Due to biochemical reactions in your body that occur with every type of food you eat on a daily basis, some foods age you faster, while other foods fight aging.
Eat the wrong foods regularly, and you can look and feel 10 or more years older than your real age …
Three of the processes that go on inside your body that have a major impact on your rate of aging are called “glycation”, “inflammation”, and “oxidation”. When we talk about aging, we’re not just talking about wrinkles on your skin or how thick your hair is… we’re also talking about processes that you can’t see, such as how well your organs function, metabolic reactions and your endocrine system.
Food #1 that ages you faster: Wheat (yes, even “whole wheat”)
Before I tell you why wheat can actually speed up the aging process in your body, let’s clarify some simple biochemistry in your body…
This deals with “glycation” in your body, and substances called Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs). These nasty little compounds called AGEs speed up the aging process in your body including damage over time to your organs, your joints, and of course, wrinkled skin.
So with that said, what is one of the biggest factors that increase production of AGEs inside your body? This may surprise you, but high blood sugar levels over time dramatically increase age-accelerating AGEs in your body. This is why type 2 diabetics many times appear that they have not aged well and look older than their real age. But this age-increasing effect is not just limited to diabetics. It can affect everyone.
Wheat contains a very unique type of carbohydrate (not found in other foods) called Amylopectin-A, which has been found in some tests to spike your blood sugar higher than even pure table sugar.
In fact, amylopectin-A (from wheat) raises your blood sugar more than almost any other carbohydrate source on earth based on blood sugar response testing.
This means that wheat-based foods such as breads, bagels, cereals, muffins, and other baked goods often cause much higher blood sugar levels than most other carbohydrate sources. As you know now, the higher your average blood sugar levels are over time, the more AGEs are formed inside your body, which makes you age FASTER.
You’ve probably heard about the potential health-damaging effects of gluten (also found in wheat) in the news recently, but this blood sugar aspect we just covered is not talked about that often, and is yet another reason to reduce or eliminate wheat-based foods in your diet. Your body will thank you by aging slowly and looking younger.
Another problem with wheat-based foods and aging…
As it turns out, baked wheat products contain carcinogenic chemicals called acrylamides that form in the browned portion of breads, cereals, muffins, etc. These carcinogenic acrylamides have been linked in studies to possible increased risk of cancer and accelerated aging. Note that acrylamides are also found in high levels in other browned carbohydrate sources such as french fries or any other browned starchy foods.
Food #2 that ages you faster: Corn-based foods — corn syrup, corn cereal, corn chips, corn oil
Corn is everywhere: corn chips, corn cereals, corn oil, and also the biggest health-damaging villain that gets most of the media attention, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
In the last section on wheat we discussed the blood sugar process and it’s relation to age-accelerating formation of nasty “AGEs” in your body.
Corn-based starchy foods such as corn cereals, corn chips, etc also have a big impact on blood sugar levels and therefore can increase AGEs in your body and accelerate aging.
Scientists have discovered that the fructose in HFCS causes more formation of AGEs in your body than glucose. That means the HFCS you consume daily in sweetened drinks, and most other processed foods (yes, even salad dressings and ketchup) contribute to faster aging in your body… as if you needed yet another reason to avoid or minimize HFCS.
Another major issue with corn-based foods and corn oils is that these foods contribute excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids to your diet, which causes an imbalance in your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio and leads to inflammation and oxidation within your body.
Avoid or reduce corn-based foods like corn chips and corn cereal as much as possible. These aren’t as bad as wheat in relation to blood sugar but they are still bad for you. When it comes to corn syrup or corn oil, avoid as much as you can if you want to stay lean and young.
Food #3 that ages you faster: Sugar, sugary foods, certain starchy foods
Again, we get back to the relationship between your average blood sugar levels and blood sugar spikes over time, and how that can increase those age-accelerating compounds called AGEs in your body.
Sugar is an obvious one to avoid. You’ve heard how bad it is for you 1000 times before for many other reasons, including your waistline and developing type 2 diabetes. But now you also understand the aging effect of sugar.
Instead of sugar, consider using a natural non-caloric sweetener like Stevia in your daily tea, in baking, or other sweetening needs. This dramatically helps you control your blood sugar response and thereby help slow aging.
So this also means to think twice about sugary desserts, sugary cereals, candy, and other sweets that are contributing to aging you faster.
My personal trick to satisfy my sweet tooth is to only have 1-2 squares of dark chocolate after dinner instead of a normal full dessert that most people choose. You only get about 2 grams of sugar in 1-2 squares of dark chocolate as opposed to 40-80 grams of age-accelerating sugar in a typical cake, ice cream, or brownie type of dessert.
Keep in mind that some starchy foods like white rice, oatmeal, and white potatoes can also have significant impacts on your blood sugar and thereby can increase formation of AGEs in your body. These foods are best kept in smaller portions if you decide to eat them, and balanced with healthy fats and protein to slow the blood sugar response.
Food #4 that ages you faster: Soybean oil, canola oil, or other “vegetable oils”
I know these have been marketed to you over the years by giant food companies as “healthy”, but if you understand a little biochemistry about how these highly-processed oils react inside your body, you would quickly see how false that is.
First, anything labeled soybean oil, canola oil, corn oil, vegetable oil, or cottonseed oil (these are in a LOT of processed foods you probably eat) most times have undergone a refining process under extremely high heat and use of chemical solvents such as hexane.
This leaves you with an oil where the polyunsaturated fats have undergone a lot of oxidation and are therefore VERY inflammatory inside your body, producing free radicals, damaging your cell membranes, contributing to faster aging, heart disease, and other possible health problems.
If you want to avoid the health-damaging effects of soybean, canola, corn and other “vegetable oils”, make sure to avoid them as much as you can, and instead opt for truly healthy oils and fats such as extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil, virgin coconut oil (a healthy source of MCT fats), and grass-fed butter (a great source of healthy CLA fats). Always try to add these oils at the end of cooking as high heats can change them (with the exception of coconut oil which changes very little under high temperatures – a rarity!)
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