Diet

Eat less of these foods for better looking skin

Offset premature aging and improve the quality of your skin by avoiding foods that are AGE-heavy.

non-stick frying pan

Photo, iStock.

Forget dieting to lose weight. Think about how trimming the fat from your daily menu benefits your skin and may slow the aging process.

Red meat, dairy, processed foods, sugar and sweeteners — if you want to improve the quality of your skin and offset the premature aging of your face then it may be wise to significantly reduce your intake of these common staple foods.

That’s the argument being put forth by Australian nutritionist and skin specialist Karen Fischer in her new book Younger Skin in 28 Days, which was recently discussed in an article in The Daily Mail.

Fischer makes her recommendation based on research that suggests that certain foods and cooking methods contribute to premature aging because they create or contain molecules known as Advanced Glycation End products, also known as AGEs.

Research suggests AGEs contribute to inflammation in the body and antioxidant stress as well as age the skin.

Animal-derived foods are often AGE-heavy. The cooking process, in particular grilling, broiling, roasting, searing, and frying can increase new AGE formation unfortunately.

But that doesn’t mean you need to go raw and subsist on nuts, seeds and fruits if you want to give an anti-AGE diet a shot. Rather, you just need to reduce or eliminate your consumption of a number of AGE-rich foods and substitute more healthful options.

To combat the effects of aging and preserve skin health, Fischer advises people reduce their intake of AGE-rich foods in favour of a diet that leans heavily on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. In particular, she advises people to eat plenty of black, purple and red fruit and vegetables like berries and eggplants, which contain AGE-fighting compounds even after cooking.

Fischer advises people to try this way of eating for 28 days, which is reportedly just long enough for the skin to create new cells. And who knows, the sight of a smoother, rosier complexion in the mirror in a month may make up for the loss of muffins, steak frites and lattes. You won’t know if you don’t try, however.