Health Habits That Age You Faster — Eat This Not That

By Ghuman


As we age, our bodies naturally start to show signs of wear and tear. But did you know that certain health habits can actually speed up the aging process? Eating the wrong foods, not getting enough sleep, and not exercising can all contribute to premature aging. Fortunately, there are some 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 health habits that age you faster and provide tips on how to eat this, not that, to help you stay young and healthy.

Health Habits That Age You Faster — Eat This Not That

It’s no secret that our lifestyle choices can have a major impact on our health and how quickly we age. But did you know that certain foods can actually speed up the aging process? Here are some of the worst offenders when it comes to aging you faster — and what you should be eating instead.

Eat This Not That

  • White Bread: White bread is made from refined flour, which has been stripped of its nutrients and fiber. Instead, opt for whole grain breads, which are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
  • Processed Meats: Processed meats like bacon, sausage, and hot dogs are high in sodium and saturated fat, both of which can contribute to inflammation and accelerate the aging process. Instead, opt for lean proteins like fish, chicken, and beans.
  • Sugary Drinks: Sugary drinks like soda, energy drinks, and sweetened teas are loaded with empty calories and can cause spikes in blood sugar levels. Instead, opt for water, unsweetened tea, or sparkling water with a splash of juice.
  • Fried Foods: Fried foods are high in trans fats, which can increase inflammation and accelerate the aging process. Instead, opt for grilled, baked, or steamed foods.
  • Refined Grains: Refined grains like white rice and white pasta are stripped of their nutrients and fiber. Instead, opt for whole grains like brown rice and whole wheat pasta.

By making healthier food choices, you can help slow down the aging process and keep your body looking and feeling its best. So the next time you’re at the grocery store, remember to eat this, not that!

Stop looking for the fountain of youth—it’s in your own backyard. While science hasn’t found a way to stop time, there are plenty of easy, no-cost things you can do to keep yourself looking and feeling young. The other side of that coin is that there are too many things we do every day that age us faster. These are the habits to avoid. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You May Have Already Had COVID.

Woman in a bed holding her head in pain.

Skimping on Z’s doesn’t just make you feel older. Scientists at UCLA found that just one night of bad sleep actually makes older adults’ cells age faster. Sleep is crucial downtime for the body’s vital systems, which repair and reboot themselves while we snooze. Poor-quality sleep has been associated with everything from accelerated skin aging to heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and dementia.

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

Not getting regular exercise can age you, upping your risk for obesity and related chronic diseases. Conversely, consistent physical activity can keep you young—even decades younger. That was the conclusion of a 2018 study that found older men and women who exercised for decades had muscles similar to people in their 20s and greater aerobic capacity than their contemporaries, making them biologically almost 30 years younger than their chronological ages.

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Consuming too many simple carbs and foods high in added sugar doesn’t just wreak havoc on your waistline. Scientists have found that eating excessive amounts of sugar may actually cause wrinkles by damaging collagen and elastin, two proteins that keep skin looking young. “Findings from research studies suggest that a diet containing lots of sugar or other refined carbohydrates can accelerate aging,” says the American Academy of Dermatology.

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woman applying sunscreen lotion standing outdoors at the urban location during the sunny weather

UV rays from the sun damage the collagen and elastin in skin, making it slack and wrinkled. To avoid premature aging, experts advise wearing a sunscreen of at least 30 SPF on your face every day, even if it’s cloudy outside. (Clouds only block 20 percent of UV rays.) 

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stressed woman

“People exposed to chronic stress age rapidly,” wrote the authors of a 2020 study published in the journal Biomedicine. “Inflammation is another important feature of stress that, along with aging, accounts for the phenomenon of inflammaging”—very simply, aging caused by inflammation, which also raises the risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), diabetes, high blood pressure and more.

And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.