If the only food indiscretions you worry about are those that make you gain weight you may have your priorities mixed up. It turns out that the worst dietary choices, including many sugary, fatty, refined and highly processed foods, do more than make you fat : they subtract years from your life! Everything from the quality of your skin to the condition of your bones is determined in part by what you eat. In fact, your eating habits may determine how quickly you begin to see and feel the effects of aging. Check on this Huffingtonpost slideshow> and discover how nutrition defines your body's internal chemistry.
Forget anti-aging products: if you want to retain a youthful look, avoiding certain foods could help. We did some research on foods you should avoid if you want to age gracefully. Below we compiled a list of 11 foods that, if consumed frequently, will age you.
There are several reasons why a sugar-filled diet makes you look older. When there is excess sugar in the body, it attaches itself to collagen, making the skin look stiff and inflexible. According to "Diet Myths Busted; Food Facts Not Nutrition Fiction" by Ann A. Rosenstein, "losing this elastic resilience of young skin will give the skin deep wrinkles and make it look old."
2. Trans Fats
Like sugar, excess trans fats make the skin look stiff and inflexible. "Trans fats clog and stiffen the arteries and smaller blood vessels," which makes the skin look old, wrote Rosenstein.
Salt dehydrates the body. When you are dehydrated, you become fatigued, which makes you look tired and worn out. In addition, excess salt contributes to kidney disease, high blood pressure and interferes with bone metabolism.
Coffee and caffeinated products also dehydrate the body, making you look tired and worn out.
The sugar in candy causes inflammation in the body and can make skin look wrinkled and old.
6. Artificial Sweetener
Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame are associated with headaches and joint pain and can make you crave sweets.
Consuming too much alcohol dehydrates your body and causes wrinkles, loss of collagen, redness and puffiness, according to "The Dr. Oz Show."
8. Energy Drinks
Energy drinks damage the enamel in your teeth eight times more than soda does. This erosion makes your teeth look yellow and unhealthy, according to Dr. Oz.
An over consumption of carbohydrates can damage the collagen and fibers in your skin, according to WebMD.
10. Fried Food
Fried food contributes to collagen break down in the skin, making one's skin look wrinkled and worn out, according to GalTime.com.
As a beverage high in sugar, soda tends to dehydrate the body. This fatigues the body and makes you look tired. "A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces. So if you weight 130 lbs, you need 65 ounces of water a day -- just over eight cups," according to GalTime.com.