Eating well is essential for aging well. So, it’s scary to consider that the food you’re eating day in and day out could actually be putting you in danger. Aging well is largely affected by what you consume and how you live your life, and a big part of that is having a firm grasp on what is and isn’t safe to put in your body. If you haven’t been an avid label-reader in the past, aging well could be your incentive to start now. The following are a list of popular ingredients found in thousands of processed food products. All of these are stopping you from aging well and living a potentially long and disease-free life.
Aspartame is at the top of this list because it’s widely used and extremely unhealthy for aging well. It’s used as a sugar substitute in “sugar-free” products like yogurt, gum, artificial sweeteners, and more. Aspartame is a double dose of disaster for aging well—it’s linked to the induction and growth of brain tumours, cancers, and cataracts, as well as mental dysfunctions, like depression.
Food coloring is a definite danger to aging well. For example, yellow-5 and yellow-6 are recognized carcinogens and are also known to interfere with cognitive development. It is interesting to note that in countries where people are notorious for aging well, like Norway and Austria, food dyes are actually banned.
If you’re a fan of aging well, stay far away from monosodium glutamate (MSG). It is a food additive that sends signals to your brain to crave that food more, usually oil saturated, fatty, salty foods, like potato chips. It is linked to almost every deteriorating health issue that prevents you from aging well, such as migraines, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obesity, diabetes, and cancer. Be on the lookout for MSG’s many aliases, like sodium glutamate, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, and yeast extract.
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
If this sugar is in your diet, nix it now. Unbelievably, HFCS contains an alarming amount of mercury, which has detrimental effects on aging well. You can experience anxiety, difficulty thinking critically, and damage to your liver and kidneys. It can also raise cholesterol levels and your risk of heart disease. Unfortunately, it’s in almost every processed or packaged food item and can be hard to avoid, so read those labels well. Usually, anything ending in “ose” is a sugar, which is an enemy of aging well, and should therefore be avoided.
A key to aging well is increasing your intake of water, not oils. Hydrogenated oils are used to lengthen the shelf life of processed food products and are found in an abundance of edible items. Oils are a huge culprit of clogged arteries and can speed up the aging process by producing harmful free radicals. This, in turn, can lead to severe heart conditions, including stroke and heart disease.
Aging well takes patience and a conscious effort. Reading your food labels will help you make more informed choices about what you’re really eating and can save you from suffering illnesses as you get older. After all, aging well is only possible when you’re healthy from the inside out.
“5 Reasons Aspartame Is Bad for You,” FitDay web site; https://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/5-reasons-aspartame-is-bad-for-you.html, last accessed September 25, 2013.
Adams, M., “Grocery Warning: The Seven Most Dangerous Ingredients in Conventional Foods,” Organic Consumers Association web site, June 7, 2006; https://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_705.cfm.
Minton, B.L., “The Dangers of MSG,” Food Matters web site; https://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/the-dangers-of-msg, last accessed September 25, 2013.
Stossel, R., “Why Hydrogenated Oils Should be Avoided at All Costs,” NaturalNews.com web site, November 4, 2008; https://www.naturalnews.com/024694_oil_food_oils.html.