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Popular Foods That Are Aging You Faster, Say Dietitians

It's not just how you treat your skin that can age you—what you put on your plate is just as important.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

Short of finding the fountain of youth, there's no way to sidestep the aging process entirely. However, many people don't realize that their daily habits could be inadvertently speeding up the process—and we're not just talking about excessive sun exposure. In fact, your diet also plays a role in keeping you looking young or making you look older, and many of the foods you're eating on a regular basis could be aging you faster, according to experts. Read on to discover which foods could be speeding up the clock without you even realizing it. And if you want to improve your wellbeing, check out The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.


Potato chips

woman eating potato chips

If you want to slow down the aging process, you're better off skipping that bag of chips.

"There are two primary causes of accelerated aging that appear on the skin: excessive unprotected sun exposure and advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs form as a result of sugar combined with fat or protein," says Trista Best, RD, a registered dietitian with Balance One Supplements, who notes that this includes "processed convenience foods like potato chips."

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Ice cream

woman eating ice cream directly out of the pint and in front of the freezer

Ice cream may be tasty, but it's no friend to anyone trying to turn back the clock on the aging process.

Best says that foods that the combination of sugar and fat in ice cream can "increase aging and also lead to poor gut health," damaging a person's overall wellbeing along the way. And for some healthier fare from the freezer case, check out the 9 Best Low Sugar Ice Creams, According to Dietitians.


Energy drinks

studying energy drinks

While having an energy drink is part of many people's daily routines, that jitters-inducing beverage could be doing a number on your skin.

"Foods and beverages high in caffeine may contribute to premature aging as they act as a diuretic in the body. This increases the need for hydration and the demand is often not met as water is being replaced by caffeinated beverages," says Shena Jaramillo, MS, RD, of Peace and Nutrition. Pair the high caffeine content with the fact that many of the unhealthiest energy drinks contain dozens of grams of age-accelerating refined sugar, and you're looking at a can that will age you by 20 years.




Similarly, Jaramillo says that soda can cause premature aging due to its caffeine content, particularly if soda drinkers don't consume enough water to replace the fluid displaced by their caffeinated beverage of choice.

What's more, research published in the July-August 2010 volume of Clinics in Dermatology reveals that elevated sugar levels can increase the production of AGEs, which are associated with increased markers of aging. And for more incentive to ditch those sugary drinks, check out the 108 Most Popular Sodas Ranked by How Toxic They Are.

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