Ageing is an inevitable process. With it, comes physical and physiological changes. This is especially noticeable in your 30s. After coming from the active, bouncy 20s, your 30s can seem like a slow descent into constant aches, wrinkles, and rapid weight gain. Some of these are more affected by the environment and genetics. However, you can influence them with your lifestyle and habits. One of the easiest habits to change is your eating. There are several foods that you should reduce or cut off, especially when you’re in your 30s.
1. Added sugars
Eating excessive sugar increases the risk of obesity, heart disease, liver failure, diabetes, and cancer. Daily sugar consumption for adults shouldn’t exceed 25g for women and 38g for men. Sugar exists in many foods including fruits and vegetables. This kind of sugar isn’t as harmful as added sugars. This refers to the refined sugar added to food during processing. Added sugars are found in snacks, soda, juice, alcohol, sauces, and candies.
They’re problematic because they make you easily consume over the recommended daily allowance. This is because the sugars are “hidden”. An estimated 22g of sugar are in every 100g of ketchup. 1 teaspoon of ketchup is about 5g, you don’t really measure how much ketchup you add to your fries. But in most restaurants, ketchup sachets are about 8-10g. You’ll likely use up to three sachets. That’s 30g of ketchup which equates to 6.6g of sugar. Combined with how much tea, juice, desserts, and snacks you eat in the day, it’s easy to overconsume added sugars. Health & Lifestyle: The Bitter Truths About Sugar
Always check the ingredients to know which foods to avoid or reduce. Added sugars will be listed as sugar, syrup, or malt, such as cane sugar, corn syrup, or barley malt. Other potential names include caramel, maltose, dextran, treacle, diastase, panocha or panela. Opt for water or fresh fruit juice without the extra sugar, snack with veggies and fruits, sweeten yoghurt or cereal with sweet fruits like bananas, and eat processed snacks less frequently.
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Smoking cigarettes is mostly linked to lung cancer. However, smoking as few as 1-4 cigarettes a day can lead to premature heart disease. The risk of lung cancer is also high among women who smoke 1-4 cigarettes daily. There is good news. When you stop smoking, you start reversing the effects of the cigarettes. If you quit before turning 40, you reduce the risk of early death from smoking-related complications by 90%. Smoking compromises the body’s immune system. When you stop smoking, your body will be able to heal faster. The best ways to quit smoking are nicotine replacement therapy products and therapy. Quitting cold turkey has lower success rates compared to other interventions.
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Taking a little alcohol per week doesn’t have severe negative consequences on your health. However, if you consume too much alcohol you can increase the risk of obesity, heart disease, kidney failure, liver failure, cancer, and cognitive decline. If you drink too much alcohol every week, you need to make efforts to reduce it once you hit your 30s. When you cut down or remove alcohol, from as early as 30 days, you will see lower bad cholesterol, better liver and kidney health, better sleep, and improved brain power. Some Challenges You May Face When You Quit Drinking Alcohol
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4. Processed meat
Meat is typically a great source of protein. When you’re in your 30s you need to consume more fibre, minerals, vitamins, complex carbs, and protein. However, not all meats are created equal. Processed meats such as bacon, sausages, hot dogs, or canned meat can increase the risk of stomach cancer. It also increases the likelihood of hypertension, heart disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This is because processed meats contain sodium nitrite which can turn into n-nitroso compounds. The most common compounds are nitrosamines which are also found in tobacco smoke and contaminated water. These are what increase the risk of bowel cancer.
5. Trans fats
Other foods that people in their 30s should avoid are trans fats. These are also known as hydrogenated fats. They’re created by passing hydrogen through existing oils which converts it to solid fat at room temperature. This is to ensure it has a longer shelf life. Trans fats increase the levels of bad cholesterol. They also increase the risk of heart disease. Trans fats are found in margarine, cooking fat, shortening, microwave popcorn, deep-fried foods, and frozen pizza.
6. Saturated fats
Like trans fats, saturated fats are another food group that is unhealthy, especially in large quantities for people getting older. There are fats that are great for health. Foods such as avocados, nuts, and fatty fish are a great source of healthy fats. Saturated fats are saturated with hydrogen molecules and contain carbon molecules with single bonds. They are found in milk, cheese, butter, meat, and coconut oil. Lifestyle: 7 Benefits Of Eating Healthy Fats
Saturated fats aren’t as dangerous as trans fats but you should still reduce your intake of them and swap for nutrient-dense foods. Saturated fats are predominantly found in animal products and tropical oils. Excessive consumption can lead to cardiovascular issues and increased inflammation. Avoid processed foods made with saturated fats and don’t cook every meal with butter.
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7. Roasted meat
For many 30-year-olds, nyama choma is essentially a staple when going out or attending gatherings. While the occasional barbecue isn’t a bad thing, excessive consumption of roasted meat can lead to cancer. When meats are prepared at extremely high temperatures from grilling, the meat releases heterocyclic amines (HCAs). These compounds increase the risk of colon, breast, and prostate cancer. Food: 6 Cooking Mistakes You Need To Avoid To Stay Healthy
Smoking and roasting meat also lead to cancer. This is because exposing meat to fire results in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). These compounds increase the risk of breast, lung, and colon cancer.
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Salt is a basic ingredient in nearly every savoury dish and some desserts. You should only consume a maximum of 5g of salt daily. However, according to WHO, most people consume 10.78g. About two million deaths worldwide are directly linked to excessive consumption of sodium. High sodium leads to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, stomach cancer, obesity, osteoporosis, and kidney disease. You should ensure that all salt you consume is iodized which boosts brain function. Try to read the ingredients of snacks you eat to track how much sodium you’re consuming. Eat fresh food, and reduce the number of processed foods and snacks.
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9. Artificial sweeteners
It may seem like a contradiction to tell people to avoid sugar and avoid sweeteners. Sugar substitutes can be an effective way to reduce your sugar intake. Many sugar-free or low-fat foods contain sweeteners rather than sugar. Natural sweeteners like honey are a healthier but still high-calorie alternative. Some artificial sweeteners are as sweet as sugar with a smaller amount. For instance, aspartame is 160-220 times sweeter than sugar. But WHO listed aspartame as a possible carcinogen. Food and drinks with artificial sweeteners can also flare up bowel disease. Artificial sweeteners should be mostly used by people trying to control their weight and lower their sugar use. It’s important to still be mindful of the calories of each food or drink with artificial sweeteners. They are also not a pass to over-indulge in processed snacks just because they’re sugar-free.
When you’re in your 30s, you may feel tired more often and are likely busier than ever. This age also comes with added chronic fatigue. Many working people who struggle with irregular sleep hours and busy work days will rely on caffeine to remain alert. The recommended daily allowance for caffeine is 400mg. That is about two cups of coffee or two cans of energy drinks. However, energy drinks add different amounts of caffeine and other stimulants.
Too much caffeine can lead to headaches, insomnia, anxiety, a lot of peeing, increased heart rate, and tremors. As you grow older, you can develop greater caffeine sensitivity. This means you get a bigger effect from caffeine from a smaller amount. You can opt for green tea which can be a stimulant, contains antioxidants, and has fewer health risks compared to coffee and energy drinks.
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