I want to tell you a story about my client that happened January of last year. Like most people do around that time of year, she went on a health kick and decided to “get in shape”.
I, of course, was very supportive and encouraged her and wished her the best in her journey to health (and smaller pants size). But over the next several weeks I started noticing that some things were off… her skin became less radiant and started to develop more wrinkles and fine lines.
When I asked her about it she said “I’m not sure what it happening. My makeup is not going on like it used to and my skin drying up no matter what I do!”
Now, I talk a lot about skin care products, but I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t mentioned the other BIG part of skincare and anti-aging… and that thing is diet and nutrition.
As my client was talking about the changes she was noticing in her skin, I immediately suspected that the culprit was the “new and improved” diet she was on…
Unfortunately there are A LOT of products on our store’s shelves, that are deceptively marketed as being “healthy and nutritious” but are in fact anything but..
It’s easy to fall for these so called “healthy food” that are actually nothing more that heavily processed (and very cheap) chemicals, that were designed to appear healthy.
What foods are these you ask?
Well, here are a few that are the worst offenders:
1. Whole wheat breads and pastas.
There is a lot of things wrong with our wheat here in the US. Unfortunately the wheat we eat now is very different from the wheat we were consuming even a 50 years ago. Modern day wheat has been biochemically “enhanced” to increase crop yield and increase certain baking characteristics and taste.
Modern studies are beginning to show that these small changes in wheat’s structure are causing Celiac Disease, inflammation and can lead to cancer later in life.
In short, wheat consumption lead to accelerated aging…
Eating too many wheat products such as bread, bagels, muffins, cereal, crackers, etc increases compounds in your body called Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs).
Due to the significant blood sugar effect of wheat products (yes, even "whole wheat"), this means it increases those nasty AGEs in your body which contribute to premature aging and wrinkles.
Try to add in more veggies and skip the extra servings of bread and you should be good to go!
2. Organic snacks
Organic is word that has gained huge popularity in the last decade and is slowly becoming the go-to word for marketers to slap on low quality packaged snacks.
Organic simply refers to the fact that no pesticides were used on the plants. It does not refer to the product's sugar, fat or carb content.
Organic chips and cookies are just that… chips and cookies. Opt instead for some veggies, fruits and natural yogurt, you’ll be glad you did.
3. -Added -Enhanced -Enriched -Fortified
I’m sure you’ve seen these foods around. Various high-sugar cereals that are “healthy because we added vitamins”.
Anything with those words on it should be suspect because it will usually involve heavy processing and unnatural chemicals.
Manufacturers once proposed selling fortified junk food and beer, but USFDA policies of the time forbade it. The government was worried that people would then see these unhealthy foods as healthy and consume more of them.
What these words imply is that this food was stripped of it’s original nutrients (often using chemicals) to extend it’s shelf life and then the powder form of the nutrients was added back into the product.
This makes it appear (on the ingredient label) as if this food is actually full of the good stuff... in reality it’s more like crushing up a vitamin pill on a piece of cardboard…
So… if you are looking to improve your face and your waistline this year, I suggest you stay away from the packaged (quote unquote) “Healthy” foods and focus on the real, healthy foods.
Here are some things I recommend:
1. Veggies - lot of greens, but also add all the other colors too. Try to rotate your greens every few months, we were not meant to eat the same exact veggies year round.
2. High quality proteins - look for words like pasture-raised, grass-fed and wild etc. These words are not too mainstream yet so higher quality foods can be found behind those labels.
3. Healthy fats - this one is HUGE for the health of your skin and hair. Fats from avocado, olive and macadamia nut oils are really good. So are fats from fish, nuts and grass-fed butters.