5 Skin-Aging Foods to Banish From Your Diet
- Written By:Dr. Kellyann Petrucci
- Photography:Jon Paterson
I’m an anti-aging expert, and I know that nothing ages you faster than dry, wrinkly, blotchy skin. I also know that to make your skin look young again, you need to start from the inside out. Today, I want to talk about one of the most powerful ways to turn back the clock and get smooth, radiant skin. It’s simple: Get rid of foods that are aging your skin fast. Here are the worst culprits.
Sugar reacts with amino acids to form compounds called advanced glycation end products, or AGEs. These are inflammatory and prematurely age your skin, leading to age spots, wrinkles, sags, and bags.
In one study, researchers asked participants to look at photos of people of similar ages who had differing levels of blood sugar. The viewers rated people with higher blood sugar (even if they didn’t have diabetes) as older. So think of a cookie or a doughnut as a wrinkle waiting to happen. It’ll instantly make that sugary treat look a lot less appealing.
In your body, grains turn directly into sugar, aging your skin the same way table sugar does. What’s more, grains are big culprits when it comes to acne, psoriasis, and eczema. You can get all of the nutrients found in grains from other sources, so cut down on them as much as you can.
Dairy foods contain hormones that can cause inflammation. They also contain lactose, and it gets harder for your body to digest lactose as you age (even if you’re not lactose-intolerant). The result: still more inflammation. The majority of my patients don’t tolerate dairy well—even when they think they do—and they’re amazed at how much younger they look when they eliminate it. You can get plenty of calcium from other sources, including salmon, sardines, broccoli, kale, bok choy, almonds, and chia seeds.
Salt is fine in moderation, but you don’t want to overdo it. Eating too much salt draws water out of your skin cells, “deflating” them and making your skin drier. (This is also why you get bags under your eyes after a popcorn binge.) I recommend switching from table salt to pink Himalayan salt or Celtic sea salt, both of which contain minerals that help draw water back into your cells. Also, if you do eat a hefty dose of salt, drink lots of water to flush it out of your system quickly.
Alcohol is a diuretic, so it dehydrates your skin. The solution? Simply limit your alcohol intake and mix your drinks with plenty of sparkling water to restore the fluid you’ve lost. And here’s another tip: Add a slice of lemon or a little shot of lemon juice to your drinks. Lemons are loaded with vitamin C, which de-ages your skin by helping your body build wrinkle-fighting collagen.
These simple tricks can take years off your skin—especially when you swap out skin-wreckers like sugar, grains, and dairy for the skin-beautifying collagen, veggies, lean proteins, and healthy fats that I talked about in my previous post. So if you want beautiful skin, feed it right… from the inside out!
Dr. Kellyann Petrucci, a board-certified naturopathic physician and certified nutrition consultant, is a weight-loss and anti-aging expert. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Dr. Kellyann’s Bone Broth Diet and the upcoming book The 10-Day Belly Slimdown. She also is the host of the PBS specials 21 Days to a Slimmer, Younger You and The 10-Day Belly Slimdown. In addition, she is a regular contributor on the Dr. Oz show.