What you need to know about anti-aging nutrition is that it all comes down to making the right educated choices. It’s easy to get trapped by buzzwords and fancy packaging that tricks you into believing a product is good for your anti-aging diet. Just because something has “fat-free” strewn across the label, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s healthy. The following are just a few of the many grocery store items that you might think fall into the “anti-aging foods” category, but they’re actually unhealthy options.
Anti-Aging Diet Mistake #1: Pretzels
Although they might seem like a healthier alternative to potato chips, pretzels are actually not much better suited to be anti-aging foods. Although they do have significantly less fat than chips, and even if they’re labeled as being “fat-free,” pretzels are still usually made from white flour, which turns to sugar once it enters your bloodstream—this is why you can keep eating them without really getting full. They also shouldn’t be classified as good anti-aging foods because they have virtually no nutritional value and thanks to the added salt and flavoring, they’re can get high in sodium. Swap your bag of pretzels for healthy trail mix with assorted nuts, seeds, and dried fruit.
Anti-Aging Diet Mistake #2: Muffins
Bran or oatmeal muffins might sound like they’re good for you, but don’t be fooled by the wording. Most of the muffins you get today are disguised as being good anti-aging foods, but they’re actually very high in calories and loaded with fat and sodium. For instance, one apple oatmeal muffin from McDonald’s has 410 calories, which is actually higher in calories than a medium fries.
Anti-Aging Diet Mistake #3: Light Salad Dressing
Salad definitely falls under the category of anti-aging foods, but light dressings not so much. If you read the list of ingredients on the back, you’ll see that they’re full of preservatives, sodium, and sugar. For an alternative that’s actually healthy, stick to extra virgin olive oil and a touch of balsamic vinegar.
Yogurt on its own isn’t so bad when you’re talking about anti-aging foods—until you add the flavoring. The filling in a lot of the fruit-flavored varieties, despite being fat-free, are extremely high in sugar. Try plain Greek yogurt instead—it’s more in line with anti-aging foods because it’s high in calcium and protein, but low in carbs. Skip the flavored variety and boost nutritional value by adding your own fresh fruit.
Anti-Aging Diet Mistake #5: Fruit Juice
It’s not a food per say, but fruit juices can actually sabotage your anti-aging diet. Studies have shown that they’re actually not much better than soda when it comes to sugar content and resulting insulin resistance and weight gain—250 ml of cola contains around 26.5 grams of sugar, and apple juice, for instance, usually contains about 26 grams. In fact, some researchers believe that fruit juices are worse for your anti-aging diet, because many people underestimate how much sugar is actually in them and as a result, they end up drinking more. For instance, one recent study found that respondents underestimated how much sugar is in fruit juices and smoothies by as much as 48%.
Anti-Aging Diet Mistake #6: Spinach Pasta
It may be greener, but spinach pasta can’t really be included in the category of anti-aging foods, because it doesn’t exactly provide you with an adequate serving of vegetables. Vegetable pastas are usually made from white flour base and the “vegetable” addition is in powder form, which doesn’t quite match the absorption properties that real vegetables provide. If you really want to add pasta to your anti-aging diet, you’re better off using 100% whole grain pasta and adding legitimate anti-aging foods, like fresh spinach, zucchini, and tomatoes.
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