Perhaps nothing is as elusive (or damaging) as aging foods. Everything you do affects how quickly (or slowly) your body declines at the cellular level and food is at the top of the list.
When you eat, a complicated series of chemical reactions takes place. Foods are broken down and distributed where they’re needed. Nutrients like fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals your body requires to function are immediately put to work.
These are the foods that truly feed your system and keep it running efficiently.
When you consume aging foods, the process is completely different. This creates a chain reaction that involves your body trying to flush toxins it doesn’t need or want.
In many cases, your liver is forced to “quarantine” specific compounds it cannot use and may not be capable of flushing from your system. The most common place for your body to store unwanted compounds is in fat cells.
Over time, these substances become evident in your skin and gradually make you sick. These foods promote inflammation in your cells, the root cause for many (if not most) major diseases known to modern man.
To control the signs and effects of aging and keep your entire body running effectively into oldest age, you must remove aging foods from your diet entirely.
Don’t Be Fooled by Labels
Manufacturers have gotten pretty slick in how they present foods that accelerate aging and disease. They slap labels on them like organic, diet, healthy, natural, fat-free, sugar-free, and more to confuse consumers into thinking they’re eating foods that are good for them.
Unfortunately, most of these declarations are either a slight bend of the truth while others are outright lies. The food industry protects its bottom line above all else. This is evidenced by the thousands of chemicals they’ve added to our food supply over the years (with the full approval of government institutions like the FDA).
Chemicals added to processed foods are done for one of three reasons.
- They make the product cheaper to produce than natural ingredients.
- They add back flavor (taking out natural fat or sugar) to make it “healthy.”
- They extend overall shelf life (sometimes for years).
That’s it. They aren’t added because they’re good for you or because your body will benefit from them. At the end of the day, they don’t even taste better!
Anyone who’s removed all chemical additives from their diet usually has a similar experience to ex-smokers. Foods and beverages taste different, fuller, and more delicious.
They’re also surprised at how much more satisfying natural foods are because they aren’t pumping their bodies full of highly addicted compounds like high-fructose corn syrup.
Age Is More Than a Number
When you talk about age, most of us immediately consider our chronological years and how old we look on the outside. What if you’re forty on the outside but sixty-five at the cellular level?
That’s what happens when you eat a lot of aging foods!
This isn’t far-fetched. In the United States and other developed nations, the average diet is pumped full of high-fat (not the good kind), high-sugar (all refined and bleached), and high-grains (simple carbs), and countless chemical preservatives and flavorings.
What do you think your body does with all those toxins?
It can’t use them. It only utilizes healthy fats for cellular membranes and brain tissue. It can only process a certain amount of sugars and carbs before becoming overwhelmed. It can’t even process the chemicals – those are considered foreign invaders and they often elicit an immune response to “fight” them.
Oxidation, glycation, and inflammation – the three aging processes – kick in when your body is has far too much of the wrong substances (and not enough of the good ones).
- Oxidation is a natural process that takes place in your body. Roughly 2% of your cells become free radicals – cells missing a molecule and trying to find it from healthy cells. That damages those cells (which then become free radicals). As you can imagine, the process can get out of control quickly. Eating natural foods high in nutritional antioxidants has been shown to “mop up” these free radicals to keep them from damaging other cells.
- Glycation is caused by consuming too much sugar. These sugar molecules attach to your proteins, mutate them, and spread to other healthy tissue. Glycation that isn’t stopped is what leads to obvious aging in your face due to a sharp decline in collagen production. [Sugar is the enemy of collagen!] Diabetics have a higher risk of facial aging because they’re no longer able to process sugar properly.
- Inflammation is also a natural process that your body uses when you get sick or need to fight an infection. However, inflammation left unchecked can lead to countless issues like auto-immune disease (a growing epidemic). As I mentioned, inflammation is a core bio-marker for all the worst problems with human health such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s, mental illness, and so much more. Keeping inflammation in check means ditching known aging foods and replacing them with healthier, natural options.
7 Scientifically Proven Aging Foods to Stop Eating Now!
- Refined sugar, flour, and wheat. This is probably the hardest one for most people to kick so I’m putting it first. If your diet consists of a lot of pasta, pastry, cereal, or bread, chances are your body is already struggling with the three aging processes. Carbs are a necessary part of your diet but the average person is eating far too much of them! Try a detox for two weeks and you’ll be shocked at how your body feels.
- Artificial sweeteners. While too much sugar is bad, natural varieties can be consumed in moderation. Artificial sweeteners have no “healthy” level of consumption! This is a debate that’s raged for decades. Over and over, researchers prove how dangerous these things are only to have them continue to be used in all “diet” foods on the market, consumed by countless consumers. They increase your cravings for sweets and raise your risk of diabetes and cancer. Frequent users also commonly experience headaches and joint pain. This is one aging food you don’t need or want in your diet!
- Hydrogenated oils. Most oils you find at your local market (vegetable, corn, canola, and margarine) are hydrogenated. Hydrogenation is a high-heat stage of processing that kills all the natural enzymes it might have had and begins decomposition. Powerful chemicals are added to stop the oil from rotting. Multiple studies have connected the consumption of hydrogenated oils to cancer, extreme inflammation, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Most processed foods, snack foods, and fast foods use hydrogenated oils exclusively. Much healthier options are olive oil, coconut oil, or oils that aren’t hydrogenated.
- Excessive alcohol. There are benefits to alcoholic beverages (like red wine) in strict moderation. That equates to no more than 2 glasses per day for men and 1 glass per day for women. More than this and you end up with a pro-inflammatory environment that raises your risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, liver failure, dehydration, and common signs of aging such as puffiness, redness, and wrinkles.
- Let me clarify that your body needs salt to survive. Unfortunately, most of the processed foods you find in your local market have unbelievable amounts of salt – especially frozen meals (yes, even the “healthy” ones). Why? It’s a cheap preservative. Too much salt in your diet has a dehydrating effect on your cells. Excess salt leads to fatigue, kidney disease, high blood pressure.
- Sodas, energy drinks, and bottled beverages. Soda is bad for every cell in your body and (shockingly) energy drinks are even worse. Most bottled drinks tend to have an enormous sugar and chemical content. Those that don’t probably use artificial sweeteners. Sodas and energy drinks function like acid on your teeth enamel. This makes your mouth look far older and is a physical representation of what those drinks are doing to cells you can’t see!
- Trans fats. These used to be found in almost everything but thankfully is getting less common. It’s still important to keep an eye out if you’re a fan of snack foods like chips, bagged popcorn, canned nuts, fried foods, and so on. The chemical reaction that takes place in your body when you consume trans fats is terrifying. They’ve been shown to inhibit immune response and damage cell respiration. They’re considered one of the most inflammatory foods and increase your risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Everyone ages. By eating the right food combinations (and avoiding harmful aging foods) you can age a bit more gracefully. You’ll certainly see a difference in your outer appearance but the biggest positive changes are inside, at the cellular level, and that’s critical!