STEP 9: Strive to be toxin free

You are surrounded by substances that cause and contribute to aging and disease, and that includes the food and beverages you consume every day. Fortunately there are ways you can avoid or minimize their harmful effects.

  • Avoid sugar and sugary foods. If you don’t think something that tastes so good and sweet could be so bad, think again. Sugar and refined carbohydrates cause inflammation, especially of the blood vessels; are associated with insulin resistance, diabetes, and ultimately the complications associated with diabetes; promote the formation of AGEs; hinder the absorption of calcium, which contributes to the development of osteoporosis; suppresses the release of growth hormone, which is responsible for the repair and regeneration of cells and tissues and maintaining bone strength, brain function, and muscle tone; and causes or contributes to dozens of other health problems. And not all sugars are created equally: fructose, for example, promotes glycation at a rate nearly seven times that of glucose. Fructose is found naturally in unrefined foods such as fruits and vegetables, but processed foods often contain added fructose.
  • Choose organic fruits and vegetables to help avoid exposure to pesticides, herbicides, and other agricultural poisons.
  • Choose hormone-free meats, poultry, dairy, and eggs. Better yet, regularly substitute plant-based protein foods for animal-based ones, as they are naturally hormone-free.
  • Avoid highly processed foods, especially processed meats such as bologna, sausage, smoked meats, and hot dogs, which often contain cancer-causing nitrates and nitrites.
  • Avoid or seriously limit consumption of refined, processed foods, as they contain artificial flavorings, colorings, and preservatives.
  • Eat fish that is as mercury-free as possible. All fish and seafood contain at least a small amount of mercury and/or other toxins, especially large fish because they usually live longer and eat other fish that are contaminated. Those with a minimal amount of toxins generally include sardines, herring, cod, pollock, salmon, and anchovies.

Category: 10-step anti-aging diet