We’ve been told for year that we need to watch how much salt and sugar we consume, would you have guess that one of the reasons for this is because it can make you look older than you are? Many of us know the health benefits of eating less sugar and salt, but if you knew it was an anti aging tip, you’d probably be even more tempted to avoid the two ingredients. Experts have gathered enough evidence to prove the link between high sodium and sugar consumption, obesity and accelerated aging.
High Salt Intake Leads to Faster Cell Aging
American researchers found that teenagers who have excess sodium levels from eating salty foods are beginning to show several signs of faster cell aging. In addition, these eating habit also puts them at greater risk of having heart disease. In another study, researchers from Georgia Regents University claim that reducing salt intake can significantly help slow down the aging process of human cells.
Faster Cell Aging as Manifested in Telomeres Length
The signs of aging were evident in the length of telomeres.
What are Telomeres?
Telomeres are those biological caps located at the end of each chromosome that protect our DNA from being damaged. Salt intake contributes to the accumulation of fats in the body and this occurrence was found by experts to shorten the length of telomeres.
- This was proven in a study conducted on 766 youngsters aged 14-18 years old. Experts found out that obese adolescents who have higher salt intake also had shorter telomeres length. Although telomeres naturally decrease in length with age, high salt consumption is also a factor in speeding up the shortening process.
- A team of experts from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey studied the telomeres structure of 1,122 women between the ages 18 to 76 and 119 of these subjects were obese. They concluded that as an individual’s body weight increases, the length of their telomeres decreases. Women who have lean bodies have longer telomeres than women who were obese.
- Another important discovery from the research is that people who have higher levels of leptin (which is a hormone produced by fat cells) were also found to have shorter telomeres. When telomere length decreases to an extent that they become too short to divide, they die, then signs of aging begin.
Increased Salt Intake Leads to Increased Sugar Intake
A Finnish study revealed that increased consumption of salty foods increases a person’s risk of being obese or overweight. Individuals who have excessive salt consumption also have a higher tendency to consume more sugary beverages. Scientists from the University of Kuopio and University of Helsinki stated that increased salt intake increases the desire to consume sugar-laden fizzy drinks.
In combination, high salt and sugar consumption are a large contributor to weight gain, thereby increasing an individual’s risk of serious lifestyle-related illnesses such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
Minimizing Salt Intake Can Lead to Reduced Mortality Rate
When experts studied the medical data of Finland residents, they were able to ascertain that reducing salt intake by 30 per cent was enough to lessen the mortality rate by up to 80 per cent in people who suffered from coronary heart disease and stroke. By reducing the consumption of salt the lifespan of Finnish individuals was found to increase by an average of 6 to 7 years.