Everyday Habits That Lead to Aging — Eat This Not That

By Ghuman


As we age, our bodies naturally start to show signs of wear and tear. But, there are certain everyday habits that can accelerate the aging process. Eating the wrong foods, not getting enough sleep, and not exercising can all contribute to premature aging. Fortunately, there are simple changes you can make to your diet and lifestyle that can help you look and feel younger. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the everyday habits that lead to aging and how to make healthier choices to slow down the process. We’ll also provide some tips on how to eat this, not that, to help you stay looking and feeling your best.

Everyday Habits That Lead to Aging — Eat This Not That

As we age, our bodies naturally start to show signs of wear and tear. But, there are certain everyday habits that can accelerate the aging process. Here are some of the most common habits that can lead to premature aging, and what you should be eating instead.


Sugar is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to premature aging. Eating too much sugar can cause wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots. Instead of reaching for sugary snacks, opt for healthier alternatives like fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, and whole grains.


Drinking too much alcohol can dehydrate your skin, leading to wrinkles and dryness. It can also cause inflammation, which can lead to premature aging. Instead of drinking alcohol, opt for water or herbal teas.

Processed Foods

Processed foods are full of unhealthy fats, preservatives, and additives that can cause inflammation and damage your skin. Instead, opt for fresh, whole foods that are rich in antioxidants and vitamins. These will help to nourish your skin and keep it looking youthful.


Smoking is one of the worst habits for your skin. It can cause wrinkles, age spots, and sagging skin. Instead of smoking, try to find healthier ways to cope with stress, such as exercise, yoga, or meditation.

Lack of Sleep

Not getting enough sleep can cause your skin to look dull and tired. It can also lead to wrinkles and dark circles under your eyes. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night to keep your skin looking healthy and youthful.

Sun Exposure

Too much sun exposure can cause wrinkles, age spots, and other signs of premature aging. Make sure to wear sunscreen when you’re outside and limit your time in the sun. Also, try to wear protective clothing such as hats and sunglasses.


Stress can cause your skin to look dull and tired. It can also lead to wrinkles and other signs of premature aging. Try to find healthy ways to cope with stress, such as exercise, yoga, or meditation.

By making small changes to your everyday habits, you can help to slow down the aging process and keep your skin looking youthful and healthy. Eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and limiting your exposure to the sun are all great ways to keep your skin looking its best.

When it comes to everyday behaviors that lead to aging, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and smoking are fairly well-known offenders at this point — you don’t need to be told they’re bad for your health and appearance. But did you know there are other, less obvious factors that might be causing us to age prematurely? You might be surprised at how the most seemingly innocent habits might actually be causing significant damage to your DNA and undermining your otherwise healthy lifestyle. 

Read on to find out which everyday habits could be making you older—and how to mitigate the potential damage—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You May Have Already Had COVID.

stressed woman

Stress is the enemy of your telomeres, those important little caps at the end of each strand of DNA responsible for protecting our chromosomes. While telomeres naturally shorten as we grow older, that disintegration is accelerated by chronic stress. So yes — while being stressed out all the time could be aging you, it doesn’t have to be a given. 

“One of my top recommendations for stress relief is a powerful technique that combines the principles of ancient Chinese acupressure and modern psychology known as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or ‘Tapping’ that has been found to lower the stress hormone cortisol by up to 43%, significantly more than traditional talk therapy or resting,” says Melanie Keller ND, naturopathic doctor.

Exercise and meditation are also highly effective methods of dealing with stress. 

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If you are what you eat, then consuming a diet which is made up of industrial-made trans fats, sugar and overly-processed junk food is a recipe for fast-tracked aging. 

“Processed sugar, carbohydrates and excess alcohol are known to accelerate inflammation,” says Keller. 

Chronic inflammation is not only a major cause of premature aging (or “inflammaging“), it can also lead to a host of damaging health conditions including but not limited to diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease. By changing your diet to one that is mainly focused on green leafy vegetables, oily fish, fruit, nuts, and olive oil, you can offset the occasional naughty indulgence and help prevent diet-related age issues.

RELATED: 9 Everyday Habits That Might Lead to Dementia, Say Experts

hispanic woman at home bedroom lying in bed late at night trying to sleep suffering insomnia sleeping disorder or scared on nightmares looking sad worried and stressed

Consistent lack of sleep is another factor that leads to damaging inflammation and premature aging. Not only does poor sleep negatively impact your skin, making you look older than you actually are, it’s one of the worst offenders for accelerated aging — especially where your brain is concerned.  

Brain aging is described by the interplay of our sleep patterns and changes in the brain’s garbage cleaning abilities,” Keller explains. “Insufficient sleep leads to an increase of the brain’s garbage concentration and may explain an underlying mechanism behind healthy or unhealthy brain aging.”

The CDC recommends healthy adults get between 7-9 hours of sleep every day, while teenagers should get between 8-10 hours (no, they’re not just lazy, it’s science!). 

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Woman covering her face to block the sun light.

Too much exposure to UV rays is one of the absolute worst things you can do in terms of aging, be it by direct sunlight or using a sunbed. While some UVB rays are necessary for the production of vitamin D, excessive exposure is extremely harsh on your DNA and unfortunately the damage continues long after you are no longer in the sun. Protect yourself by following CDC guidelines about wearing protective clothing, wearing sunscreen, and avoiding direct sunlight during hours when UV rays are strongest.

“An over or under exposure to the sun are risk factors in aging,” says Keller. “Over exposure has been associated with increased wrinkles and an advanced appearance in age, while an under exposure to the sun has been associated with lower vitamin D levels and an increased risk for chronic health problems.”

RELATED: Most Common Health Problems After Age 60, Say Doctors

Woman sitting on bed looking at phone bored and in a bad mood

Regular exercise is instrumental in keeping you young, healthy, and happy, whereas little to no exercise is a major cause of chronic diseases and contributes to the speedy demise of those crucial little telomeres we discussed earlier. Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day can make a huge impact on your rate of aging and appearance.

“Exercise reduces age-related oxidative damage and chronic inflammation, improves mitochondrial function, and insulin sensitivity,” says Keller. “It’s important to consider different types of exercise to improve different aspects of physical functioning such as adequate weight bearing exercise as it relates to osteoporosis awareness and prevention.” And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.