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As you get older, there are days you realize that you aren’t as fit, strong or ripped as you used to be. Some days, you realize that you can’t do the things that you used to. However, the thing that blindsides you is your diet. Your metabolism slows down, and even the exercise that you used to do to keep in shape seems useless. The problem isn’t necessarily the food you eat, or shouldn’t eat. In many cases, the problem is habitual. All your life you are used to a certain diet, and it never seemed to affect you. It wasn’t that the food wasn’t doing anything to your body, but rather your body recovered quicker than you could experience the adverse effects of the food. Now, all of a sudden, you have to change a lifetime’s worth of bad eating habits and try to slow the sands of time. That’s easier said than done. Habits are hard to break, especially when you don’t see anything morally wrong with them. However, if you want to get in the habit sooner rather than later, here are 40 foods that you need to avoid when you are over 40.
Margarine has come under heavy fire of late and with good reason. It looks like butter, in some cases even tastes
like butter, but it is nothing like butter. Margarine is an artificial lubricant with artery-clogging saturated fats and loads of processed oils. It is no friend to your cholesterol. Many margarine brands use propylene glycol, which is an artificial compound. This compound has been found to increase bad cholesterol, and it is also associated with weight gain.
Those morning pancakes with syrup and margarine can be no more, lest you increase your chances of a heart attack or start growing sideways. It might cost a bit more, but you could substitute the margarine with butter or heavy oils like coconut or extra virgin olive. Unlike margarine, these fats and oils are good for your health.
Most of us have a sweet tooth, and without knowing it, we have incorporated sugar into most of our foods. However, recent times have labeled sugar as a modern-day poison, and as such, people have started to move over to artificial sweeteners. The problem is that these sweeteners are even worse for you than ordinary sugar. Studies have shown that artificial sweeteners like aspartame have been known to boost sugar cravings. Sure, they don’t add any unwanted calories to your diet, but the food that they go with is the problem. Furthermore, studies have also shown that they increase a person’s risk of developing diabetes and other health issues. If you want to indulge in the sweet stuff, there are natural options. Maple syrup and honey are among the best choices. They contain many nutrients that are good for your body and are super tasty.
It goes without saying that soda is bad for you: It doesn’t matter how old you are. But when you start moving past your 40s, your body stops processing the poisons efficiently. Apart from the sugar content of fizzy drinks,
which is already way more than the recommended daily allowance. Colas have other toxic chemicals as well. The main culprit, 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI), is the caramel colorant found in most colas. Recent studies have shown it is connected with a higher risk of developing cancer.
When you near your 40s, you might not necessarily want to have kids any longer, but if it’s still a possibility, you should lay off the fizz. A 2018 study in the Journal of Epidemiology showed that men or women who drink fizzy drinks have a much lower fertility rate than those who abstain.
When you reach 40, you have probably seen how kids react to certain food colorants: They get hyper and drive
you crazy. When you are older, you don’t get hyper, but your body is still taking shots on the inside. Although these colorants are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the dyes may contain cancer-causing substances. Food colorants are such a huge part of diets because color sells. Something with vibrant colors will sell much better than the dull original. We are all guilty of buying food that looks good, regardless of what it could do to our bodies. There are, however, healthy alternatives. Foods like beet juice and cold-pressed green juices are packed with vitamins and will provide you with all the color that your eyes desire. Paprika and turmeric are spices that don’t have overpowering flavors, but they add plenty of color to your dishes.
Here is a doubleheader for the aging male. A few have to fill in the blanks from some of their college days due to some serious partying. Happy hour was an excuse to see how much you could drink in that hour. Sure, the next day you felt like a train wreck, but before the sun could set on another day, your body had recovered and you
were ready for more. Sugar and alcohol are things you should stay away from, but the combination of the two is poison when you get older. Besides, having one or three too many when you are at college is OK, but if you’re still bingeing at happy hour when you’re 40, it’s just awkward. A cocktail now and then is not going to kill you, as long as you have your drinks in moderation.
Here is a drink that is touted as being healthy. However, this could not be any further from the truth. Just because it says “100% juice” on the bottle does not make it a healthy drink. But what is the difference between having fruit juice and eating fruit? If an apple a day can keep the doctor away, why can’t a glass of apple juice a day do the same thing? The answer lies in the eating. When you eat fruit, you take in the juice as well as the fiber. This means your body will digest it at a much more controlled rate and you won’t get a sugar rush. When you drink pure fruit juice, you ingest more fruit than you would if you had eaten the fruit. This means you ingest much more sugar and none of the fiber. The result is a spike in energy, and if you don’t use it, it turns to fat.
Muffins and cupcakes
We all love a sweet treat now and then. When you are young, your body can still fight off the negative effects, but once you hit your 40s, now and then has to change to almost never if you want to keep your physique. Store-bought muffins and cupcakes are some of the worst treats you can get. In most cases, a single cupcake could contain more than your daily allowance of sugar and fat. Apart from the extra pounds you will gradually gain, the sugar can speed up your aging process. Sugar and salt have the same effect on your body’s cells. It sucks them dry, and they become hard. When your skin cells lose their moisture and elasticity, you develop wrinkles. If you have too much sugar in your diet, these wrinkles will come along quicker than they should.
I don’t know of anybody who doesn’t enjoy a good sub now and then. To ease the conscience, whole wheat or other healthy bread is used. From there on the ingredients seem pretty healthy, especially if you stuff your sub with leafy greens and other veggies. The problem, however, lies in the meat. Whenever you see processed meat, the warning lights need to go off because you know that the meat is packed with a range of unnatural preservatives. Most deli meats have high concentrations of sodium, nitrate preserves, modified cornstarch and carrageenan, all of which is responsible for boosting belly fat and causing some other serious health problems. If you can’t curb the craving, you should opt for the least-destructive meats. The roasted chicken and turkey options are generally better for you than hams and kinds of bacon. Be sure to check the nutritional info if you don’t know what to choose.
There are very few things that come close to firing up the BBQ on a hot summer’s weekend and putting some meat on the grill. The only problem is the BBQ and the open flames. It’s ironic how bad something can be for your health even though it smells and tastes so good. Your skinless chicken breast which is the doctor’s meat of choice becomes a carcinogenic nightmare when you decide to cook it on an open flame.
When you cook your meat over an open flame or very high temperatures, the proteins can develop heterocyclic amines (HCAs) as well as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). In short, these chemicals can change the DNA of a person and in the process, increases the risk of cancer development. If you have to use the BBQ, close the lid and use it as an oven. You’ll get the same smoky taste, minus all the bad stuff.
It’s game day, and you want to indulge in some crunchy nachos. Not when you are over 40, you don’t. Nachos in itself are not that bad for you; there are actually some healthy nachos out there nowadays. The problem comes with the sauce. Nacho sauces are saturated with artificial colorants, preservatives and lab-made flavorings. It’s not the cheese in the sauce that gives it the fantastic color.
However, you don’t have to stay away from your favorite game-day snack completely. You can whip up your homemade sauces with minimal effort and can be healthy as well. How? Use real cheese when you make your dip and add some herbs for extra flavor. If you have a green thumb, you could always add fresh herbs from your garden. There is no limit to what you can make if you put your mind to it. It’s not as instant as the store-bought stuff, but it is much healthier.
There are nights when you don’t want to cook and having something delivered to your door seems like the only option. When the takeout craving hits, try to stay away from Chinese. In general, the dishes are loaded with sodium and sugar. Foods like General Tso’s and chicken lo mein are only some of the nasties you should avoid. Believe it or not, the sodium and sugar are the least of your problems. Make no mistake, Chinese is amazing, but the flavor is achieved with monosodium glutamate (MSG). This flavor-enhancing substance has been linked to many side effects. You are not suffering from a premature hangover. A headache, nausea and the weakness you feel could very well be the MSG you ingested. It might not be Chinese takeout, but you can make similar dishes at home with the same ingredients, minus all the MSG and sugar.
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