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The general notion is that premature aging is only caused by excessive sun exposure, stress, and smoking. While this is true – and we should all be sure to regularly take preventive measures – our diets can also accelerate the aging process.

Read on to find out which foods we need to avoid if we’re looking to age as well as the red wine we’re sure to drink.

Aging Foods To Avoid


While the ongoing debate on what level of alcohol consumption can be considered healthy has yet to conclude – it’s clear that alcohol does have dehydrating properties that can accelerate the aging process.

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Being a diuretic, alcohol won’t only strip the body of fluids, but it can also rid it of vital skin-nourishing nutrients such as vitamins A and C.

Moreover, a healthy liver translates to healthy skin, and alcohol can affect the functioning of the liver. A healthy liver will help clear the body of toxins, but if it doesn’t function well then toxins start to build up. This build-up is displayed on the skin in the form of acne and wrinkles. In addition to this, studies have revealed how excessive consumption of alcohol can affect sleep patterns, which in turn can reveal itself in the form of wrinkles and loss of firmness.

In order to counter the damaging skin effects of alcohol, opt for water or green tea. If you’re really looking to enjoy a drink at the end of the week –  be sure to stay clear of drinks with added sugar, enjoy only a glass or two and drink plenty of water.


While caffeine can provide the energy needed to start the day, it can also leave you looking much older than you are.

Like alcohol, caffeine is a diuretic that can drain the body of fluids, leaving very dehydrated skin and emphasizing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. To counteract the dehydrating effects of caffeine on your skin, be sure to alternate your cups of coffee with a glass of water.

 Processed Meats

Many processed meats, such as bacon and sausages, contain high levels of preservatives and salt which can heighten the risk of inflammation. Inflammation can affect the production of collagen in the body and this often results in aged and damaged skin.

What’s more, if you’re a fan of black charred grilled meat, you might want to stop – immediately. Charred meat is extremely inflammatory and can damage collagen in your skin.  You don’t have to cut out all your meat intake; simply switch to more lean meats and fatty fish such as turkey and salmon.

Salty foods

Got a taste for the saltier side of things? This then could be aging you at a rapid speed.

Foods that are high in sodium won’t only dry out the skin but the retaining of the body’s fluids can also leave you with a puffy look. Thus, aside from avoiding foods with high levels of salt, you can choose to season your foods with fresh herbs and spices.


Excessive consumption of sugar can be anything but sweet to your skin.

Collagen helps to keep the skin firm and youthful. When one consumes a large amount of sugar, the sugar molecules combine with proteins (a process called glycation) and they create advanced glycation end products (ironically referred to as AGES). Once this happens, AGES attach themselves to collagen, which then leads to loss of firmness and the appearance of wrinkles.

Trans fats

While fat is often misunderstood – this is a fat that you should always stay clear of.

Found in packaged foods (due to its ability to lengthen shelf life) and fast foods – trans fats are extremely detrimental to one’s health in every way. They are highly pro-inflammatory and can also make your skin more sensitive to UV damage, thus contributing to premature aging. In order to avoid them, always read food labels as trans fats are often hidden under the name partially hydrogenated oil. Also, don’t be fooled by labels that claim the packaged, processed food only contains 0g of trans fat as it is likely to contain under 0.5g of trans

You are what you eat, so treat your skin with the chance to display just how healthy your diet really is.


Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba is a journalist graduate and writer, specializing in health, beauty, and wellness, and she also has a passion for poetry, equality, and natural hair. Identifiable by either her large afro or colorful locks, Pie aspires to provide the latest information on how one can adopt a healthy lifestyle and leave a more equitable society behind.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.

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