You never say no to dessert
Your junk food habits may age your body quicker if you’re grabbing for that pint of ice cream every night. Sugar molecules love to latch onto proteins and fats, which turn into AGEs (advanced glycation end products) during the glycation process. These AGEs can damage collagen and elastin, the two proteins in your skin that make it smooth, taut, and plump. Researchers have even found that these diet-derived AGEs could contribute to vascular tightening, liver disease, and possibly Alzheimer’s. “For most people with normal levels of glucose, the glycation process is something that happens gradually over the course of a lifetime,” Greg Hillebrand, PhD, a biochemist at Proctor & Gamble told elle.com. “It’s really not a big deal, but diet and lifestyle choices can affect how quickly the effects can be seen on the skin.” Steer clear of white sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and simple carbs, like pasta, to slow down the glycation process and maintain your youthful glow inside and out. Next, read up on the 50 more things that make you look older.
Bingeing on your favorite shows
Calling all House of Cards fans—your love for TV marathons may chip away at your brain. According to a study published in a 2016 issue of Neurology, a lack of physical activity during middle age has been linked to a smaller mind later in life. “We found a direct correlation in our study between poor fitness and brain volume decades later, which indicates accelerated brain aging,” said study author Nicole Spartano, PhD, with Boston University School of Medicine in Boston. Similar research recently published in JAMA Psychiatry discovered that large amounts of television viewing and low physical activity in early adulthood were associated with a decline in cognitive function during midlife. Make sure you know the signs your body is aging faster than you are.