The best part about being a grown-up is having the freedom to do—and eat—whatever you want. Your 30s are a great period of your life, a time of wisdom, experience, and international travel (hopefully!). Despite the fact that you should be celebrating this landmark age range, you should also be aware of your increasing sensitivity to different foods. Choosing the right nutrition can slow aging. So what foods make you age? You won’t believe what’s on the list.


Peoples run on sugar. Most people eat 66 pounds of sugar every year! As metabolism slows, so does the ability to process sugar. Your body deposits all those extra calories in your hips, stomach, and other fat storage areas.


Alcohol is full of calories. Since your 30+ body can’t burn them off, those extra calories feed the beer gut. Beer also spikes insulin levels and that is very hard on you.Alcohol might knock you out, but you probably won’t stay asleep. You’ll weight gain carb and sugar cravings the next day.


Besides all the extra sugars and chemicals in your latte or cola, the biggest effect is from caffeine’s effect on sleep quality. Too much caffeine can be aging since you don’t get your beauty rest. And just like alcohol, too much caffeine can lead to carb cravings. Sneaky carb carvings pack on the pounds.


utter alternatives like margarine are often made with partially-hydrogenated oils, one of the most common trans-fats. You may have heard that this type of fat is linked to heart disease, but what most people don’t know is that it may also accelerate the skin’s aging process by making the skin more vulnerable to ultraviolet radiation. When the skin gets damaged by the sun, it breaks down the skin’s elastin and collagen. But that’s not all, studies have also found that eating margarine can cause chronic inflammation, which may also accelerate wrinkle formation.

White flour

Remember when wonder bread made the greatest sandwich? Your 30-something body deserves better. White flour is on the no-no list. Your body converts white flour into glucose. Glucose is very easily stored as fat. White flour is refined of all the good stuff like fiber. Whole grains are more slowly digested and will help you stay full longer. Whole wheat and whole grain bread can be an acquired taste, but it is an important one.


Everybody needs salt, but not too much salt. Consider the effects on your 30-something bod.Ever notice that fast food makes your rings snug? Your body is diluting the salt, making you bloat. Sodium increases blood pressure and stroke risk.Since salt improves flavor, almost every canned or processed food contains a lot of salt. Read labels and be shocked at how much salt is in everything!

Microwavable and Canned Meals

For a busy 30-something, a prepared meal is a blessing. However, a single serving often contains nightmare levels of salt, sugar, and fat. You know about salt and sugar. Add in chemical additives and you have a very unhealthy meal. Prepared meals generally have less fiber, so they wear off quickly. They can contain MSG to make food taste good! It also increases your appetite. Canned food can be full of BPA. BPA causes hormonal imbalances, cancer, infertility, and weight gain.


Whole, cooked, organic soybeans appear to be healthy. The problem is the soy oils and filler found in practically everything. For a while, soy seemed a miracle food, but further research cast doubts.Soy may stimulate breast cancer cells and memory problems. Soy can trigger headaches in some people.While science is still out on the safety of soy, you’d be wise to limit your soy additive intake.


Bad news, bacon lovers, This beloved breakfast food may make your skin start to sag well before your AARP card arrives. The reason: Sixty-eight percent of bacon's calories come from fat, with almost half of that being the saturated variety. Besides contributing to weight gain and increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke, saturated fats can cause inflammation that accelerates skin aging. Bacon and other processed meats also contain sodium nitrate which, according to a 2013 study published in the journal European Cytokine Network, enhances oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can cause structural changes in collagen and elastin (the proteins that keep skin looking young), resulting in premature wrinkles, explains St. Petersburg Institute of Bioregulation and Gerontology researchers. Luckily, you don’t have to give up bacon altogether to keep your skin smooth. Just switch to a nitrate-free variety with less than 2 grams of fat and no more than 1 gram of artery-clogging saturated fat (like Applegate Natural Good Morning Bacon) and cut yourself off after two slices.

Food is fuel, and your 30-something body needs good fuel. Make a conscious choice about what you are fueling your body with, and you’ll have a better heart, joints, waistline, and wrinkle factor going forward.

Avoid excess salt, sugar, white flour, alcohol, and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to keep your body going strong. Remember convenience is not everything, especially when you run the risk of putting “everything” into your body.

The more you know, the better the choices you will make for yourself and your family as you experience the next decade.