Is the food you eat ageing you?
The food we eat can be beneficial or detrimental to our health, depending on the individual ingredient. But now it's been claimed that certain foods can actually age you quicker than others. The ingredients have been identified because of elements that either put stress on the body, cause cell damage or contribute to ageing cells in the long term.
"As a general rule of thumb, dietary patterns with a high glycaemic load [high in carbohydrates] increase inflammatory processes in the body over time, while diets high in salt result in fluid retention, swelling and increase pressure on a number of the body’s systems," dietician Susie Burrell told the Daily Mail Australia.
For example, grabbing a muffin with your morning coffee can contribute to long-term harm. This is because high levels of sugar can actually change the kind of collagen the body produces, leaving it looking and feeling soft.
"The potent mix of saturated fat and sugar mean that processed carbohydrates are a nightmare when it comes to increasing inflammation in the body," she explained.
Chai lattes also come under the high-sugar banner, especially as many coffee shops don't make them with actual chai leaves, instead using pre-mixed syrup.
"Pre-mixed chai can contain as much as six teaspoons of sugar in a single serve and when you combine that with the sugars found naturally in milk, you have a sugar bomb hidden in a seemingly healthy drink choice," Susie continued.
A sugar overload can form harmful molecules that damage protein in the body and once again, collagen gets a bit of a battering, leading to brittle skin, which in turn causes wrinkles.
With this in mind, people might think about switching to fruit juice instead as their morning beverage, but this can put you on the fast track to ageing too. This is because one glass of bottled fruit juice has more sugar than people might expect.
"Not only is fruit juice highly acidic, which destroys tooth enamel, but with more than six teaspoons of sugar per glass, juice will send your insulin levels sky rocketing," she continued. "The high insulin levels are linked to both inflammation and weight gain."
While all this information may leave you wondering what on earth you can do to slow down ageing, there are foods that can work in your favour. These include fruit and vegetables, whole grains, fatty fish high in omega-3 and nuts.