Okay, “ugly” is a subjective term, and I’m being a little tongue-in-cheek by saying it … but the following 7 foods really will drag down your natural beauty fast! If you want dull, saggy skin, dark circles under your eyes, an overall tired look and, probably, a pair of love handles to go with it, then eat the foods below. (If not, eat these instead.)
Doughnuts are frequently made with trans fats (look for partially hydrogenated vegetable oil on labels). Trans fats are highly inflammatory, and chronic inflammation accelerates aging. They’re also terrible for your skin. They actually increase the skin damage caused by exposure to ultraviolet light,[i] which is a fast track to wrinkles. Doughnuts also contain sugar … lots of it (see below).
6. Cookies and Candy
What do cookies and candy have in common? Sugar! Sugar, along with other refined carbohydrates (white bread, pasta, bagels, pancakes, etc.) is linked to premature aging and skin wrinkling. It actually attacks the collagen and elastin in your skin, leading to increased sagging and wrinkles.
According to Dr. Patricia Farris in The Sugar Detox[ii]
“The link between sugar and premature aging lies in a process called ‘glycation’. This chemical process happens when blood sugar levels become excessively high. Sugar molecules then circulate in the blood and bind to other components to form substances known as protein-sugar complexes – also called advanced glycation end-products, or AGEs.
These can be found in virtually all organ systems around the body – from the kidneys, brain and nervous tissue to the skin – and trigger an inflammatory response, causing tissue damage and premature aging.
Glycation should just be part of the natural aging process that starts when you are in your mid-30s and increases with age. But we now believe the speed at which glycation occurs is directly related to your dietary intake of sugar.”
Fried foods like French fries, fried chicken and potato chips are cooked at very high temperatures and also contain toxic AGEs. AGEs contribute to oxidative stress and inflammation that can make your skin look dull and ruddy, not to mention contribute to wrinkles.
4. Frozen Dinners
Frozen meals, like most processed foods, are very high in sodium. Excess sodium encourages your body to retain fluid, which may lead to swollen, puffy eyes. The area around your eyes is particularly vulnerable because it is so very thin.
If you think these are healthy, you’re being misled. These foods are high in refined carbs and often contain added sugar, too, leading to sharp spikes in your blood sugar, which may encourage wrinkles.
2. White Bread
The epitome of refined carbohydrates, white bread has a very high glycemic index. The glycemic index is used to measure a food’s generation of an insulin response, with high-glycemic index foods being associated with weight gain. And that’s not all. High-glycemic foods, which include most refined carbohydrates, have emerged at the “main culprit” in the rising rates of adult acne seen in the United States, according to a 2014 study in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology.[iii]
This so-called ‘healthy’ sweetener is high in fructose (even higher than high fructose corn syrup). Fructose is linked to accelerated aging and specifically affects skin collagen by increasing the amount of stable chemical bonds “both within and between collagen molecules, which in turn may reduce skin’s elasticity and softness, the hallmarks of youthful skin.”[iv]