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The Worst Foods for Women Over 60, Says Science

Time to swap these pesky culprits out of your daily diet.

By the time a woman has reached her 60s, she's in a much different life chapter. She's worked hard and is ready to truly focus on herself. And the easiest way to start is by taking a closer look at her diet.

Her palate has likely changed a bit from her youth, and she's focused on fueling your body the right way, too. So it only makes sense if she wants to eat differently now! No one wants to eat foods that will only end up fueling any aches and pains, weight gain, and the aging process, right?

Ladies, it's time to rid your diet of any foods that are responsible for unnecessary amounts of added sugar, saturated fat, and sodium you don't need to be consuming daily. Some foods are simply a total no-go once you've reached beyond the age of 60.

To make sure you're on the right track, we rounded up the worst foods for women over 60. Keep these out of your kitchen and instead, load up on any of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.

Sugary Drinks

colorful bottled soft drinks

Take a look in your fridge—it's time to clear out any of those sugary drinks! This includes soda (both regular and diet), fruit juices that aren't all-natural, and bottled iced tea and lemonades. If you closely examine the nutrition labels of these beverages, you'll uncover the big issue: sugar.

See, studies have directly linked regular consumption of sugary drinks to heart disease, and heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States.

Plus, one study that followed 80,000 women over the course of 22 years even found that those who had a can a day of a sugary drink had a 75% higher risk of developing gout than women who rarely drank these types of drinks. That can of Coke just isn't worth it.

French Fries

French fries with ketchup on dark background, top view

Spuds that are deep-fried in oil? Those get a skip.

A study in the Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research found that heating oil to the smoking point during stir-frying may just decrease the amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids. And those are actually the heart-healthy fats that help nourish your skin and joints. Fried foods like fries can lead to weight gain, too, so this dish is just a lose-lose.

Store-Bought Baked Goods

packaged baked goods

When you're grocery shopping and spot the packaged sweet treats, you'll want to leave those on shelves. It's no secret that cookies, cakes, and muffins are loaded up with added sugar. A report in Clinics in Dermatology found that glucose and fructose can actually compromise the collagen and elastin that support your skin's elasticity.

Those baked goods could be contributing to wrinkles! You're always better off baking something yourself, as you can control what ingredients are going in those desserts.

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Cured Meats

hot dog with ketchup and mustard

Sorry to all the hot dog and bacon fans, but you're going to want to cut back a bit. They contain nitrates, a common preservative you'll find in cured meats. What's the big deal with nitrates? Well, according to a Journal of Alzheimer's Disease study, they have been linked to increased deaths from age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Pepperoni Pizza

pepperoni pizza

And in case you were wondering, that means pepperoni pizza is best avoided, too. Those pesky nitrates we mentioned? They're known to be inflammatory, and inflammation can speed up the aging process. That's not even factoring in the saturated fat, which is terrible for your heart health.

If you're in the mood for a slice, keep away from the meat toppings and load up on veggies instead.

High-Sodium Foods

potato chips

Foods that are high in sodium should always be on anyone's "do not eat often" list. Not only is a high sodium intake associated with a higher risk of high blood pressure, but high sodium foods can cause you to retain water and feel bloated. That can result in your skin looking puffy and tired, and overall, trigger dehydration. Which can accelerate aging—no thanks!

Excess Alcohol

refusing alcohol

The occasional glass of wine or a cocktail on a special occasion is fine—everything in moderation is the motto, though. You don't want to overindulge in anything, especially alcohol.

One study that involved more than 300,000 women found that a woman's average risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer increases by 4% with each additional drink a day. The longer a woman drank over the course of her life, the greater her risk of breast cancer—especially if she started drinking before her first pregnancy, the study also noted.

If you did drink more alcohol when you were younger, take this as a sign to slow down now!


hot coffee in white mug with beans

OK—don't freak out just yet! You can still enjoy coffee in the morning. You're going to want to stop drinking it later in the day if that's something you often like to do.

One study found that those between the ages of 65 and 70 took 33% longer to metabolize caffeine compared to younger adults. So that means if you drink coffee later in the day (say 4 p.m.), by the time you decide to go to bed, there's a good chance your body is still processing it. That caffeine is going to keep you awake!

Poor sleep can have tons of negative effects, including poorer quality of life. That is something you shouldn't be dealing with as a woman in her 60s, right?

Jennifer Maldonado
Jennifer Maldonado is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and health content. Read more about Jennifer
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