The 5 Worst Foods For Longevity

The 5 Worst Foods For Longevity

The concept of Blue Zones grew out of observing areas of the world, where people live the longest lives. Places like Okinawa, Japan, Loma Linda, California, or the Barbara region of Sardinia all have people who live over 100 years. These regions are healthy hotspots and show how much diet can influence how healthy you are as you age. 

Research suggests that the Mediterranean diet may be the key to healthy aging. This diet focuses on fresh fruits, vegetables, health fats like olive oil, and fish. Not only is this way of eating automatically anti-inflammatory, but it also is longevity-friendly. On the other side of the coin, there are many foods that can shave years off your life. Poor diet accounts for about one in every five deaths, according to a 2019 study. That is concerning because many of the foods that contribute to diet-related health issues are commonplace in the Standard American Diet. Below, we detail the worst of the worst and hope that you avoid these foods if you want a longer, healthier life. 

Processed Meats

Bacon, hot dogs, sausages, corned beef, roast beef, and deli meats all fall under the processed meat umbrella. The World Health Organization (WHO) categorized processed meats as Group 1 carcinogens. That means that there is sufficient evidence that links the chronic consumption of these foods to an increased risk of colorectal cancer. The WHO reviewed hundreds of studies over many years before making this declaration. Additionally, there are no current guidelines that indicate how much processed meat is safe to consume regularly. Enjoying 50 grams of salami (about one hot dog) daily is linked to a 16% increased risk of colon cancer. The less processed meat you eat, the better!

Ultra-Processed Foods

While on the topic of processed meats, let’s shift gears to ultra-processed foods. It’s estimated that Americans consume more than 50% of the recommended daily amount of sodium every day. Ultra-processed foods, which include packaged snacks, help people exceed the recommended levels. While eating a bag of chips won’t end your life, recent research shows a link between the chronic consumption of ultra-processed foods to accelerated markers of aging. To understand that connection, you need to understand telomeres, which are associated with aging. Longer telomeres generally mean a longer life. Telomeres sit at the end of chromosomes and as they shorten, cell DNA becomes more prone to damage. That means that lifespan ultimately declines. Reducing your intake of ultra-processed foods, then, may give you a better shot at healthy aging

Fried And Charred Meats

By now, we hope that you understand the danger of processed meats and ultra-processed foods. Charring those processed meats, or other animal proteins, over high heat can also pose a threat to your health. High-heat grilling or frying are the two biggest offenders. Both of those cooking preparations can produce heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrogens (PAHs), both of which are harmful compounds. Each of these compounds form as a result of the interaction with high heat, protein components, fats, and creatinine. These compounds are mutagenic, meaning they have the ability to cause cell mutations that increase the risk of cancer. How many of these compounds are formed depends on the types of meats you cook and how you prepare them. A word to the wise: charring your chicken to a crisp may char years off of your life. 


Yes, folks, the social lubricant doesn’t do you any favors regarding longevity. Experts agree that alcohol is far from healthy, especially since it increases the risk of cancer. Alcohol also is the second leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Additional research shows that alcohol increases the risk of colorectal and breast cancers, even at low intake levels. Alcohol can also suppress immune function, which is especially problematic in older adults. While a few drinks here and there won’t be the end of you, drinking everyday doesn’t contribute to healthy aging. 

Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

If you’re sipping soda every day, you are headed down a painfully unhealthy road. When it comes to added sugars in the American diet, sugar-sweetened beverages are leading the charge. Chronic consumption of these drinks can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, and heart disease. Evidence suggests that sugar can also mess with your mind. Chronically high blood sugar levels can increase the risk of cognitive decline, according to a 2018 longitudinal study. Researchers noticed that study participants with diabetes experienced more rapid declines in memory and executive function during the study period compared to adults without diabetes.

Refer A Friend give 15%
get $20