foods that aren’t deep fried, you’ll allow your body to undergo its natural aging process rather than throwing it into overdrive. As a bonus, if you follow the above tips, you’ll feel a lot healthier, too!

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Laurie Mazzeo
Laurie Mazzeo5 days ago

Thanks for sharing

Laurie Mazzeo
Laurie Mazzeo5 days ago

I didn't know Deep fried/grilled foods. Cooking foods at high temperatures increases inflammatory compounds known as ‘advanced glycation end products,’ or AGEs. And yes, ironically, AGEs do indeed age you. They encourage oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. High levels of AGEs in the body are linked to osteoporosis, neuro degeneration, heart disease, stroke and other age-related diseases.

Dennis P.
Dennis P.6 days ago

Sorry to harp, but "Organic Maple syrup or Raw Local Honey" (capitals hers) declared "good for you," in a previous post are not (good for you). They are better than refined sugar, (they have B vitamins and other nutrients), but they still have the diabetes and inflammatory effects. A previous Care2 blog mentioned how using honey helps add to the stress of the bee population, but more importantly promotes the farming of alien honey bees, which reduce the natural bee population. Truth is, I have free access to both honey (friend keeps bees) and maple syrup (neighbors use my maple trees to produce and sell it). I can't stand either because they are cloyingly sweet. That's what happens when you retrain your "sweet tooth." Speaking of teeth, these sticky types of sugar are particularly bad for your teeth. Finally, chocolate of any kind contains lots of the poison, sugar. Chocolate without sugar is quite bitter; nobody likes it. Those who tout the health benefits of chocolate are ignoring the harmful aspects. Sugar is a drug much more harmful than most people think because it has become ubiquitous in our society--you can kick it.

Joyce W.
Joyce W.6 days ago

Good article. Have read a good amount about inflammation & food but never really knew how the body processed it. Appreciate the info.

Lucy S.
Lucy S.7 days ago

If you MUST have sugar, try Organic Maple syrup or Raw Local Honey. Both are considered Whole Foods and are good for you. Organic chocolate is also okay. Thanks for the post.

Dennis P.
Dennis P.12 days ago

I disagree that we have a natural instinct for sugar. It is not ingrained in us. It is a habit we tend to pick up early from parents and especially grandparents who think they are being kind, but are actually spoiling us--literally by causing many long-term health problems. Think about this: Native North Americans did not consume sugar in any form since the honey bee is not native to the Americas.

We get addicted young and stay addicted unless we realize how bad it is and make efforts to kick the drug, just as we should other harmful drugs. You may not believe it, but if a person uses heroin without injecting, he/she/it will live longer than if he/she/it uses sugar at the rate most Americans consume. I travel all over the world and get a shock every time I return and see again the runaway obesity epidemic in this country. Don't use sugar in moderation, eliminate it completely and once you reset your miscalibrated taste bud system and you'll find that many foods taste surprisingly sweet. A carrot is a scrumptious dessert to the non-sugar addict.

Ruth S.
Ruth S.18 days ago


Rosslyn O.
Rosslyn O.18 days ago

Just wondering when every country gets their act together and totally bans every artificial colouring, artificial flavourings, artificial preservatives....?
Totally makes for a very healthy world.

M. M.
M. M.21 days ago


Cela V.
Cela V.22 days ago