Can food make you look and feel older? We often focus on the health benefits of foods we eat, including vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. However, instead of being anti-aging, there are also aging foods. These are ones that speed up your “biological age.”
The worldwide average age is about 72 years old. There are foods that we should eat to slow down the aging process. They include fatty fish, oranges, spinach, and Greek yogurt. These foods are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to slow down the aging process. They can’t stop the process, but they can help your hair, skin, and nails look and feel younger, for example.
On the other hand, other foods can make you look and feel older than you are. They include foods like white sugar, refined flour, and tub margarine. For example, trans-fats are invented to make tub margarine, which is something you’ll want to avoid. The faster-aging options are typically highly-processed with unhealthy additives like salt, sugar, and fat. They’re foods you should ditch from your diet.
What Makes Food Unhealthy?
That is the nitty-gritty of why certain foods speed up the aging process. There are different factors to consider. One of the main ones is how processed certain foods are. For example, one of the unhealthiest foods is sugar. That includes different varieties, including white, brown, and raw. Some types are less unhealthy, but still, involve a lot of processing.
For example, consider that sugar is processed from sugarcane juice. Sugarcane juice is a natural sweetener and different from table sugar and white sugar in particular. Brown sugar isn’t much better because it just adds back some molasses that was removed.
Besides the processing, another major factor is the type and amount of additives that are added to the food. Some of the ones to watch out for include salt, sugar, and unhealthy fat. These can make healthy food unhealthy and unhealthy food even unhealthier. What’s the problem? It’s one thing to add a little salt to pre-packaged foods. It’s quite another thing to add tons of salt to potato chips or French fries.
These are all ingredients you should try to avoid if you want to slow down the aging process. In some cases, you can even swap in healthier substitutes. That can provide healthier options with nutrients to help slow down aging instead of speed it up.
Another to consider is whether the food you eat is organic or inorganic. There’s a difference between “natural” and “organic.” Natural food is simply one that exists in the natural world. However, organic food is different. That’s because there were no synthetic chemicals used to produce the food.
One example is organic and grass-fed beef. The grass is a natural food of cows, so you’ll get healthier meat if the cow ate grass instead of corn.
Top Aging Foods to Avoid
1. White Sugar
Refined sugar is one of the unhealthiest ingredients on the planet. That’s because it’s one of the most processed sugars on the market. It’s high-carbohydrate and causes blood sugar spikes. All types of sugar have been linked to health issues like type-2 diabetes, heart disease, etc.
2. White Bread
Bread can be healthy. Ezekiel Bread had 4 whole grains and 2 sprouted beans. However, white bread isn’t even close to the original wheat grain. Consider that you can’t even see the grains in the bread, which is a sign of how highly-processed it is. This is just one food made of refined flour.
Many store-bought and homemade baked goods include refined wheat flour. There are lots of problems with this ingredient. For example, it’s high-carbohydrate and causes blood sugar spikes. Whole wheat flour is a healthier option but still high-carbohydrate.
3. Processed Meats
Yes, some low-carb diets like Keto allow bacon, pepperoni, and pork rinds. There’s a caveat. While these foods are low-carb they’re still highly-processed. The United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO) reported that processed meats are cancer-causing. You should eat these once in a blue moon—if that.
4. Tub Margarine
Both stick and tub margarine are unhealthy options for various reasons. However, it’s worth noting that trans-fat was invented for tub margarine. It’s easily one of the unhealthiest foods you can consume. A better option is real butter, heavy cream, or olive/coconut oil.
5. French Fries
It is one of the unhealthiest foods you can eat. A potato is a superfood, but french fries are far from the original version. It has been peeled, deep-fried, and salted. It’s also interesting that movies like “Super Size Me” includes a video clip that shows fries that don’t decompose like real food.
Top Alternatives for Aging Foods
1. Real dairy for dairy substitutes
Even some of their names like “non-dairy creamer” doesn’t sound too healthy. Make sure to go with the real deal like:
- Cottage cheese
- Kefir (fermented dairy)
It’s also best to go with full-fat dairy. It’s lower-carb and higher in healthy fats. The problem with low-fat dairy is the fat is often replaced with unhealthy stuff like salt.
2. Tea/Coffee for sodas
Make sure to go with options like green tea and black coffee. They’re high-antioxidant to help your body fight off illness and disease.
3. Fatty fish for processed meat
It includes options like mackerel, sardines, tuna, trout, and herring. These foods are high in omega-3s, which are good for your heart, brain, hair, and skin. Scientists have recently been focusing on the importance of healthy fats. This differs from past dietary guidelines that suggested low or no-fat foods were always the best options. It turns out the key is to focus on healthy fats.
4. Olive Oil for Margarine
This healthy oil is high in healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids. It’s been used in the Mediterranean Diet for thousands of years before it became a commercialized program. Other healthy oils include coconut oil, which is high in a fatty acid known as MCT. The healthiest option is extra-virgin olive oil, although they’re all healthy compared to standard vegetable oil. That’s because the latter is higher in less healthy omega-6 fatty acids.
5. Fruit/Honey for White Sugar
These are healthier options mostly because they’re 100% natural. Make sure to go with raw honey and fresh fruit for the most nutrients. if you’re on a low-carb diet you can go with monk fruit or stevia extract. However, if you pick these options make sure to go with products that are minimally processed to get the best health benefits versus aging foods.