Healthy Habits People Who’ve Aged Gracefully Swear By

Growing older isn’t always a pretty process. Your bones start to ache, hair grows in places you never had hair before, and you move a little bit slower. Aging doesn’t have to be something you dread, though. Aging gracefully largely depends on things like diet, exercise, self-care, and a healthy attitude.

Making a few small lifestyle changes when you’re young can really help you out in your later years. Keep reading to learn some healthy habits backed by science that can help you age gracefully.

Don’t Pick At Your Skin

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Joel Forrest / Barcroft USA / Barcroft Media via Getty Images
Joel Forrest / Barcroft USA / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

We all know how satisfying it can be to pop a particularly stubborn pimple, but if you want clear, beautiful skin well into your later years, keep your hands away from your face! if you want your skin to stay in good condition long term, you really leave the pimple popping to the professionals.

Popping pimples with your fingers can lead to broken blood vessels and permanent scarring. Also, your hands are covered in germs and bacteria that can enter your bloodstream when you start popping pimples.

Smoking Will Cause You To Age More Rapidly

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Photo by Annette Riedl/picture alliance via Getty Images
Photo by Annette Riedl/picture alliance via Getty Images

Smoking truly is a nasty habit (sorry smokers). Smoking has been shown to increase your chance of developing lung cancer and various respiratory diseases. Smoking can also make your skin appear sallow and dull, which in turn will make you look older. If you’re a smoker, quitting smoking really is the best thing you can do for your health.

Quitting is difficult, and failure is almost inevitable along the way, but if you keep trying, eventually you’ll be able to kick the habit.

Cut Down On Your Alcohol Intake

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Photo by Stefan Sauer/picture alliance via Getty Images
Photo by Stefan Sauer/picture alliance via Getty Images

It can be nice to unwind at the end of the day with a nice cold beer, but alcohol really isn’t the greatest substance for you body, especially if you want to maintain a youthful appearance.

You don’t have to give up drinking completely, and some experts say that a glass of red wine with dinner is actually good for your heart health, but you really shouldn’t be drinking to excess.

Invest In A Humidifier

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Photo by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Photo by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The same treatment you use for the common cold can have serious benefits when it comes to keeping your skin looking youthful and hydrated.

“Using a humidifier will help you out a lot, both inside and outside,” says esthetician Caroline Nuytten, who recommends that clients make humidifiers part of their skincare and overall health routine each year before winter. Your skin can get really dry in the winter months, and a humidifier will help keep your face looking fresh.

Take Oily Supplements

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Photo by Charlotte Ball/PA Images via Getty Images
Photo by Charlotte Ball/PA Images via Getty Images

Various oils are good for your body, inside and out. Omega-rich fish oil contains fatty acids that are essential in the prevention and management of heart disease. But oils are just good for your insides — they’re good for your outside too.

Applying omega-rich oils like rosehip oil or argan oil to your face can help you achieve a more youthful appearance. These ‘good fats’ are responsible for the health of the cell membrane, which, when healthy, helps your skin become more supple.

Find A Furry Friend

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Photo by Say Cheese!/GC Images
Photo by Say Cheese!/GC Images

A lot of people who have stayed looking and feeling young well into their 60s and 70s say that owning a dog helped keep them on their toes.

Owning a dog means that you’re forced to go outside for regular walks and you have something to take care of other than yourself. Dogs can also be a source of comfort and can help you feel less stressed. Sure, they can be difficult to train, but all dog owners agree that having a furry companion is the best.

Take Cold Showers

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Photo by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Photo by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A steamy shower may be relaxing, but it could be sapping your skin of essential moisture, making you look older in the process. It’s much better to take a cold shower (if you can stand it). The cold water is great for your hair and for your skin.

“Avoid hot showers and baths; they’ll dry out skin more than anything else,” says Caroline Nuytten, a licensed esthetician at Manhattan’s Metro Integrative Pharmacy

Always Stay Hydrated

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Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images
Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images

You can live for a while without food, but you won’t last a day without water. H2O is like a natural lubricant for your body. It keeps all of your internal organs in working order. You might think you’re drinking enough water, but chances are your body could use another gallon of water a day.

Staying hydrated helps your skin, your metabolism, and your mental wellbeing. Basically, water is life in liquid form and you need as much of the stuff as you can get.

Sunscreen Prevents Cancer And Premature Aging

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Photo by Zhe Ji/Getty Images
Photo by Zhe Ji/Getty Images

When you ask older people what they regret most about their youth, many of them say that they regret lying out in the sun as much as they did. The sun is an excellent source of vitamin D, but it also delivers harmful UV rays. these UV rays can cause our skin to burn, wrinkle, age, and even develop cancerous lesions.

There is a way you can soak up all of that vitamin D without absorbing harmful UV rays. Just put on some sunscreen!

Pay Attention To Your Dental Hygiene

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Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images
Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images

Nothing can age you faster than a mouthful of grey, yellowed, or rotten teeth. A pearly white smile will keep people in the dark about how old you really are. Discoloration of the teeth is often due to poor dental hygiene. You can fight signs of aging early by brushing your teeth at least twice daily, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist every six months.

You can also invest in a fluoride mouthwash and a whitening toothpaste.

Never Stop Smiling

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Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images
Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

A lot of people think that smiling too much can give you smile lines down the road, but smiling is actually the easiest way to look and feel younger. Smile lines are the best lines to have because they mean that you’ve lived a full and happy life.

If smiling is good enough for Kate Middleton, it’s good enough for you too. Also, laughing at least once a day is a great way to de-stress and release tension.

When It Comes To Makeup, Less Is More

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Photo by Foc Kan/WireImage
Photo by Foc Kan/WireImage

With the rise of social media influencers, the beauty industry is having a heyday. While in the past only professionals spent $60 on an eyeshadow palette or owned every kind of makeup brush under the sun, today, the average person can apply winged liner like nobody’s business. While playing with makeup can be a ton of fun, make sure you let your skin breathe in-between makeup applications.

Also, make sure to wash off all of your makeup before you go to sleep.

Spend Less Time Looking At A Screen

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JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images
JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images

Spending too much time in front of a screen can damage your eyes, and spending too much time hunched over a laptop can really damage your back. Bad posture and poor vision can make you feel and look older, so it’s a good idea to limit your time in front of screens.

Of course, screens are everywhere in today’s society and it’s almost impossible to avoid them entirely, but do your best to reduce your screen time, especially right before bed.

Invest In A Good Skin Exfoliant

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Photo by Leisa Tyler/LightRocket via Getty Images
Photo by Leisa Tyler/LightRocket via Getty Images

As your skin regenerates, a layer of dead skin accumulates on your body. It’s important to get rid of that dead skin so that the healthy, new skin underneath can breathe and thrive. Exfoliating is the best way to get rid of that layer.

There are lots of ways you can exfoliate your skin to achieve a nice, healthy glow. You can use natural exfoliants like coffee grounds and sugar scrubs or you can use store-bought exfoliants. An exfoliating mitt is a great option for full-body exfoliation.

Stay Away From Tanning Beds

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Photo by Axel Heimken/picture alliance via Getty Images
Photo by Axel Heimken/picture alliance via Getty Images

If you want to damage your skin, lie directly under some UV lights and zap the heck out of your body for a good half hour. Seriously though, you don’t want to damage your skin. No short-term tan is worth the long-term damage. The glow may look good now, but sun-damaged skin is never a good look later.

If you really want to look like you’ve spent some time in the sun, get a spray tan or use an all natural self-tanner.

Do What You Love

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CHRIS JACKSON/AFP/Getty Images
CHRIS JACKSON/AFP/Getty Images

People who spend their days toiling away at a job they hate tend to age faster than people who do what they love. If you find that you dread going to work every morning, then you might be in the wrong line of work. Everybody has to make a living, but you don’t have to spend your life dissatisfied with how you make a living.

Check out some online job boards and start taking steps towards a career that makes you feel fulfilled. Working a job that you love helps reduce stress which in turn helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Self Expression Is Healthy

woman wearing bright colored clothes
Photo by Amy E. Price/Getty Images for SXSW
Photo by Amy E. Price/Getty Images for SXSW

Part of looking younger for longer is doing what you can to make yourself feel young at heart. Getting older doesn’t mean you have to start wearing neutrals and a short hair cut— unless, of course, that’s what you’re into.

You don’t have to stop wearing bright colors and fun patterns just because you’re over the age of 30. If bright colors make you happy, wear what makes you happy. You’re never too old to express yourself through fashion.

Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Vitamin C

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SEBASTIEN SALOM-GOMIS/AFP/Getty Images
SEBASTIEN SALOM-GOMIS/AFP/Getty Images

We could all use a little more vitamin C in our diets. Luckily, adding some citrus to our daily food intake can help. Not only is citrus delicious, but all that vitamin C helps make your skin supple and radiant.

“Vitamin C is also an important part of collagen, the protein that connects your cells together to create your skin’s elasticity and gives it structure. Make sure you are eating lots of citrus fruits daily as well to get enough vitamin C so your body will make the collagen it needs to create new skin scaffolding. One serving of a citrus fruit daily should do it!” says Samantha Scruggs, a registered dietician.

Take Up Meditation

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Photo by RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images
Photo by RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Meditation and being mindful of your body and your surroundings are great ways to reduce stress, release built-up tension, and reflect on the tasks you have ahead of you. You can meditate alone or with a group or a leader. You can download meditation apps on your phone or you can just sit quietly and try to empty your mind.

Just a few minutes of mindful meditation a day can really improve your life and make you feel younger.

Keep Seeing Your Friends

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Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

It can be hard to keep in touch with friends in adulthood. Everyone gets so busy with work and kids and general life stuff. It can be even harder to make new friends as an adult. People who age gracefully claim that having friends and widening their network of support has really helped them de-stress and enjoy their adult years.

Who says you can’t be #SquadGoals when you’re 80?

Spend More Time Outside

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MOHAMMED MAHJOUB/AFP/Getty Images
MOHAMMED MAHJOUB/AFP/Getty Images

Spend as much time as you can outdoors. If you live in a climate where it’s very cold during the winter months, make sure you take advantage of nice weather when it’s given to you. You can go on a short walk or just sit in the shade, but all of that fresh air can make you feel so much younger and happier.

Eating meals outside is a great way to start introducing more outdoor time into your daily routine.

Incorporate Plants Into Your Diet

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Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

People who eat a vegan or a plant-based diet tend to live longer, healthier lives. Also, clean eating can help you maintain a youthful appearance.

You don’t have to go totally vegan if you’re not willing to part with meat and dairy entirely, but if you cut back on your meat and dairy intake and incorporate more plants into your diet, your body will feel better and you’ll reduce your carbon footprint. There are so many different ways to cook with fruit and vegetables.

Exercise Is Essential For Healthy Living

Smiling Senior Couple (Ages 58 & 61) Swimming In Pool
Education Images/UIG via Getty images
Education Images/UIG via Getty images

Exercise isn’t just for weight management. Working an exercise routine into your schedule can help you maintain a healthy blood pressure. Exercise is essential for heart health. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in America, so anything you can do to make your heart healthier will help you live longer.

There are so many different ways to get moving. You could take a spin class, go for a hike, take up weight lifting, try rock climbing, or go swimming.

Say Thank You

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Photo by Al Seib / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Photo by Al Seib / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

It sounds simple, but just saying “thank you” is a great way to actually feel more appreciative of what you have and what other people do for you. Always express gratitude because the expression alone will change the way you feel about what you have and what you are lacking. You’ll find you actually notice what you have more when you are verbally grateful.

This mindset will keep you feeling and looking your best.

Love With Reckless Abandon

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Illustration by Emily Brickel Edelson/Chic Sketch via Getty Images
Illustration by Emily Brickel Edelson/Chic Sketch via Getty Images

People who are guarded when it comes to love often hold a lot of tension in their bodies. If you can’t relax with your partner, who can you relax with? If you’re in a relationship that’s making you feel more stressed than happy, it may be time to rethink what that relationship means to you.

Be open in love, even if it means leaving yourself open for heartbreak. It will be worth it in the long run.

Appreciate The World Around You

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Photo by Ioannis Alexopoulos/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Photo by Ioannis Alexopoulos/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Although it doesn’t always feel like it, we live on a beautiful planet. It’s full of plants and flowers and animals and works of art. If you move through life too quickly, you can take all of those beautiful things for granted.

Take a moment each day to appreciate the beauty that the world has to offer, even if it’s just a dandelion on the side of the road or a squirrel storing away nuts for the winter.

Donate To Charity

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Photo by Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Photo by Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Giving back to others and to your community helps you feel like you’re doing something meaningful with your time and money. It also helps you appreciate the time and money that you have that others might not.

Donate some canned food to a local shelter or spend some time helping a person in need. Doing meaningful work will go a long way to help you feel more centered in your life.

Cut Out The Sweet Stuff

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Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/UIG via Getty Images
Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/UIG via Getty Images

Yes, I know sugar is delicious, but when it comes to looking good and feeling good, sugar is one of the worst things for you. Not only can sugar cause weight gain, it can increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

When it comes to your skin, sugar is linked to acne. If you want to look and feel better, reducing your sugar intake is a good place to start. Of course, do indulge in a delicious sugary treat every now and then! Just remember that moderation is key.

Get More Sleep

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Photo by Monika Skolimowska / dpa / AFP
Photo by Monika Skolimowska / dpa / AFP

People with bags under their eyes tend to look older than they actually are. The best way to combat dark under eye circles and eye bags is to get enough sleep. Make sure you go to bed at a reasonable hour so you can wake up feeling refreshed and well rested.

If you’re able to, take a cat nap (or a bear nap) in the middle of the day to help you feel more energized in the evening.

Keep Your Neck Looking Young

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Photo by Veronique DURRUTY/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Photo by Veronique DURRUTY/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Do you pay special attention to your neck when your showering? Many people forget to wash this area of their body since they’re more focused on washing their face. But the neck is the first place you see signs of aging, so it’s definitely not an area of your body that you want to forget about.

Make sure you wash, exfoliate, and moisturize your neck while you’re doing your skincare routine. It’ll pay off in the long run!

Find Time To Laugh

Laugh It Out
Thomas Frey/picture alliance via Getty Images
Thomas Frey/picture alliance via Getty Images

While smiling is a great way to feel positive, there’s a reason that people say “laughter is the best medicine.” That’s because it truly is. If you’re ever feeling particularly down about something, try and find a way that you can laugh about it.

It will help make you feel more control over any situation. One study proves that laughter helps reduce heart disease, decreases stress, and even helps the immune system. Basically, laughing will help you live longer!

Exercise Your Writing Muscles

Writing
Andia/UIG via Getty Images
Andia/UIG via Getty Images

Even if you don’t fancy yourself a good writer, writing is one of the best ways not only to figure things out internally, but it’s also fantastic for your brain. It keeps you stimulated and focused while simultaneously releasing emotion.

It doesn’t matter what you write whether it’s a book, journal, diary, or blog, the only thing that matters is that you’re getting your thoughts out on paper. No harm can come of it, and you’ll be surprised how beneficial it really is.

Spend Time With Your Grandparents (Or Older People)

Different Generations
Sergei BobylevTASS via Getty Images
Sergei BobylevTASS via Getty Images

It doesn’t matter what your age is, it’s always important to spend time with other generations. Whether it’s younger or older than you doesn’t always matter. It’s just important to get a fresh perspective on life from those who have experienced the world in different ways.

It will help you become a more understanding person, reduce your stress about the past and the future, and show that you’re an open-minded person. No harms come from socializing outside of your age group.

Never Stop Going On Adventures

Traveling
Clara Margais/picture alliance via Getty Images
Clara Margais/picture alliance via Getty Images

Traveling is great for the mind, body, and soul. It keeps you active, helps you form new relationships, and provides you with new experiences. However, it’s important to remember that traveling doesn’t always mean going to the other side of the world.

If you have the opportunity to go somewhere new, even if it’s where you live, take advantage of that and go. More often than not, you’ll be glad you went somewhere rather than sitting at home.

Get A Yearly Physical

Medical Exam
ROZ GAIZKA/AFP/Getty Images
ROZ GAIZKA/AFP/Getty Images

While simply going to the doctor doesn’t make you a healthier person, it can help to notify you whether you’re on the right track or maybe you need to make some lifestyle adjustments. Going to the doctors once a year is also important to catch any kind of sickness or ailment you didn’t know about early.

If it’s something serious, it will greatly increase your chances of beating whatever it is. Plus, it’s always a good idea to be in close contact with your practitioner.

Organize Your Life

Organized
McClain For The Washington Post via Getty Images
McClain For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Being organized has countless emotional and mental benefits. Even if you just start by cleaning out your closet, getting rid of clutter and things you no longer need can be incredibly refreshing. Or, you can start using a planner if you aren’t already. This way, you wake up every day knowing exactly what you are planning to accomplish.

This will also help you be on time and make sure you never miss any crucial plans or appointments. Being organized is also a personality trait that many people will respect you for.

Be Safe In The Bedroom

Intimacy
STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images
STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images

If you’re sexually active, it’s important to take protective measures to ensure that both parties are being safe. While this differs for each relationship or interaction, being safe can help prevent unwanted STDs or surprise pregnancies.

This doesn’t only apply to young people either, as studies have shown that more elderly people are being diagnosed with sexually transmitted diseases. Use protection and take precaution until you find a monogamous partner that you’re comfortable with and know their sexual history.

Sit Up Straight

Posture
QAI Publishing/UIG via Getty Images
QAI Publishing/UIG via Getty Images

It’s something your mother has been telling you since you were a child sitting at the dinner table, and it’s for good reason. Having good posture can save you from many ailments in the future as well as makes it look like you look presentable in social settings.

To improve your posture, you can make an effort to stand more often, make sure your back is flush with the chair and put your hand on your stomach to make sure it’s flat.

Don’t Underestimate The Power Of A Good Therapist

Therapist
SEYLLOU/AFP/Getty Images
SEYLLOU/AFP/Getty Images

Even if you think your mental health is okay, there’s nothing work with seeing a therapist every now and then. Plenty of people rely on a therapist just as a way of talking to someone outside of their family or friend group.

Everybody has something that they can say to someone in complete confidentiality. Therapists can help you sort out problems that maybe you didn’t even know you had. Also, depending on your insurance, some appointments are even free!

Maintain A Healthy Blood Pressure

Blood Pressure
Matthew Horwood/Getty Images
Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

It’s possible to have high blood pressure and feel perfectly line. However, high blood pressure is commonly referred to as “the silent killer,” because you usually don’t know until it leads to a serious ailment.

That’s why it’s imperative that you keep an eye on your blood pressure and if you do have high blood pressure, take the necessary steps to reduce it. Unfortunately, high blood pressure is often the result of old age, so it’s even more important to be aware of it as you get older.

More Donuts, More Wrinkles

donuts
Amy Syiek/Unsplash
Amy Syiek/Unsplash

Donuts are another treat that you should only eat once in a while. Although they don’t have as much sugar as other pastries–around 13 grams in a chocolate glazed donut–they still age the body. An assistant professor of medicine at Tulane University, Dr. Timothy Harlan, says that donuts can make you look older.

Because donuts have no fiber, their sugar is quickly absorbed into the body. That, plus the trans fats, cause long-lasting inflammation that destroys collagen in the skin. Collagen usually keeps the skin springy and youthful, explains registered dietitian Andrea Giancoli. But that won’t happen with donuts.

Sugar Leaves People Prone To Diseases

Sugar Leaves People Prone To Diseases
congerdesign/Pixabay
congerdesign/Pixabay

Dr. Andrew Nish of UnityPoint Health explains that sugar, especially refined white sugar, makes us appear older. Fructose damages collagen, which makes the skin sag, darken, and develop wrinkles.

Sugar can also lead to an early death, but not because of obesity. A 2020 study in Cell Metabolism found that sugar builds up a waste product called uric acid. This damages our DNA, leaving us prone to metabolic and cardiac diseases. Eating less sugar will help you live longer and look more youthful.

French Fries Can Cut Years Off Of Life

French Fries Can Cut Years Off Of Life
Emmy Smith/Unsplash
Emmy Smith/Unsplash

Although french fries are tasty, people who eat them often are at risk of early death. In 2017, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition followed adults who ate fried potatoes over eight years. Participants who ate two to three servings of fried potatoes weekly were twice as likely to die early.

Although unfried white potatoes are healthy, frying and salting them leads to health consequences. Other studies have linked french fries to high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. Fries are also often loaded with salt, which can cause dehydration and make the skin look older.

Soda Can Make Your Body Two Years Older

Soda Can Make Your Body Two Years Older
Bill Sydney/Unsplash
Bill Sydney/Unsplash

In 2014, research in the American Journal of Public Health discovered that soda ages people as much as smoking does. Soda shortens telomeres, the caps at the end of chromosomes that control the aging process. When participants drank eight ounces of soda daily, they aged 1.9 years faster than those who didn’t.

There are many reasons why soda ages people. The high sugar has a unique effect on the metabolism, explains psychiatry professor Elissa Epel. Soda is also linked to illnesses such as metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. And soda also affects sleep, which can lead to dark eye circles, fine lines, and wrinkles.

Why Energy Drinks Are More Dangerous Than Coffee

Why Energy Drinks Are More Dangerous Than Coffee
engin akyurt/Unsplash
engin akyurt/Unsplash

Energy drinks contain more caffeine than other beverages, which could make them dangerous. According to the Food and Drug Administration, at least 34 deaths have been linked to energy drinks, usually by people who drank around ten a day. But you don’t need to consume that much to face the consequences.

Clinical dietitian Katherine Zeratsky explains that the high caffeine content elevates the effects of sugar and sodium. This is why energy drinks cause more inflammation than coffee or tea. The inflammation, plus the lack of sleep from excess caffeine, might form wrinkles, gray hairs, and puffy eyes.

The Life-Threatening Risks Of Frozen Dinners

The Life-Threatening Risks Of Frozen Dinners
ElasticComputeFarm/Pixabay
ElasticComputeFarm/Pixabay

Frozen dinners are made from high-sodium, highly processed foods that are not healthy. In 2019, researchers from Navarra University analyzed many of these foods including chicken nuggets, pizza, and meatballs. According to them, people who frequently eat processed foods are more likely to die prematurely.

The most dangerous frozen meals are ones with added salts and sugars, usually done to preserve flavor. Registered dietitian Kayleen St. John adds that frozen meals have immediate consequences, such as a puffy aged appearance and internal inflammation. If you can, stop relying on frozen meals.

Beware Of The Preservatives In Bacon

Beware Of The Preservatives In Bacon
Casey DeViese/Pixabay
Casey DeViese/Pixabay

Bad news for bacon-lovers: it could be aging you internally and externally. Bacon contains harmful preservatives such as nitrates, sulphates, and sodium. In the European Cytokine Network, a 2013 study found that bacon creates oxidative stress. This stress attacks the skin, destroying collagen and sabotaging the skin’s elasticity.

Other studies have connected bacon to premature death. According to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, people who eat processed red meat daily have a 20% higher chance of dying early. The inflammation from bacon causes diseases that could age you quickly.

Although It Sounds Healthy, Fruit Juice Can Shorten Your Life

fruit-juice-16693
silviarita/Pixabay
silviarita/Pixabay

Soda is not the only sugary drink that ages you. Although it seems healthy, fruit juice can cut years off your life. According to research in JAMA Network Open, drinking fruit juice frequently can increase the risk of premature death from 9% to 42%.

Many premade juices are loaded with sugar, which raises the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. However, there are some anti-aging juice recipes out there that prevent sagging skin. You should make these yourself, and do not add sugar.

White Bread Creates AGEs

White Bread Creates AGEs
Digital Light Source/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Digital Light Source/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

If you eat white bread regularly, you’re at risk of getting wrinkles. In 2010, scientists examined 26 studies on whole grain and white bread. They concluded that white bread creates more visible wrinkles, while whole wheat can get rid of wrinkles.

When the body digests refined grains, the protein and sugars combine to create advanced glycation end products, or AGEs for short. AGEs are biomarkers for degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and kidney disease. They also make the skin appear older and duller.

In Terms Of Aging, Butter Is Better Than Margarine

In Terms Of Aging, Butter Is Better Than Margarine
Illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images
Illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Butter or margarine? When it comes to aging, margarine is worse. It is made from partially-hydrogenated oils and trans fats that deteriorate the skin. According to Food and Chemical Toxicology, trans fats make the skin more vulnerable to UV rays. The result is more wrinkles, dark spots, and sun damage after eating margarine.

If you want to keep your heart youthful, you’ll also want to avoid margarine. The American Heart Association says that trans fats lead to coronary heart disease more than saturated fats. Although it might seem odd, butter could be the healthier choice.

How Fast Food Changes Your DNA

How Fast Food Changes Your DNA
Cate Gillon/Getty Images
Cate Gillon/Getty Images

If you want to live long and remain youthful, stay away from fast food. Research shows that processed junk food speeds up biological aging. In 2008, Spanish scientists discovered that fast food shortens telomeres, the parts of chromosomes that control aging. It literally takes years off of your life.

Fast food has immediate physiological effects as well. Registered dietitian Amy Shapiro says that the simple carbs and fats cause wrinkles and other skin issues such as acne. It can also lead to high blood pressure, bloating, and inflammation. That’s a lot for a burger or fried chicken.

Why You Should Never Char Meat

Why You Should Never Char Meat
TheSource/Pixabay
TheSource/Pixabay

Charred meat might be tasty, but it comes with health consequences. Researchers from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine found that grilling meat increases the amount of AGEs. As a result, charred meats greatly increase inflammation more than other meats. These can damage skin collagen, create wrinkles, and harm the heart.

Charred meats have also been linked to several types of cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, barbeque raises the risk of pancreatic, prostate, and colorectal cancers. The high heat and smoke create chemicals that can age you more quickly.

How To Pick The Right Rice Cakes

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@Anitapratapsing/Twitter
@Anitapratapsing/Twitter

While rice cakes can be a healthy snack, you’ll have to double-check which ones you eat. Many are made with sugar-stuffed refined grains. According to 2013 research in the journal Age, people with high glucose levels have a higher “perceived age,” such as gray hairs, wrinkles, sagging skin, and dull eyes.

Registered dietitian Frances Largeman-Roth recommends that people avoid rice cakes sweetened with artificial flavors or sugar. Instead, buy ones that are made with brown rice and have high fiber. These will not have the aging effects that white rice cakes offer.

Potato Chips Trigger Inflammation Markers

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Karol Serewis/Gallo Images Poland/Getty Images
Karol Serewis/Gallo Images Poland/Getty Images

Potato chips are a combination of carbs, sugar, salt, and fat–all a recipe for accelerated aging. They contain trans fats, which can shorten a person’s lifespan. According to registered dietitian Lisa Hayim, trans fats activate a biomarker of inflammation called interleukin 6.

In 2001, a study in the journal Circulation analyzed interlukin 6 in older women. People with a high interlukin 6 have a heightened risk of heart disease and early mortality. And we haven’t even touched upon what potato chips do to the skin!

If You Want To Remain Younger-Looking, Avoid Red Meat

If You Want To Remain Younger-Looking, Avoid Red Meat
Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Out of all the meats, red meat is the most controversial. While it’s fine to eat once in a while, too much will increase your chances of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. After studying over 84,000 women for years, Harvard researchers discovered that participants who ate the most red meat tended to die younger.

Another study, this time from Scottish and German researchers, linked red meat to age-related diseases. According to scientists, consuming red meat daily could cause “age-related damage,” such as heart problems, immune damage, and mental decline. Additionally, the sodium, saturated fats, and sulfites in red meat can dehydrate the skin and weaken collagen by causing inflammation.

Agave Is Just As Bad As Sugar

Agave Is Just As Bad As Sugar
Vicky Nanawa/Pinterest
Vicky Nanawa/Pinterest

Although agave is touted as a natural substitute for sugar, it is just as unhealthy. Medical and weight loss expert Dr. Tasneem Bhatia explains that agave is primarily fructose. Once the liver meets fructose, it not only turns it into fat but also breaks down collagen, making fine lines more noticeable,” the doctor explained.

Research by the American Technion Society also connected fructose to aging. Participants had more fine lines and rougher skin after eating fructose-filled products such as agave. For a healthier sweetener, choose honey or Stevia.

Candy Is Not Sweet For Your Skin

Candy Is Not Sweet For Your Skin
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

While everyone knows that candy is unhealthy, some might not know what it does to your skin. Endocrinologist Sophie Chan told The Sydney Herald that sugar binds proteins in the body. AGEs inhibit the building blocks of the skin, causing sagging, wrinkles, and dark circles beneath the eyes.

Candy also affects longevity. According to a study in the BMJ, people who eat candy two to three times a week have a greater risk of mortality. However, if you eat candy a few times a month, you’ll live longer.

Cupcakes Have Worse Ingredients Than Sugar

Cupcakes Have Worse Ingredients Than Sugar
Jeremy Liew/Unsplash
Jeremy Liew/Unsplash

Cupcakes contain more than just sugar. According to registered dietitian and nutritionist Alexandra Miller, they also have trans fats and refined carbs. All of these “promote an unhealthy microbiome and it is also pro-inflammatory,” she explained.

The more sugar you eat, the more skin inflammation you’ll have. In February 2020, scientists reported that sweetened diets can cause skin disorders, psoriasis, and itchy, painful red spots. Even in minor doses, cupcakes can irritate your skin enough to create wrinkles, sagging, and dark spots. That’s why you should only eat them once in a while.

Don’t Resort To White Pasta, Either

Don't Resort To White Pasta, Either
David Ramos/Getty Images
David Ramos/Getty Images

White pasta is just as bad as white bread. They are both refined grains that could shorten a person’s lifespan. In the journal Advances of Nutrition, scientists examined over 100 studies on white grains. They determined that refined grains increase the risk of all-cause mortality, mainly from diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and more.

During another 2013 study, researchers found that whole-grain pasta can help people live longer. But refined pasta is worse for your health, and the added sugar could even make your skin look older. Replace white pasta with wheat, vegetable, or quinoa noodles.

Why Fruit-Filled Yogurt Is Much Worse Than Plain Yogurt

Why Fruit-Filled Yogurt Is Much Worse Than Plain Yogurt
Getty Images
Getty Images

While yogurt can improve the skin’s appearance, fruit-filled flavored yogurts are not the same. Registered dietitian Julia Zumpano says that many flavored yogurts are packed with sugar. Some can even have between 13 and 20 grams, more than most donuts.

These sugars irritate the skin, damage collagen, and cause acne. The extra sweetness can also deteriorate your teeth, according to Dental One Associates. Zumpano told Cleveland Clinic that, in terms of yogurt, “plain, nonfat yogurt is best.” Add flavor yourself with fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, or granola.