Our health and metabolism change after 50. You may find that you’re sleeping fewer hours at a time, taking more naps, eating smaller meals, hanging out with different friends, or enjoying different activities. You may have been the type to eat whatever you liked, without noticing any change in belly fat, digestion and weight gain, but you may not be as tolerant as you used to be.
If you’re in this age group, you’re probably not downing pizzas by the pound, but there may be other things you’re eating that aren’t especially good for a body at middle age.
The worst culprit is…Sugar
While you don’t necessarily have to cut sugar completely out of your life,the truth is that it ages you. A 2009 study reported that the lifespan of animal yeast cells increased when glucose was decreased in the diet. “Thanks to this study,” the researchers wrote, “the link between the rise in age-related diseases and the over-consumption of sugar in today’s diet is clearer.”
Sugar also ages your skin. A 2010 study found that glucose and fructose cross-link collagen and elastin fibers in the skin, producing glycation end products (AGEs) that accelerate the appearance of wrinkles and sagging. Cut back on sugary treats and watch labels for added sugars in condiments, yogurt, soups, breads, and more.
Culprit #2..Soft Drink
Soda’s are one of the leading sources of sugar in the American diet. But even sugar-free versions aren’t good alternatives for bodies 50 and older. A 2013 study review found that those who regularly consume diet soft drinks are at an increased risk of excessive weight gain, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. The researchers found that the drinks actually throw off the metabolism and blunt the body’s response to sugar, causing hormones to spike even more when we actually eat the real stuff. We need more studies to know exactly what’s going on, but suffice to say that diet sodas are best enjoyed in very limited quantities, especially after the age of 50 when the metabolism is already slowing down.
Cured Meats come in at #3
Cured meats are things like lunch meats, bacon, sausage, and hot dogs. A number of studies have linked these foods to common diseases. In 2010, researchers found that eating processed meat was associated with a 42 percent higher risk of heart disease and a 19 percent higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
Lastly, Fried Foods come in at #4
Fried foods. They’re delicious but they’re hard to digest and they’re high in calories. A 2013 study found that seniors who ate a diet high in fried, sweet, and processed foods were 53 percent more likely to die of cardiovascular disease and 36 percent more likely to die of other causes than those who ate healthier diets.
While consuming the foods above could put you at risk for more health related concerns while you age, eating the following can slow down health issues, lower cholesterol levels and increase antioxidants.
Oats: Rich and easy to digest, whole rolled oats keep us satisfied longer without the risk of added processed ingredients.
Salmon: Omega rich foods like salmon keep the brain healthy.
Cherries: Studies have found that the antioxidants in cherries can help combat gout and arthritis.
Spinach: Dark, leafy greens have been linked with lower levels of cognitive decline in older age.
Eggs: a 2004 study found that eggs were ideal for seniors because they are high in protein.