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Popular Foods You Should Never Eat After 40, Say Dietitians

If you want to live a long, healthy life, it's time to cut out these foods now.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

Turning 40 can bring about a host of changes in your life, whether you're suddenly inspired to switch careers or change up your wardrobe. However, when it comes to your body, mid-life may be accompanied by a few less than pleasant changes—including metabolic shifts that make it significantly easier to gain weight and harder to keep it off.

If you want to ensure that you're making the best choices for your health, read on to discover which foods registered dietitians say you should never eat after 40. And for some foods that are worth adding to your meal plan, check out The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.

1

Soda

woman drinking soda
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You'd be hard-pressed to find any nutrition expert who'd call soda a healthy addition to your diet, and it's a particularly poor choice for people over 40.

"Sugary beverages have been linked to weight gain, obesity, and diabetes, and the over 40 crowd needs to be more careful to watch weight and sugar, as the pounds creep on as you age," says Lisa Young, PhD, RDN, author of Finally Full, Finally Slim and an adjunct professor of nutrition at NYU, citing a 2010 study published in Physiology & Behavior.

"Because you aren't chewing, it's easier to drink too much quickly without registering signals of fullness," Dr. Young adds. Need more incentive to steer clear of those sugary drinks? Check out the 112 Most Popular Sodas Ranked by How Toxic They Are.

2

Butter

butter melting in pan
Shutterstock / Moving Moment

Whether you're spreading it on your toast in the morning or using it to cook your favorite veggies or proteins in, you might want to reconsider your regular use of butter once you hit 40.

"Butter is high in saturated fat, which can contribute to heart disease as it has been known to elevate your cholesterol. As you age, your cholesterol can creep up as does your risk for heart disease," says Young.

3

Processed desserts

assorted cookies
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If you're looking for a resolution to make for your next birthday, giving up those high-sugar treats might be a smart one if you're over 40.

"Desserts containing processed sugar, like cakes, cookies, pies, and candy, all make inflammation and muscle soreness worse," says Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD, of Wellness Verge, who notes that these foods can quickly contribute to weight gain, as well.

If you need a push to give up those sweet snacks for good, check out these Side Effects of Giving Up Sugar, According to Science.

4

Alcohol

margarita
Shutterstock

While enjoying a glass or two of wine after a long day or a cocktail with dinner may be part of your regular routine, it could be doing more damage to your health than you imagine, particularly if you've already hit the big 4-0.

"Poor sleep, weight gain, and inflammation are all exacerbated by alcohol. Also, many in their 40s have probably noticed hangovers getting worse," says Reisdorf. "I would recommend significantly limiting or avoiding alcohol completely after 40. The recommendation is no more than 2 drinks a day for men and 1 for women."

Want to know how your body will change if you give up those drinks? Check out the Surprising Side Effects of Not Drinking Alcohol, Say Experts, and for the latest healthy eating news delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter!

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Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more
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