It’s true, you are what you eat. And we aren’t just talking about health, what you eat can affect your body inside and out. While we all love digging into our favorite hot dog sandwich or an occasional bite of donuts every once in a while, they can have an impact on how we look and our skin as well. And not in a good way, mind you. Following a good skincare routine and working out might not be enough to stay youthful and glowing. What we feed our bodies also play a crucial role in this regard. Here we list out 6 foods that you should definitely cut down on or avoid if you want to stay youthful and look radiant.
1. French Fries
French fries are fried at a high temperature which releases free radicals that can damage our skin cells. They can speed up the aging process as the skin loses its elasticity and also affect the DNA molecules. French fries also contain too much salt in them which can suck the water out of our skin and cause dehydration. And dehydrated skin is easily prone to wrinkles (1).
What To Eat Instead: You can have roasted sweet potatoes which can increase the collagen production as they are rich in copper which has anti-aging properties.
2. Processed Meats
Processed meats can be harmful to the skin as they are saturated fats that are high in sodium and sulfite. Processed meats include foods such as hot dogs, bacon, sausage, and pepperoni. They can also dehydrate the skin and cause inflammation by weakening collagen production (2).
What To Eat Instead: You can go for eggs or beans which are cheaper and gives your body the necessary protein. You can also opt for turkey and chicken to satiate your cravings. The protein and amino acids in them will also help your skin to form collagen.
Alcohol is bad news for the skin. It can cause a loss of collagen, puffiness, redness, and wrinkles. Drinking alcohol can result in depletion of nutrients and vitamin A levels which can make your skin prone to wrinkles. Vitamin A helps the skin stay wrinkle-free and elastic by aiding in new cell growth and collagen production, so lower levels of vitamin A is not good for the skin (3).
What To Do Instead: Drink in moderation, and always stay hydrated. You can go for non-alcoholic options by getting creative with a non-alcoholic mojito or mocktail recipes.
Having your favorite cup of coffee can help you kickstart the day. But having frequent cups of coffee or soda will keep you up at night and affect your sleep. Not getting adequate sleep can accelerate the aging process and also cause dark circles, fine lines, and wrinkles (4).
What To Have Instead: You can limit your intake to 1 cup or consider decaf options. You can also swap your coffee with golden milk. Turmeric is rich in antioxidants and other anti-aging components which is great for the skin.
Sugar is one of the major contenders for causing skin damage. Sugar leads to the production of collagen damaging AGEs and other skin concerns such as acne (5). Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are one of the main culprits of aging besides sunlight (6).
What To Eat Instead: Opt for honey or fruits instead of sugar. Reach for frozen fruit, popsicle or dark chocolate when you are craving for an after-meal snack.
6. White Bread
Refined carbs integrated with protein can form AGEs that can accelerate the aging process. White bread is high in glycemic index which causes inflammation in the body while also speeding up aging (7).
What To Eat Instead: Sprouted grain bread is a better and more healthy alternative as they contain antioxidants beneficial for the skin and no added sugar.
Who would’ve thought the food we eat regularly has such nightmarish effects on our skin? So the next time you reach for a sugary treat or your fourth cup of coffee, it’s always better to think twice.