Before you eat anything, do you actually think through the nutritional value of the food on your fork? Do you actually think, ‘Hmm, this is going to add a few inches on my hips and may even affect my heart negatively?’ Many of us never think like that. We get carried away and eat whatever is put in front of us.

Every item of food you put into your body will either add value to your health or take away from it. If you are concerned about looking good and feeling young well into your 50s, you should be opting for foods that do not age you unnecessarily.
Here are the top five foods that you should totally avoid if you want to keep feeling fit and healthy well into your 60s and 70s.

Red meat
The American Institute for Cancer Research suggests limiting your intake of red meat to less than 18 ounces a week. However, if you were to eliminate all red meat from your diet, you would see a remarkable difference in your overall well-being, heart health and, of course, a drastic reduction in the inflammation in your body.

Animal fats
All animal fats are so high in saturated fats and trans fats that they increase your bad cholesterol (LDL) drastically and increase your risk of heart disease.

Eating too many solid fats leads to deaths brought about by cardio metabolic causes like strokes, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. The smart thing would be to opt for heart healthy oils like avocado, olive oil or grape seed oil. Also, do keep in mind you don’t really need fat/oil to cook your meals, you could use lemon or lime juice to sauté your food.

Processed carbs
Do we know the difference between wholegrain and refined grains? Wholegrain is when a grain like wheat or rice is not processed but used in its original form.

The ideal way to include grains in your daily diet is to buy them in their original form and then include them in your cooking with the minimum amount of processing. Keep it whole, keep it healthy. Avoid refined grains like pasta, white rice and white bread where the grains have been processed to remove the bran and the germ, which gives the grains a finer texture and improved shelf life!

Sugary beverages
The soda pop culture that we are currently living in is probably responsible for the highest death stats than any other dietary factor, according to CNN. Sugary drinks are associated with tooth decay, metabolic syndrome and obesity. Why not give those up and replace them with sparkling water, fruit-infused water or good old tea and fresh vegetable juices?

Many of us tend to reach out for the salt shaker even before we have tasted our food. Guilty? Yes, many of us! Sodium causes your body to retain unnatural amounts of water and, according to the American Heart Association, too much water in your body can put a strain on your heart and blood vessels. Ideally, we should be limiting our sodium intake to 1,500 mgs (or 1 teaspoon) daily. To significantly lower your sodium intake, avoid processed foods, cheese, packaged snacks and frozen dinners. Switch to fresh foods and use herbs, spices, vinegar and citrus juices to add flavour to your meals!

Verdict: Question everything you consume. Your body is a temple, it needs to be treated like one.

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