Is Your Diet Aging You?

Poor food choices can cause inflammation and damage your skin’s collagen, which is what keeps your skin springy and resists wrinkles.

The good news is that tweaking your diet can slow the aging process. A nutrient-rich diet high in omega-3 fatty acids, as well as foods with vitamins E and C, play a big role in maintaining a youthful look and helps promote the production of collagen.

Unfortunately, the reverse is also true: The worse your diet, the more sallow your complexion will be. It seems like we are always hearing about what we should eat, so here are a few things you might want to cut back on:

  1. Trans fats and deep-fried foods can add to inflammation throughout your body.
  2. Sugar is linked to inflammation and produces wrinkle-generating AGEs (advanced glycation end-products). It may also affect the body’s ability to repair damaged collagen.
  3. Processed meats are usually high in saturated fats and contain nitrates; both of which can lead to inflammation.
  4. Fatty meats. The key with meat is to keep it lean. Lean options include: tenderloin cuts, 95% lean ground beef, ground turkey breast or chicken breast.
  5. Processed carbohydrates like pasta, bread, and baked goods can lead to damage in your skin’s collagen.
  6. Alcohol. Moderate drinking may be good for your heart, but heavy drinking can rev up the aging process. “Moderate” is one drink per day for women (such as a 5-ounce glass of wine or 12-ounce glass of beer) and two for men.
  7. Salt. Too much salt can cause some of us to retain water, which can lead to swelling causing puffiness around the eyes.
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