Forty’s the new 30, huh? Well, if you keep eating these foods, your 40-year-old self will look like it’s 50.
Some of these foods have been found to increase wrinkles, induce obesity, shut down organ functions, and make you sick. Take a look and start cleaning out your kitchen of these foods today.
1. Canned Soup
We know, we know — chicken soup for the soul, right? Well, not if it’s canned. A cutting-edge study published in 2013 found a connection between high blood pressure and skin aging.
Compared to their older-looking counterparts, female study participants with fewer wrinkles also had lower blood pressure. U.S. guidelines call for less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, but many popular cans carry 40 percent of the day’s recommended salt intake in just one serving.
So what to eat instead? Hmmm, try homemade soup, there’s an idea.
2. Diet sodas
Stop thinking that dark sodas are worse for you. Both are pretty bad. Drinks like Mountain Dew and Fresca may look less chemical-filled than cola because of their lighter hue, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Instead of caramel coloring—the chemical that makes Coke brown—Diet Mountain Dew and Fresca are colored with brominated vegetable oil, a chemical used in rocket fuel and flame retardants.
It has been shown to have negative effects on thyroid hormones and fertility, a primary health concern of people in their 30s. Added chemicals like BVO can contribute to internal inflammation, which has been linked to obesity.
3. Sugar-Free Snacks
Think you’re doing better by eating “sugar-free?” Think again. If you’ve become thicker around the middle since turning 30, it may be a sign that your liver isn’t functioning optimally.
Avoiding toxins like artificial sweeteners will help the vital organ work more efficiently, and in turn, slim your middle. To jump-start the detox process, kick foods made with fake sweeteners (like sugar-free gum, candies, and snacks) to the curb and go for low sugar or things made with real/raw sugar.
4. Salami and Hot Dogs
Men, pay special attention to this: A 2014 study published in the Journal Epidemiology found an association between eating processed meats like salami and hot dogs to lower sperm count.
And interestingly enough, the meat’s saturated fat content—a nutrient previously associated with poor sperm quality—wasn’t to blame. For a safe bet, limit the amount of processed meat you consume.
Try to get all-natural and grass-fed, both of which limit the number of hormones you’re eating.
5. Microwave Popcorn
In it’s purest form, popcorn is a healthy snack filled with energizing whole grains. But some food companies have managed to transformed something wholesome into something harmful to our health.
Pop Secret’s Butter Popcorn, for example, has five grams of trans fat per serving—that’s more than double the government recommended daily limit to clog your arteries.
Trans Fats are particularly important to avoid as people get older because the risk of heart disease increases with age. For a healthier snack, go old school and pop your corn kernels on the stove.
6. Packaged Soy Sauce
Puffy, dark circles under the eyes tend to become more pronounced with each passing birthday—and being dehydrated makes matters even worse.
To wake up looking refreshed, steer clear of moisture-sucking salty foods like soy sauce (think of all those nights you had Chinese food takeout and used soy sauce packets on it). A mere tablespoon of the stuff has a whopping 879 milligrams of sodium!
7. Coffee Creamer
Coffee creamers contain titanium dioxide, an ultraviolet radiation blocker that doubles as a whitening agent. Besides conventional creamers, it’s also found in so-called ‘healthy’ bottles like So Delicious’ coconut milk-based varieties.
The additive has been proven to cause liver and tissue damage in mice, and may also have health implications in humans, according to a recent review of the chemical.
Coffee creamer is also typically packed with trans fats, often hiding under its lesser-known name: hydrogenated oil. Many of Coffee Mate’s and other coffee creamer products have this ingredient that has been shown to diminish memory in adults under 45 years old.
8. Protein Bars
While younger folks might be able to get away with skipping breakfast or simply eating a starchy ‘weight loss’ cereal or bar, research suggests that eating 20 to 30 grams of protein at each meal is ideal—especially as we age.
Aside from its high sugar count, many protein bars only pack 10 grams of protein, which won’t do much in terms of keeping you full and satisfied until lunch.
If you typically reach for a bar like this, swap it out for a quick homemade meal of boiled or scrambled eggs in light butter or olive oil and whole-wheat toast.
You can try homemade protein shake or real (not ‘non-fat’) yogurt with granola.
I’ve been saying this for years. Remember those cheap brown tubs of butter-like substances growing up?
Butter alternatives like margarine are often made with partially-hydrogenated oils, one of the most common trans-fats.
You may have heard that this type of fat is linked to heart disease, but what most people don’t know is that it may also accelerate the skin’s aging process by making the skin more vulnerable to ultraviolet radiation.
When the skin gets damaged by the sun, it breaks down the skin’s elastin and collagen.
But now some butter substitutes are advertising non-trans fat products.
But that’s not all, studies have also found that eating margarine can cause chronic inflammation, which may also accelerate wrinkle formation.
Stick to the real thing–just don’t eat a lot of it.