Stuart Miles is the UK's leading anti-ageing, grooming and beauty expert. He can frequently be seen on national TV and on radio and has worked with an extensive list of celebrities who have called upon Stuart for his expert advice! He is also the founder of MilesYounger.com
I am not a believer in diets where you deny yourself the food you really love. That said, the evidence on these particular foods is overwhelming and so I avoid them where possible.
Biscuits that contain Hydrogenated Fats. It doesn’t take long to check the ingredients on a packet of biscuits to find that they may contain ‘partially hydrogenated fats’. These are dangerous because they contain trans-fats which raise our bad cholesterol levels and have other harmful effects on our system. You are better reaching for an all butter shortbread which may have a simple and natural list of ingredients, rather than for example, a highly processed custard cream!
Cured meats such as Bacon that contain Sodium Nitrite. It’s simple, look out for an ingredient called sodium nitrite which is used in the curing process. This is the chemical you may have read about that can cause harmful carcinogenic substances within the body which can cause damage to our cells. If you really need your bacon fix then consuming it with Vitamin C seems to help protect you from some of the harmful effects of cured meats.
Energy drinks that are packed with Sugar. Consuming a sugary drink on the go, with no protein or fibre to slow down absorption into your system, can do the most harm because your body will be under the most strain to process it. In the short term this can have immediate effect on the collagen and elastin within your skin. Diet fizzy drinks are just as bad as they are packed with artificial sweeteners and colourings. Try fruit juice with sparkling water using a 50/50 mix.
Frozen or Microwave Ready Meals. These meals can be full of fat, salt and sugar to hide the fact that the basic ingredients will probably be of low quality. They are inexpensive so great if you are on a budget but so many chefs, including Jamie Oliver, are now focusing on cheap, quick, easy and nutritious recipes that are easy to find online. Sometimes simple scrambled egg on wholemeal toast with avocado can be much more nutritious than these so called frozen culinary experiences.
Charred or blackened meats. Burnt meat on the BBQ in the summer maybe a secret love of yours but there is good reason to give it up. Meat that has been cooked until it’s blackened is very inflammatory to the body. This can lead to a break-down of collagen within the skin, leading to lines and wrinkles and a more aged appearance.
I’m a vegetarian and my husband isn’t but I am trying to persuade him. Is it true that it will keep you looking younger?
Katie in Swindon.
A vegetarian diet will mean you consume more of the antioxidant rich vegetables that are amazing for our skin and hair, so yes! Over consumption of red meat has also proved to be inflammatory to our system and can cause wrinkles. Be careful though with your protein intake as a vegetarian. These are the building blocks for our skin and hair to renew itself.
Do you have any tips for my neck as it seems to be ageing worse than my face?
Maria in Dunfermline.
Our necks are an often neglected area. When moisturising, always use upward strokes to stimulate the skin and avoid sagging and always use something with UV protection. As we age we lose the muscle tone very quickly in this area. At my website milesyounger.com I have some neck exercises that can tone and tighten this area and avoid the dreaded turkey neck!