We all are constantly bombarded with information about foods and products that can keep us look young but it is as important to be aware of those foods that can accelerate aging.

I believe in balance and I think that everything in moderation is not bad, however; a continuous poor diet can certainly influence negatively the way the skin ages and although there are many more foods that can cause oxidation and inflammation,  I am going to focus on 5 foods that are commonly found in  people’s diet.

SUGAR

Sugar is found almost in every food especially those that are not of a natural origin. It is added to breads, pastas, sauces.. it is in soda, energy drinks and even in foods that taste salty.

Excess sugar can start a process called “ glycation” which damages the skin collagen. The cross-link of sugar and protein molecules form a product called AGE’s. AGE’s causes chronic inflammation ending in a malfunctioning and hardening of healthy proteins. Let’s remember that collagen is the most abundant protein of the body, so a constant inflammatory condition can lead to collagen degradation, which translates into…  -You got it -lines and wrinkles!

ALCOHOL

Have you ever wonder why after a night with too much to drink the skin looks blotchy, dull, dehydrated and extra-sensitive?

Alcohol affects the liver and toxins build up making the liver work harder and creating inflammation. It also affects hydration levels and cell regeneration by decreasing levels of vitamin A in the body. This result in the skin being reactive and presenting issues such as: acne, sensitivities, dehydration and can even cause a Rosacea or acne flare up.

Dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe states: “ alcohol is kind of a double whammy- it’s forcing out water and making it harder for your body to rehydrate itself ” and it is well known that dehydrated skin shows more lines and wrinkles, so bottom line… it makes you look older.

SALT

Concerned about puffy eyes or feeling and looking swollen…

Even if you think you follow a healthy diet, salt can be disguised in many foods, especially those that are preserved or canned are loaded with sodium making your body retain more fluid, as a result your skin and eyes can look puffy.  Cut down on salt and instead use herbs and spices to boost up the flavor in foods not only will you be doing something good for your health and skin but also will be increasing your antioxidant protection level which will keep you looking younger.

NITRATES

If deli or other processed meats are in your sandwich or plate regularly you could be adding years to your appearance.

Used as a way to prevent salmonella and bacteria in processed meats, nitrates can be quite harmful for your overall health, causing oxidation of the cells and as a result accelerating the aging process.

One of the facts that most concern me about nitrates is that they form what are called nitrosamines known to be cancer-causing chemicals. Look for foods that don’t contain nitrates and are naturally raised with low sodium content.

OLESTRA

This one is a tricky one because in the look for losing a few pounds, we cut  down on calories and look for foods with the label “light”, thinking they are healthier.

Olestra is a synthetic fat commonly used in potato chips, snacks and other “light version” products, very often somewhere in the label of the product you can find the word “lean”. The problem is that since Olestra is a synthetic fat it is very hard to digest and if consumed regularly, it could cause damage to the digestive system depriving the body from the absorption of essential vitamins which the body normally would use to fight free radicals to protect it from aging. Also, if you suffer from acne, this one is a no-no since it could lead to excess sebum production causing breakouts.

As I said before eating healthy doesn’t mean that you need to deprive from the pleasures of eating the food we like, I actually call it “eating smart” because it is about balance and moderation and to read the labels; in today’s market we can find many healthy options that provide higher nutritional value without sacrificing our taste for food preferences.

Thank you for being here!!

Until next time,

Dora Salazar

Paramedical Aesthetician/Beauty Blogger

References

www.livestrong.com

www.health.com

www.munchies.vice.com

www.skininc.com

www.activebeat.co

www.refinery29.com