Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Healthy Aging: Foods That Age You

Reviewed By: Christine Mikstas, RD, LD

Some like it hot…and some can’t take the heat. Spicy food makes your blood vessels swell and even break, leading to purple marks on your face. If you have rosacea — common in women after menopause — the heat from spice can trigger a flare-up. It also raises your body temperature, so you sweat to cool back down. When sweat mixes with the bacteria on your skin, it can cause breakouts and blotches.
Frozen Dinners:
One frozen dinner can pack in half the sodium of a healthy daily diet. When you have too much salt, it causes you to drink more than normal and flood your kidneys. Any extra water will move to places in your body that have less salt, like your face and hands. That’s what makes you look puffy.
Processed Meats:
Processed meats, like bacon, sausage, ham, and deli cuts, are smoked, cured, or salted so they’ll last longer without going bad. It’s what makes them both delicious and dangerous. The sodium and chemical preservatives cause inflammation that can wear your body down inside and out.
Fried Foods:
The difference between dough and a doughnut is a nice long bath in boiling oil. That bath promotes free radicals, or unstable molecules that damage other molecules in your cells and add years to your skin.
Baked Goods:
Baked goods like cookies and cakes are high in artery-clogging fat that put on the pounds. They also don’t skimp on sugar, which can cause diabetes, high blood pressure, and tooth decay (among other things). The more inflammation you have, the higher your chances of arthritis, depression, Alzheimer’s, and some cancers.
Charred Meats:
How this for an acronym? Frying or grilling meat at high temps creates advanced glycation end products, or AGEs. Low levels of AGEs are fine (your own body produces them), but high amounts from charred meats cause inflammation that ‘inflammages’ your body and triggers heart disease and diabetes.
If you’ve ever had cotton mouth in the morning after a night of drinks, you know alcohol dehydrates you. This makes a big impact on your skin, which is 63% water. Even if you drink a big glass of water, it will hydrate all your other organs before your skin. When you don’t get enough, your skin looks and feels dry, and can’t defend itself against wrinkles.
Caffeine is a diuretic: It stimulates your brain and your need to urinate. This can cause dehydration. When you don’t have enough water, your skin stops releasing toxins. The backup makes you more prone to dry skin, psoriasis, and wrinkles.
Sodas and Energy Drinks:
The more sodas and energy drinks you consume, the quicker the cells in your tissues age. In addition to the fizz, they have more calories and added sugar than any other beverage. Combined with the bacteria in your mouth, that sugar also forms acid that wears down your tooth enamel and causes decay.

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