Foods That Are Aging You

You know certain foods are bad for your waistline, but did you know that noshing on certain foods can actually make you look older? Learn what to avoid and why by clicking through this collection—what's bad might surprise you! 

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Sugar
 
When it comes to premature aging, sugar is public enemy number one. It breaks down collagen in the skin through a process called glycation, leading to premature aging, fine lines and wrinkles. The good news: cutting out the sweet stuff can improve your complexion in just one week. 
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Trans Fats 
 
These are the biggest artery offenders in the fats world. And clogged arteries aren’t just bad for your heart; they’re bad for your skin, leaving it stiff and inflexible. Trans fats also attack youth-promoting collagen, leaving fine lines and wrinkles in their wake. Instead, go for healthy fats like the mono and poly-unsaturated kind found in olive oil, coconut oil, nuts and fish.
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Salt 
 
If your skin has been looking puffy and bloated, it could be from too much salt. Aside from puffiness, salt can lead to dehydration, making skin look tired and wrinkly. Next time you’re looking to spice up your life, try fresh herbs instead. 
4/14
Coffee 
 
All that caffeine might make you feel awake, but it’s making you look tired. Coffee dehydrates the skin, making wrinkles more prominent. It also ages your smile by staining your teeth.  So if you can’t go without your morning cup of jo, make sure to hydrate throughout the day, or better yet, try replacing it with green tea, which offers a caffeine boost with anti-aging benefits.  
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Artificial Sweeteners  
 
They may seem like a good alternative to scary sugar, but artificial sweeteners make you crave the real thing. So you might be taking in more of it without realizing. 
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Alcohol 
 
Alcohol and aging go together like Bonnie and Clyde. Wine, beer and liquor all dehydrate the skin and deplete collagen levels, leading to wrinkles, redness and puffiness. As if that weren’t enough, alcohol can also age your smile. It breaks down enamel and causes tooth decay, turning your pearly whites to a dingy yellow.
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Soda 
 
Soda contains sugar, salt and caffeine, the holy trinity of premature aging. It damages collagen and dehydrates the skin, making it look tired and puffy. The sweet drink is also highly acidic, which can erode tooth enamel and damage your smile.
8/14
Energy Drinks 

If you thought soda was bad, energy drinks do it one better – or eight better, since according to Dr. Oz, they do eight times more damage to tooth enamel than sodas. They’re also high in skin-dehydrating caffeine.  
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Simple Carbs 

Simple or refined carbs (think white bread, pasta and white rice) are just sugars masquerading as real food. They damage collagen and elastin, and can lead to skin inflammation. Instead, opt for whole grains like whole wheat, brown rice and corn. 
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Fried Foods 
 
Typically full of trans fats, fried foods clog arteries and stiffen the skin. They also pose a threat because the high-heat cooking technique can create hydrocarbons, which cause inflammation and lead to the break down of collagen. 
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Grilled Foods 
 
Cooked over gas or charcoal, these foods are loaded with hydrocarbons (especially in those black sear marks). Carbons can lead to inflammation, which damages collagen and causes wrinkles. 
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Processed Meat 
 
The sulfites and nitrates in processed meats like hot dogs, bacon, sausage and cold cuts can lead to skin inflammation, which weakens collagen. These meat products also tend to be high in sodium, causing puffiness, bloating and dehydration. The final result: ruddy, sallow skin.
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Red Meat
 
Full of a protein called carnitine, red meats harden blood vessels, causing skin creasing. To avoid this premature aging, limit consumption to once a week. 
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Spicy Food
 
The spicy food flush might not be a problem for everyone (the effect is usually mild and temporary), but in people with rosacea and women going through menopause, it can have an intense reddening effect that takes a long time to subside.