Found in the Books: Five Most Aging Foods according to Elizabeth Peyton-Jones


Posted September 17, 2013 by

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‘Eat Yourself Young’ is a truly informative book on the transformational power of food: if you eat the right food, you will not only look, but also feel better. While the book is full of insightful tips and information that all are definitely worth knowing, I have decided to particularly single out the section on five most aging foods. Correcting existing bad habits is a first step towards a healthier and better-looking you!

1. Sugar. It is impossible and not advisable to totally avoid sugar – after all it is one of the main sources of energy. However, it is important to distinguish between the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ sugar: refined and processed sugar is not only addictive but also ‘the most aging food of all’. Moreover, when consumed in high amount, refined sugar can cause an overall negative effect on your body which goes beyond aging: acne, mood swings, lack of muscle tone, lowered mental alertness. Refined sugar does not provide you with any beneficial nutrients and it is rich in calories.

Extra tip: when you feel that you really need a sweet snack, try fruits (and dried fruits), nuts, liquorice instead.

2. Salt. Similarly as sugar, salt is addictive, though this might not be as obvious as it is with sugar. The amount of salt that people consume daily tends to go above the recommended amount (3g). This is not surprising since salt, a popular preservative, is ubiquitous in majority of our daily meals, particularly when a diet includes a lot of processed foods. Excessive consumption of salt makes the system acidic, may unbalance hormonal system, lead to high blood pressure and water retention, just to mention a few negative effects.

Extra tip: try to cut your consumption on salt for at least few days – you will be surprised how your body will react to salty foods, if you have any, after this period.

3. Cow’s dairy. Negatively affecting digestion and liver function, increasing the acidity of the system, cow’s dairy is not nearly as beneficial as it is claimed to be. Consumption of cow’s dairy products can be the explanation for acne, eczema, allergies, digestive problems, hormonal imbalance.

Extra tip: try sheep or goat’s milk/cheese instead.

4. Meat. Meat is one of the sources for protein, however, not the best one. Acid-forming and full of saturated fats, meat may causes inflammation, digestion issues, hormonal imbalances.

Extra tip: choose healthier sources of protein, such as grains; legumes (especially red beans); eggs; nuts; vegetables such as asparagus, beetroot, spinach, cauliflower, just to mention a few. Also, eat smaller, sustainably fished fish.

5. ‘Bad’ fats. Fats are essential for us, however, there is a difference in consuming ‘bad’ (trans, hydrogenated) and ‘good’ (monounsaturated) fats. Through the consumption of fats and oils we supply our bodies with alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and linolenic acid (LA), which our bodies cannot produce by themselves. It is ideal to consume facts though whole foods, rather than foods containing refined fats. All fats that have been refined are harder for the body to process. Avoid ‘deep fried anything’ and ‘processed low-fat anything’. In general, consumption of ‘bad’ fats lead to problematic skin, digestion issues, allergies, hormonal imbalance, lack of energy, difficult menopause.

Extra tip: use coconut oil for cooking. Olive, avocado and rapeseed oil are recommended as well.

For most of us the above mentioned foods are integral parts of our daily diet. Therefore, eliminating them all at once can be a true challenge. In this case, you will probably find the gradual decrease in consumption of these foods easier, though the process will take longer.

  • All of the above mentioned foods cause inflammation. Therefore, the last extra tip is to start your day with a truly anti-inflammatory lemon-turmeric drink that will keep your system alkaline. Simply add a slice of lemon (you may also squeeze the juice out of the lemon as well) and 1/4 tbsp of turmeric into a glass of water. While it is not the most tasty morning drink, you will definitely start feeling the benefits in the long run.

To find out more about the book and Elizabeth Peyton-Jones, visit her website.

Image courtesy of arztsamui

One Comment


    You lost me at meat as your advice is super outdated, recycled, and has very little scientific backing once you wade through all of the questionnaire based studies that have been shoved in our face as “proof”. Sourcing better quality meat is key. I have seen too many people on a primal/paleo diet who do not suffer from these issues you attribute to meat and follow the exact opposite of your advice – myself included. Grains are a HUGE source of inflammation for me and many others AND they are basically complex sugar.

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