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The aging process is a natural part of what happens to your body, but it's not entirely out of your control. Your lifestyle can affect how your body ages to a great extent. This can include everything from your fitness and diet regime to how you use products and your general levels of health. This affects how quickly or slowly the signs of aging appear. Those looking to preserve their youth and live a healthier, balanced life should avoid anything that quickens the aging process. Food is a vital part of this, so here's what you should avoid eating to keep looking as youthful as possible.

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Sugar

Back away from chocolates, cookies, cakes, cupcakes and that sugary foodstuff that you can't live without! Almost all nutrition experts swear by the fact that sugar causes aging. Sugar gets attached to the proteins in your bloodstream and forms advanced glycation end products (AGEs). With the accumulation of AGEs, the surrounding proteins also become damaged in a chain-like manner. This means that the protein fibers that keep your skin tight and elastic are also affected, which in turn results in wrinkles and sagging skin. If the need for a smaller waistline hasn't kept you away from sugar, perhaps the love for healthy skin will.

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Caffeine

This is terrible news for all coffee lovers! Yes, perhaps for a lot of people, the morning doesn't start without their daily dose of caffeine. However, it turns out that coffee may age you much more quickly. As caffeine is a diuretic, it dehydrates the body and raises the stress hormone cortisol (a hormone linked with accelerated skin aging). Furthermore, diuretics dry out the skin. Those who love coffee should cut down or give it up if they want to stay looking useful.

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Alcohol

An occasional glass of beer or the odd vodka shot won't affect your skin. However, regularly consuming alcohol to excess, sometimes known as binge drinking, can seriously change your youthful looks. Also, alcohol causes premature aging of the brain, and loss of collagen, puffiness, premature wrinkles and a loss of elasticity in the skin. Essentially, it dehydrates your body. The amount of alcohol that you consume often determines the health of your skin.

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Nitrates And Nitrites

Nitrates and nitrites are often present in processed food. Both are preservatives, and manufacturers put them in hot dogs, hams, sausages, baloney, and bacon. However, they often cause additional side effects over the long term. These include migraine headaches, and some studies have linked them to certain cancers. They can also damage the skin, leaving it looking older than it should.

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Soda

Soda also causes the skin to dry out and become flaky. It contains a lot of sugar, which can cause premature aging, but they may also contain various artificial colors. These colors can interact with the body and cause premature aging, as well as other conditions. Diet soda often contains artificial sweeteners, some of which may cause thinning of the skin. If you love pop, you are at a much higher risk of type II diabetes as well as myriad other conditions. Diabetes can lead to amputations and a general loss of vitality.

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Burgers And Fries

While junk food won't age overnight, continuous indulgence in junk food can speed up aging. People typically require approximately 75 grams of fat a day, but significantly more than this may result in clogged blood vessels. Consuming more fat can result in sticky artery walls. This prevents oxygenated blood from reaching essential organs. No oxygen means damaged skin cells. It also prevents repair. As a result, excessive consumption of junk food means an unhealthy body, and this results in health problems that make your skin look tired.

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White Breads And Pastas

Simple carbs such as pasta and white bread have a high glycemic index, which can result in premature aging. These contain compounds that can inflame the skin and raise insulin production. These carbs break down speedily. They also put you at risk of type II diabetes, acne, and even skin inflammation. However, brown bread and brown rice do not break down quickly. This is because they contain more fiber, which slows absorption. As a result, you can slow down the aging process by switching to wholemeal foods.

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Chips And Salty Food

Salt is as equally bad for your health as sugar. Many people add salt to their food on a routine basis, and this results in a greater risk of high blood pressure. Also, a lot of salt is present in canned foods and ready-made foods, especially those containing meat. Excessive salt causes the skin to dehydrate and make it drier. This results in puffiness, flakiness and dull skin. Always check the label when buying canned food to ensure you are not getting too much salt in your diet. It's a good idea to remove the salt shaker from the table.

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Refined Oils

Refined oils include processed oils and fats. Nutritionists often consider a Mediterranean-style diet, which includes oils from olives, fish, avocados, and nuts, to be healthy. However, oils from fried foods, corn, safflower, soybean, and canola are less healthy. This is because they are more likely to contain certain types of fat that contribute to the aging process.

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Spicy Food

Spicy food, especially hot peppers, are good for the metabolism. However, they can also aggravate acne-prone skin, particularly during the menopause. The blood vessels in your body are most active during that phase, but spicy food dilates them. As a result, your skin looks less youthful. However, the occasional curry generally won't cause any major issues. It's only if you overindulge in curry, particularly during the menopause, that it may have skin-aging effects.


Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.