When you turn 40, it’s natural for you to take a close look at your diet and habits. There’s a good chance you’ll realize it’s time to eliminate what’s not working for you anymore. For most, the first thing that needs some adjustment is the list of foods you may be eating. What you need to properly fuel your body in your 40s isn’t the same as what was needed in your 20s!
You don’t want to feel any aches and pains, and you want to help slow down the aging process as best you can. That starts with getting rid of certain foods that can end up causing long-term damage. They’re the sneaky culprits found that are responsible for the unnecessary amounts of added sugar, saturated fat, and sodium you’re most likely consuming every day. (And while you’re at it, be sure you’re trying out these 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time to help you stay on your course with your health goals!)
So what really is the one food women shouldn’t eat once they hit 40? It’s…
Whether it’s soda (regular and diet), fruit juices that aren’t natural, or bottled iced tea and lemonade, sugary drinks are the one thing you want to avoid now that you’re 40. Studies have linked regular consumption of sugary drinks to heart disease, and heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States. Plus, one study that followed 80,000 women over the course of 22 years actually found that those who had a can a day of a sugary drink had a 75% higher risk of developing gout than women who rarely drank these types of drinks. Not only are you putting yourself at risk to develop type 2 diabetes, but drinking sugary drinks has been linked to obesity, too. And it’s much harder to drop those unwanted pounds now that you’re older. That can of Coke just isn’t worth it!
That’s not all, either. So you can properly purge your kitchen, here are a few more of the biggest offers you need to ditch.
“While younger folks can get away with skipping breakfast or simply eating a starchy ‘weight loss’ cereal or bar, research suggests that eating 20 to 30 grams of protein at each meal is ideal—especially as we age,” Dr. Chris Mohr, PHD, RD, and former sports nutritionist for the Cincinnati Bengals told us in a previous story.
Tons of these bars are just as bad as a candy bar when you look at the ingredients they contain such as added sugars and inflammatory palm oil. They won’t actually help you keep off any pounds!
When it comes to bacon, hotdogs, and deli meats, you’re better off staying away. See, they often contain cancer-causing nitrates and are packing tons of blood-pressure-spiking sodium. A study published in the journal European Cytokine Network even found that sodium nitrate actually increases oxidative stress, which can damage collagen and elastin in your skin.
The days of munching on spuds that are fried up in oil are behind you. A study in the Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research found that heating oil to the smoking point during stir-frying may decrease the amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids. And those are the heart-healthy fats that nourish your skin and joints. No thanks! Plus, fried foods can lead to weight gain, something else you want to avoid.
Looking for more helpful tips? Well, your ultimate restaurant and supermarket survival guide is here!
Muffins, cupcakes, cookies—we’re looking at you. These treats are loaded up with added sugar, which can have a rather intense effect on aging. A report in Clinics in Dermatology found that glucose and fructose can compromise the collagen and elastin that support your skin’s elasticity. So it’s your best bet to avoid baked goods with added sugars if you want to decrease the rate at which wrinkles appear.