Did you know that just as foods can heal the body, they could also hurt, or accelerate the aging process? Yes, even though we are living in a time of unprecedented medical advances and healthy food options, we are also bombarded by foods that only pretend to be healthy for us, when in fact they are very bad.
This is a very important topic, as there is almost a 100% certainty you are consuming something on this list without realizing it is truly bad.
1. Preserved Meats
Though farm fresh or frozen meat is good for you thanks to generous protein levels, preserved meats are not healthy at all and should be altogether avoided. The reason? Primarily the fact that many of these preservatives promote formation of free radicals, which damage DNA and accelerate aging. In addition to this is the fact that many of these preserved meats are smoked as well, which is responsible for increased presence of pro-carcinogenic compounds in the meat.
2. Trans Fats
The worst fats for your health, trans fats come in two varieties: Naturally occurring and artificial.
- Naturally occurring trans fats are those that come from animals and foods made from them, such as steaks and milk, which may contain small quantities.
- Artificial trans fats, also known as trans fatty acids are made in factories by converting vegetable oils into solids.
Partially hydrogenated oils are the dietary source of trans fats, and make the list of ingredients on many food labels. Trans fats raise your bad LDL cholesterol levels while at the same time lowering the good cholesterol, HDL. These fats increase risks for heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
Foods That May Have Trans Fats
- Think industrial food made in a factory, and it is likely to have trans fats, so you should always check labels.
- Fried foods, like doughnuts
- Pies, cakes, cookies
- Margarine and other artificial spreads
Labels can list trans fat content as 0, even when there is 0.5 gram per serving. It is therefore better to look for partially hydrogenated oils on the list of ingredients.
3. Wheat Based Products
This one is sure to ruffle some feathers, but make no mistake – wheat is not good for you. In particular, wheat contains both high amounts of carbs as well as a unique kind of carbohydrate not found in other foods, known as amylopectin-A. These keep blood sugar levels higher and also speed up aging via AGE (advanced glycation end products). And yes, you guessed it- wheat based products are notorious for producing more of these AGE compounds.
4. Vegetable Oils
Though these are purported to be good since they are from vegetables, the truth is that these types of oils, such as corn and un-pure canola oils, have undergone thorough processing and refinement, using many toxic chemicals such as hexane in the process. The result is polyunsaturated fats that are heavily prone to oxidation, which they undergo upon consumption. The result? Increased inflammatory processes within the body, speeding up aging and decline in health. Instead, use avocado, olive oils and coconut varieties.
5. Pastries, Sweets, Cookies, etc.
Pastries are too often consumed for breakfast or snacks owing to their ease of consumption and ability to be carried on the go. However, pastries are the perfect storm of health sapping nutrients, containing both high quantities of saturated fats, trans fats, and sugars that are sure to speed up your body’s natural oxidative processes and make you older, and sicker for it and of course, they make you fat, which only makes the aging process worse. There is no way around this, you must ditch sweets from your diet or at the very least rarely eat them, save them for limited and special occasions.
6. Salty Foods
Yes, we all use salt in our diets to make foods more appetizing, but often we are going way beyond what is necessary or even safe for our bodies. The FDA recommends adults to consume no more than 2,300 milligrams daily, and this is an upper limit, while the average consumption in the US is 3400 milligrams.
Sodium has a dehydrating effect on the body, making you excrete excessive water in a bid to normalize electrolyte levels. This leaves you thirsty, and craving more and more water. This is not normal, as your body would indicate. In addition, excess sodium intake can compromise kidney health, causing accumulation of toxic waste material, and even interfere with normal bone metabolic processes. High sodium intake also causes high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease. Is it worth the extra topping on your meals?
Recently, the possible health benefits of a glass of red wine daily have been making the rounds, but let’s not get beyond ourselves. At least when it comes to quantity. This is because many persons do not have one glass per day, and instead opt for 3, 5 or 10. This is where things get bad, as alcohol taxes the liver unlike most other substances. When this happens, the liver is unable to process real toxins, since it is overwhelmed by processing the aldehydes from the alcohol. Alcohol also has a pronounced effect on elastin and collagen in skin, making it appear listless and saggy. When alcohol is not moderated well by the body, it causes a variety of chronic conditions that not only affects aging, but also can result in premature death.