A new study has found a correlation between processed food and ageing. A diet rich in ultra-processed foods is loaded with sugar, oil, starches and fats, which can make you age more quickly.
Researchers have found that eating three or more servings of processed foods daily is linked with shorter telomeres, chromosome structure that marks your biological age.
In contrast to this, a diet rich in whole foods, fruits and vegetables is linked with longer telomeres and lower risk of chronic illnesses.
Highly processed foods are loaded with sugar, salt, fat and starch and thus can lead to premature ageing, says the study presented at the 2020 European and International Obesity Congress.
Researchers from the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain studied the DNA samples from 886 people who were aged 20 and above. Average participants were 67 years old.
People who consumed two-three servings of processed foods daily showed 29 – 40 per cent higher risk of short telomeres than those who ate fewer than two servings of processed foods.
Processed foods are also linked to long term illness
Telomeres help by stabilizing our chromosomes and DNA. With age, cells divide and the telomeres get shorter. Inflammation, stress and poor diet can speed up this ageing process.
Shorter telomeres are also linked with a greater risk of age-related illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and cancer. Ultra-processed foods are also linked with issues like depression, high blood pressure and obesity.
Studies have also found that people who consumed more processed foods tend to snack more and consume more cholesterol, saturated fat and sodium.
How to incorporate healthy eating habits
– Limit your consumption of processed foods to only once a week.
– Have more whole foods, fruits and vegetables
– Prepare your snack and keep them handy. Not having healthy snacks at hand makes one reach out for unhealthy snacks like biscuits, candies and colas.
– Be regular with your workout and try to strive for a minimum of 190 minutes of physical activity every week.