Don’t let your diet age you

What you put on your plate might affect what you see in the mirror. But a few tweaks to your dining habits can go a long way to keeping your skin youthful and your body healthy. The key approach is to eat better.
Poor-quality foods, like trans-fats, cause inflammation—and aging is basically a chronic inflammatory state. You can look older because you’re eating the wrong food. Absolutely.
For instance, eating too much sugar and processed carbohydrates (like pasta, bread, and baked goods) can lead to damage in your skin’s collagen, which keeps your skin springy and resists wrinkles.
What’s more, these foods put your overall health on the line. They are tied to diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
But foods like fruits and vegetables are good for your skin.
Limit potato chips and French fries and anything that’s deep-fried in oil. It can raise your LDL “bad” cholesterol and lower HDL “good” cholesterol, which increases your risk for heart disease.
Check food labels on baked goods and crackers, and avoid “partially hydrogenated oils” and “vegetable shortening.”
Doughnuts and sugary pastries are packed with sugar, which may be linked to the development of wrinkles. Hot dogs and bacon and other processed meats are usually high in saturated fats and have nitrates in them. Both of those can lead to inflammation.
Fatty meats are also high in saturated fats. The key with meat is to keep it lean. Tenderloin cuts tend to be leaner. Look for ground beef that is at least 95% lean. Ground turkey breast and chicken breast are other lean options.
Moderate drinking may be good for your heart, but heavy drinking can rev up the aging process.
Go for vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protein can help fight inflammation and keep you looking your best. Eat whole foods that are closest to their natural state as possible. For example, instead of apple sauce, try a fresh whole apple.
Lentils and beans are good sources of protein and are loaded with fibre and nutrients. Your skin is essentially made of protein, so if you don’t get enough healthy protein in your diet, your skin will reflect that. Whole grains such as oatmeal, whole wheat breads and pastas, brown rice, and quinoa help curb inflammation.
Go for a variety and make this way of eating a habit. If you’re not getting enough of the good stuff on a regular basis, you won’t be able to produce healthy new skin cells in the way that you should.

Sola Ogundipe

Vanguard News


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