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WHAT FOODS ARE CAUSING INFLAMMATION AND PREMATURE AGING?

WHAT FOODS ARE CAUSING INFLAMMATION AND PREMATURE AGING?

Your skin is a big reflection of everything that is going on inside your body.

Aging can show up as chronic, low grade inflammation.

The connection between inflammation and aging is so strong that a name has been created for it – “inflammaging.”

Some foods, more than others can accelerate this process by adding fuel to the inflammation fire.

Chronic inflammation can show up in the body as aches and pains as well as an increased risk for age related diseases such as atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s, and type 2 diabetes.

Inflammation can induce oxidative stress and can affect your skin by reducing your cells ability to defend themselves from free radical damage.  This can result in collagen breakdown, wrinkles forming and loss of elasticity in your skin resulting in saggy skin.

WHAT ARE AGE’S AND HOW DO THEY AFFECT AGING?

AGEs means – advanced glycation end products.  They are toxic compounds and they form naturally in small amounts in your body.  They corrode your body the same way rust can damage metal in a machine if it is allowed to build up.

AGEs can cause proteins to stick together and after many years, the AGE proteins can become rigid.  

This can be one reason why joints, muscles and tendons become stiff and inflexible over time.

This is why blood vessels become thick and lose elasticity, and cause hardening of the arteries, which can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease.

Oxidation depletes the natural reserves of antioxidants.  Antioxidants are what can neutralize the effects of AGEs, but only up to a point.

The body will react to the AGEs as if it was an infection but the body will be limited in how it can eliminate it effectively.  This is done by creating low level inflammation as a reaction to these AGE’s.  The body deals with an infection by raising body temperature until the infection is healed and goes away.  The problem with AGE’s is when you are constantly consuming foods containing them, the inflammation will not go away.  Over time, it can slowly damage every organ in your body and speed up aging and affect your brain health.  This may not be noticed for many years. 

AGEs can be found in large quantities in most of the foods we eat today.  Food processing by food manufacturers, or cooking food using dry heat to make it digestible and tasty, also help raise AGEs to dangerous levels for the body.

AGEs are responsible for the taste, appearance and the smell of foods you enjoy such as a grilled burger or fried chicken, a pizza, soft drinks, bacon, corn tortillas or biscuits etc.

AGEs have been linked to diseases and health problems, including diabetes, heart and kidney disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, arthritis, osteoporosis, skin aging, poor wound healing etc.

These food AGEs can cause inflammation in your body.  The best way to reduce these is to cook your food by boiling, steaming, slow cooking, low to medium heat baking, and medium heat pan frying.

You cannot stop the aging process, but you can increase the longevity of your skin and body by eliminating some of these foods.

SUGAR

When you eat sugar, insulin is released to take this sugar into your cells or stored in your body.  You need sugar to fuel your body, but if you consume foods to produce high levels, this can be extremely inflammatory. 

Increased blood sugar levels can also accelerate a natural process called glycation, in which glucose attaches to proteins in the body and makes them rigid, this can affect your skin health and a reduction in collagen and elastin that help to keep your skin smooth, elastic and tight. 

The blood sugar highs and lows that you experience from sugary food or a heavy carbohydrate meal, can really affect your energy levels leaving you feeling fatigued.  Have you experienced an after 3 pm slump?

You can also be increasing your risk of developing insulin resistance when you eat too much sugar.  When this occurs, insulin becomes less effective at lowering blood sugar and its levels become abnormally high.  This will result in an increase of body fat around your body.  It can also contribute to developing type II diabetes.

VEGETABLE OILS SUCH AS SUNFLOWER OIL OR RAPESEED OIL

These oils are unnatural and processed foods.  They also contain polyunsaturated omega-6 essential fatty acids, which can set off the inflammatory process within your body.

Omega 3 essential fats signal the chemical messengers that turn off the inflammatory process but, the average person can be consuming about 10 to 15 times more omega 6’s than omega 3’s.

If you can consume omega 3 and omega 6 in equal quantities, you have more of a chance to keep the inflammatory process under control. 

Keep checking the ingredient labels of everything you buy. 

Vegetable oils are a main ingredient in processed foods such as mayonnaise, biscuits, cakes or crackers etc.

WHEAT, BARLEY AND RYE

Gluten is a protein known as gliadin.  Gluten has been linked with causing a lot of digestion issues and digestion diseases such as crohns or colitis. 

It can cause the lining of the gut to break down, resulting in toxins or undigested foods being able to penetrate this lining and into your bloodstream.  When this happens, your body is alerted and will create an immune response and a significant cause of chronic inflammation.  

They can cause intestinal inflammation

Medical News today has stated that as well as contributing to the development of bowel-related inflammatory conditions, we believe that ATIs can promote inflammation of other immune-related chronic conditions outside of the bowel.  

I have written another article about Gluten and how it affects digestion and hormones and you can read it by going here.

ALCOHOL

Alcohol can rob your body of Vitamin A.  Vitamin A is an antioxidant that is essential for cell renewal and turnover. 

The occasional glass or two of wine is probably not going to do a lot of harm to your skin health, but drinking heavily, especially sugary drinks, can cause free radical damage. 

If you want to drink alcohol, stick to reduced sugar alcohol drinks such as wine, champagne and spirits such as vodka and soda with a slice of lime or lemon in it. 

Drink alcohol in moderate amounts and include a glass of water with every alcoholic drink. 

REFINED GRAINS

These are high glycemic simple carbohydrates and can be converted to sugar in your body very quickly. 

A single serving of healthy whole grain breakfast cereal can have a glycemic index higher than table sugar!  

These can result in an insulin spike which can go on to cause inflammation in your body.

More reasons to ditch the sugary processed breakfast cereals!

FRIED FAST FOODS

Fast food restaurants will probably use unhealthy oils to cook the food in.

When you consume foods cooked in the unhealthy oil, it releases free radicals in the body.  Free radical damage can cause oxidative stress in your body and go on to affect your health and wellbeing, including heart disease and wrinkles.

TRANS FATS/HYDROGENATED FATS

Trans fats are really bad for your skin cells.  Fats that have been artificially hydrogenated are some of the most inflammatory substances there are.

Trans fats may make you more susceptible to skin damage from the harmful rays of the sun.

Hydrogenated fats can be found in a lot of packaged foods, so it is best to check all ingredients lists on the foods you buy. 

SALT

Sodium is needed for the health of your body but the quality of your salt is particularly important.  Most packaged and processed foods contain high levels of processed salt that is not good to be eaten.

This type of salt can leave you feeling lethargic, bloated and have retention of water.  Excessive amounts of salt can leave you feeling dehydrated. 

Eat foods that contain a mineral salt such as celtic sea salt or Himalayan pink salt.  This type of salt contains healthy minerals and also taste good.

PROCESSED MEATS

Processed meats such as bacon, ham, and sausage can also accelerate aging.

These meats contain chemical additives, such as nitrates, monosodium glutamate, and other dangerous substances that can lower the immune system and create disease.

Processed meats usually contain a great amount of salt as well, which can affect your skin health.

Eat organic grass fed meats that do not contain added chemicals and preservatives.

CAFFEINATED BEVERAGES

Caffeine can have a drying effect on the skin.  How many cups of coffee do you drink per day?  This could be making you more dehydrated and causing your skin to look a bit dull, dry and washed out.  The caffeine can act like a diuretic, preventing you from holding on to water.

Try limiting your coffee intake to one or two cups a day and drink plenty of water too throughout the day.

WHAT FOODS ARE PROTECTIVE OF TOXINS AND CARCINOGENIC COMPOUNDS AND OXIDISED FATS?

WHAT IS HETEROCYCLIC AMINES?

Meat that is exposed to high temperature or cooked on a BBQ, can cause the amino acids, sugars, and creatine within it to react and form heterocyclic amines (HCA).  

There has been an animal study carried out to suggest that HCAs are mutagenic and can create a DNA mutation which can change gene expression.  HCA’s have been linked to cancers.

There are some foods that, when eaten with a meal, can protect against the harmful effects of foods cooked at high temperatures.

All fruits, vegetables and salads will be protective against HCA’s when eaten with a meal.

Coffee can bind and inhibit HCA’s as it contains polyphenols and fibre.

Red wine consumed with a meal can inhibit the carcinogen action in the digestion after consuming meat.

Marinade your meat and veggies before you cook them or BBQ, will help to reduce the formation of toxic compounds like HCA and AGE’s.

To make a marinade, use a good fat such as olive oil; and lemon or lime juice or vinegar; add some herbs and spices such as garlic, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, cumin etc.  The marinade will reduce the toxic compounds considerably.  The more herbs and spices you use will be better. 

The Natural Medicine Journal has this to say about HCA protectors.

Sugar will increase the formation of HCA, especially when combined with soy sauce.   Go for natural sugar such as raw honey or brown sugar instead.  Soy sauce or tamari sauce and sugar would be better mixed with garlic and ginger.  Teriyaki sauce does contain all these.

Beware of shop bought marinade sauces as these will contain lots of sugars that won’t work to reduce HCA’s and AGE’s.

So, to summarise this, if you are pan frying, grilling or cooking your food over a BBQ, as long as you use a healthy fat such as olive oil or coconut oil, no refined sugars, include natural sugar, lemon or lime juice or vinegar and lots of herbs and spices for a marinade, this will help to reduce the toxic compounds.  Pair this with a salad and vegetables with a glass of red wine and some coffee with dessert and this will also help to reduce the toxic compounds.  Enjoy your pan fried, grilled or BBQ cooked foods. 

How many of these foods are you eating? 

If you make a start today by cutting out or cutting down on some of these foods, this will help to limit the aging process and excel your health and wellbeing.

For more help with continued weight maintenance or help with any health related issues, get in touch and set up a call with me to discuss this further. 

Set up a call with me by clicking here.

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