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The #1 Worst Food Aging You Faster, Says Dietitian

Hint: stay away from your grocery store’s bakery section.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

People have tried everything to halt the aging process. Over the years, experts have recommended youth-boosting methods ranging from drinking more water, getting plenty of rest and exercise, cutting down on alcoholic drinks, and embracing a variety of creams, salves, and botanicals. While a variety of factors play into how youthful you look, there are two main lifestyle habits that make the biggest difference when it comes to how many wrinkles and age lines you end up developing through your life.

"There are two primary causes of accelerated aging that appear on the skin: excessive unprotected sun exposure and advanced glycation end products (AGEs)," Trista Best, RD at Balance One Supplements tells us. "AGEs form as a result of sugar combined with fat or protein."

These AGEs can be found in a variety of foods, but one particular item packs in these less-than-wholesome nutrients in some of the worst ways.

"Prepackaged baked goods, like those found in the dessert or bakery aisle of the grocery store, embody this description of AGEs foods," Best continues. "These foods go by many names from generic to name-brand." These items include snack cakes and bakery aisle treats like store-brand donuts.

packaged box of donuts

"Regardless of their name, the fat, protein, and refined carbohydrate combination wreak havoc on your body both internally and externally," Best said.

Experts have correlated sugar and aging for over a decade. According to a study published in Clinics in Dermatology back in 2010, scientists found that the more sugar you eat, the harder it is for your skin to repair itself. This inability for your skin to heal gets even worse if you end up sitting out in the sun for too long.

It might seem heartbreaking to have to choose between these snack cakes or pastries and looking younger, but luckily, anyone who has a craving from time to time can find a healthy middle ground that allows them to splurge without developing unnecessary wrinkles.

"Rather than turning [to] these baked goods as a quick snack or meal replacement, consider preparing your own sweet meal ahead of time," says Best. "For instance, baked oats or overnight oats can be made ahead of time and eaten on the go just the same as the convenient baked goods."

Diet plays a major role when it comes to determining how quickly you age and every meal decision you make can keep you looking younger. After ditching pre-packaged baked goods, consider adding the 6 Foods Proven To Slow the Aging Process at Any Age to your diet to keep you looking your best.

Erich Barganier
Erich Barganier is a health and food writer. Read more about Erich