While a few indulgences won't age you overnight, a continuously poor diet can accelerate the aging process of your skin and your body's internal organs over time.
Here are a few common foods and food additives that are eaten by many individuals without knowing what the food is actually doing to their health.
Preserved Or Processed Meats
Fresh meat is a good source of protein. But meats that are preserved are not healthy at all and should be altogether avoided.
The reason why? Preservatives are used, such as nitrates that can promote the formation of free radicals in the body which can damage DNA and therefore accelerate aging.
Nitrates are used in deli ham, bacon, sausage, and hot dogs. While nitrites may prevent salmonella and bacteria from residing in cured meats, they also form nitrosamines, cancer-causing chemicals.
The World Health Organization reported on data saying that a person who eats about 2 ounces of processed meat a day, equal to one small hot dog or about two slices of salami is 18 percent more likely to develop colon cancer than someone who eats no meats that are preserved.
The Journal Cancer Research published saying that foods which have been shown to contain volatile nitrosamines include cured meats, primarily cooked bacon, beer, some cheeses, nonfat dry milk, and sometimes fish.
SciTech Connect says to date there are 250 known nitrosamines or nitrates that cause cancer.
Sugar and The Aging Process
The proteins in your body react on a chemical level with sugar, which produces advanced glycation end products or AGEs.
These substances roam freely within your body as free radicals also damaging your DNA, and AGEs also directly impact your skins health.
You’ll notice a decline in your skin’s elasticity, such as effects on: Elastin and Collagen.
Besides damaging collagen, a high-sugar diet also affects what type of collagen you have another factor in how resistant skin is to wrinkling.
The most abundant collagens in the skin are types I, II, and III, with type III being the most stable and longest lasting.
Glycation transforms type III collagen into type I, which is more fragile. When that happens, the skin looks and feels less supple.
The final blow: AGEs deactivate your body's natural antioxidant enzymes, leaving you more vulnerable to sun damage, which is still the main cause of skin aging.
These aging effects start at about age 35 and increase rapidly after that, according to a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology.
Cooking Oils High In Omega-6 Fatty Acids
Inflammation is a signal to the body to begin the healing process of wounds and infections.
The purpose of inflammation is to contain an injury and clear out the infection. It prevents the spread of infection and prepares the tissue for wound repair.
It’s an important and necessary part of skin rejuvenation as well. But in chronic situations, inflammation can become destructive.
Chronic inflammation or a low intensity inflammation that you cannot see happening, slowly ages your skin over time. A contributor to this chronic inflammation or a low intensity inflammation is consuming too much omega-6 fatty acids.
Elevated Omega-6 consummation is associated with an increase in all inflammatory diseases, including aging skin.
Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids compete for the same protein conversion enzyme. This means that the quantity of omega-6 in the diet directly affects the conversion of omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid, found in plant foods, to long-chain omega-3 EPA and DHA, which protect us from disease and the aging of skin.
Several studies have shown that the biological availability and activity of omega-6 fatty acids are inversely related to the concentration of omega-3 fatty acids in the body’s tissue.
Studies have also shown that greater compositions of E P A and D H A or omega-3 fatty acids in membranes reduce the availability of arachidonic acids for eicosanoid production.
Arachidonic acid (AA) is the most biologically relevant omega-6 fatty acid, and in the lipid membrane of a cell serves as the fatty acid that is compared against the two omega-3 fatty acids - EPA and DHA - in constituting an omega-3:6 ratio.
While both the omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids are vital for human health, we only need them in small amounts.
In addition, both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids should be consumed in equal amounts. The goal that research has determined as optimal is a consumption ratio of 1:1.
Unfortunately, vegetable oils containing omega-6 fatty acids are widely used in America, and the standard American diet provides a ratio of at least 10:1.
This is unfortunate since omega-3 fatty acids have a very beneficial effect on the body.
Alcoholic Beverages And The Aging Process
Drinking any type of alcoholic beverage can cause dehydration temporarily.
As Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D., a freelance science writer and former senior editor at HowStuffWorks (studied biology at West Virginia University and received his Ph.D. in physiology from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine) explains in a paper he wrote - How Alcohol Works – saying that alcohol inhibits the pituitary secretion of anti-diuretic hormone (ADH), which acts on the kidney to reabsorb water.
Alcohol acts on the hypothalamus-pituitary to reduce the circulating levels of ADH. When ADH levels drop, the kidneys do not reabsorb as much water, and therefore, the kidneys produce more urine.
Also, if you are a regular drinker, the skin will prematurely lose its elasticity and form wrinkles.
According to a review published in the journal Nutrients, alcohol can negatively affect vitamin-A levels in both chronic and social drinkers. Vitamin-A helps skin produce collagen and regenerate cells, and deficiencies can cause premature skin sagging.
According to a 2014 study published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, trans-fatty acids make the skin more vulnerable to ultraviolet radiation, which damages the elastin and collagen.
Other studies have found that margarine can cause chronic inflammation, which also can accelerate wrinkle formation as the formation of elastin is reduced.
Other parts of your body are also affected with the reduction of elastin. This includes maintenance of the aorta in your lungs, and the ligaments between your joints and more.
If you’re drinking soda, it really doesn’t matter what it’s sweetened with, it’s destroying your health. Even diet soda is a bad option.
You need some phosphorous in your diet to support bone structure, create and store energy in the body, transmit genetic material, and regulate the body’s pH levels.
Phosphoric acid is phosphorous that has undergone a modification process to become more chemically stable.
Soda companies add phosphoric acid to many soft drinks to make the flavor more enhanced and give it that tanginess that we enjoy.
Too much phosphorous in the blood binds with other minerals, rendering them unavailable to complete their functions.
Your body does sense the lack of calcium or magnesium in the blood, and therefore takes it from your bones.
Since phosphorous intake is increased when drinking most carbonated beverages, this depletes your body of both calcium and magnesium.
Loren Cordain, author of “Origins and evolution of the Western diet: health implications for the 21st century”, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition saying that the standard American diet high in sugar and processed grains are both void of necessary micronutrients and deplete micronutrients. Refined sugars such as those found in soft drinks do not contain any vitamins or minerals. Therefore consuming these beverages reduces the nutrients in the diet.
Microwave Popcorn Bags
Popcorn processed to make in a microwave bag should be avoided. It contains perfluoroalkyls just one class of chemicals found in microwave popcorn bags. Studies have linked perfluoroalkyls with sever health problems.
According to, The Agency for Toxic Substances and Diseases Registry, the chemical perfluoroalkyls can cause health issues such as, Liver disease or Kidney disease.
To prevent premature aging of the body and the skin, stock up on foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-linolenic acid such as fresh ground flax seeds, flax seed oil, avocados, avocado oil, wild caught salmon, olive oil and coconut oil.
These foods will help your skin maintain its soft and supple look. And help the body with energy production.
Be sure as well to load up on fruits and vegetables. Fresh produce is abundant in zinc, selenium, calcium, magnesium, vitamin-C, and beta carotene.
These vitamins and minerals among many others are key players in the body's production of collagen all throughout the body, as well as protecting it against free radicals.