Sorry, we have to be honest. You look older than your years. And it’s because you’ve fallen into a common pattern that almost all of us have, multiple times a day, without even realizing it. The good news: You can turn back the clock by making simple changes you won’t even miss. Read on to find out more and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You Have Ever Had COVID.
“The results of research studies suggest that a diet containing a lot of sugar or other refined carbohydrates may accelerate aging,” says the American Academy of Dermatology.
“Added sugar is the biggest health threat in America,” says David Zinczenko, best-selling author of Zero Sugar Diet. “The more added sugar creeps into your diet, the less healthy foods you’ll eat for the rest of the day. And the faster you’ll age.”
Eating too much sugar can prematurely age your body by increasing your risk for obesity and associated health problems like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It can also directly age your skin. Here’s how.
When you eat excessive amounts of sugar, it damages collagen and elastin, the two proteins in the skin that make it appear firm, plump, and youthful. When consumed, sugar creates advanced glycation end products (or AGEs), which attach to collagen and elastin and actually prevent the body from repairing them. Spoiler alert: wrinkles, sagging and yellowish skin.
RELATED: Places “teeming” with COVID, experts say
A study at the University of California, San Francisco found that people who consumed more sugary drinks, such as soda, had shorter telomeres, the part of our cells that contains DNA. Telomeres start out long and get shorter as you get older. When they get too short, they die. “Regular consumption of sugary sodas could influence the development of metabolic diseases through accelerated cellular aging,” the study authors wrote.
Sugar literally seems to age you to the bone. A study published last year in PLOS Medicine– spanning more than two decades and involving nearly 72,000 women – found that those over 60 who drank two or more sugary drinks a day were 32 percent more likely to become brittle than those who drank none.
RELATED: Omicron symptoms most often look like this
Cutting back on sugary drinks and processed foods high in added sugar is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. It can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and dementia. (Your chances of developing all three increase with age.) And your skin can only benefit.
RELATED: Supplements Doctors Say to Stop Taking Now
Even if you cut back on simple carbs, sugary sodas, fruit juices, and sweets, you may still be consuming more added sugar than you think. Take into account the amount of added sugar in the products you buy by checking the Nutrition Facts labels. Surprising amounts can lurk in unexpected places, like wheat bread, pasta sauce, and seemingly “healthy” foods like fat-free yogurt. And to get through this pandemic in better health, don’t miss these 35 places where you’re most likely to catch COVID.