Many people are searching for the proverbial fountain of youth. We all want to live longer and strive to be like the woman who appears on morning talk shows because she hit 100 years old and is still active in her community. Obviously, eating healthy can be the key to a long life, but did you know that some foods may be taking years away from you? The following are ten foods that can shorten your life.
1. Soda (non-diet)
20 ounces of soda a day has been linked with the same aging that smoking causes. If you’re a regular consumer of this sugary beverage, you’re adding 4.6 years to your age. Diet sodas aren’t directly linked to ageing, but it is thought to put people at a higher risk of diabetes, which can take years off your life. Forego the sodas and stick with water.
2. Processed meat
Just say no to hot dogs and pepperoni which are associated with shorter telomeres. Telomeres are caps on the end of chromosomes that help protect your DNA from being damaged. Short telomeres have been linked to heart disease and cancer.
3. Red meat
A thick steak or juicy burger may also shorten telomeres and damage DNA, causing cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. Undercooked beef is doubly scary because it can cause e-coli, a dangerous foodborne illness that can be deadly.
4. Artificial Sweeteners
Many people use artificial sweeteners because it’s a healthier option than sugar, but research suggests this simply isn’t true. Artificial sweeteners are associated with heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s.
5. Saturated Fats
Saturated fats used to be the enemy, and there was a huge push to replace saturated fats with trans fats found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Since then it’s been discovered that trans fats can clog your arteries and cause heart disease and the U.S. government no longer recognizes trans-fat on their Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) list.
This vegetarian alternative seems harmless enough, but the main ingredient is soy. Soy is genetically modified and has been linked to some cancers and thyroid issues.
7. Farmed Salmon
Eating salmon is considered healthy because it contains omega-3 fatty acids, but avoid the farm raised variety. Omega-3 in these fish can be less than 50% of their wild counterpart, and it can have elevated levels of contaminants like lead and cadmium.
8. Some canned foods
Read your labels carefully on canned goods. Some canned foods are full of monosodium glutamate (MSG) that enhances flavour and makes you hungrier. Not only will you eat more, but MSG is linked to migraines and nausea.
9. Energy Drinks
This substitute for soda and coffee are full of sugar and caffeine. Too many can raise your risk of heart attack, especially if you have a heart condition. They’ve also been linked with ailments such as headaches, anxiety, and insomnia.
10. Sports Drinks
Having a sports drink after a long workout to replace electrolytes isn’t always bad, but too many can be harmful to your health. They contain lots of sugar and artificial dyes and wood rosin commonly associated with cancer.