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Foods that cause you to look your worst

Sarah Kelsey is a lifestyle writer, editor and spokesperson based in Toronto. She was the editor of AOL/The Huffington Post Canada’s StyleList, Style and Living sites. Today, she's a freelancer writing for some of North America’s top pub...

Foods that make you ugly

You've read near countless articles on the foods that promote optimal health and beauty, but what are the foods that make you look and feel ugly? Here is our list of the top five foods to avoid and healthier alternatives to keep you looking your best.

Woman Eating Cake

Trans fats

Problem: Many of the products you nab from grocery store shelves are loaded with this unhealthy type of fat. Added to food to increase its shelf life, these fat globules can increase your risk of developing dozens of conditions including heart disease and high cholesterol. What's more, foods high in trans fat tend to be devoid of important nutrients, meaning the look of your hair, skin and nails will ultimately suffer.

Solution: Reach for wholesome foods containing only monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats. Common sources include fish, olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds. These healthy fats will leave your whole body feeling and looking ultra supple.

Sugar

Problem: Consumption of sugar-coated products have spiked over the past two decades. How does this negatively impact your beauty? Gorging on the sweet stuff puts you at risk of developing a slew of health problems, including obesity. What's more, because of the way sugar interacts with the proteins and muscle fibers in the body, eating too much could lead to sagging, aged-looking skin. It could also contribute to premature tooth decay.

Solution: Read the nutrition labels on some of your favorite products and ditch the ones that are high in sugar (especially the ones that list high fructose corn syrup as one of its main ingredients).

Salt

Problem: World Action on Salt and Health recently conducted an international study analyzing the sodium content in some of our favorite foods (cereal, lunch meat, etc.), and the results were startling. People in the United States consume more than twice the recommended amount of salt every single day. This sodium overdose means you are putting yourself at risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as bloating, cramping and weight gain.

Solution: Slowly cut back on the amount of salt you add to your food and read nutrition labels to make sure you're not reaching for foods soaked in the mineral.

Alcohol

Problem: While it's true having a drink or two once in a while isn't necessarily unhealthy, overdosing on drinks or suffering hangovers can ravage your body. Not only is alcohol hard on your liver and kidneys, it can also throw your digestive tract into a tailspin. The result? Weight gain, bloating and skin dehydration (which, over time, can lead to premature wrinkling, bloodshot eyes and even bags around the eyes).

Solution: Indulge in a drink every once in a while, but lay off of binge drinking and heavy partying. (Are your drinking habits healthy?)

Carbohydrates

Problem: Our bodies rely on carbohydrates to perform many everyday functions (from breathing to walking). However, if the carbohydrates you consume are primarily from "beige" or "white" products, foods that are overly processed or full of trans fat, you could be putting your heart's health at risk. You could also end up feeling and looking, tired, bloated and grumpy.

Solution: Reach for wholesome carbs like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains which are minimally processed.

More ways to improve your health and beauty

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