Top 9 Foods You Should Not Eat After 40

Updated: 11/01/2019

When you are over 40, you have to pay more attention to your health rather than when you are younger since you may easily have more risk of diseases or worsen conditions such as high cholesterol, arthritis, diabetes, etc. at that time. At that stage, it is essential to exercise regularly and maintain your diet as well, which means that you should not eat some food that you have eaten before to have good health. In our article today on Effective Remedies, we will talk about the foods you should not eat after 40. Let’s get started!

Top 9 Foods Which Should Be Avoided Since Childhood

1. Soda

Soda is cheap, easy to buy, and tasty. However, many studies show that soda has negative effects on our health. The Harvard School of Public Health[1] shows that people who consume 1-2 cans of sodas or more daily will have more risk of suffering from type 2 diabetes than people who rarely do this. People with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) also need to avoid drinking soda. Moreover, drinking a can of soda daily for 20 years can cause a 20% higher risk of having a heart attack and dying from a heart attack. The risk of gout also increases (75%) in people who consume a can a day. A study published in 2007 pointed out that consuming soda could reduce intakes of calcium, milk, and other nutrients and development of risk of several medical problems such as diabetes[2]. Besides, soda consumption (including sugar-sweetened and low-calorie sodas) is related to a higher risk of stroke[3]

2. Hot dogs

Like soda, hot dogs are very popular because they are easy to cook and inexpensive. However, hot dogs are considered to be unhealthy food due to their bad impacts on our health, especially when people are over 40. According to a study published in 2006, high consumption of processed meat (including hot dogs) could lead to a higher risk of stomach cancer[4]. 22 experts found out that eating 50 grams of processed meat daily made the risk of colorectal cancer higher by 18% (the equivalent of about four strips of bacon or one hot dog)[5]. Additionally, a study in 2009 indicated that consuming processed meat such as bacon, hot dogs, salami might cause 42% higher coronary heart disease and 19% higher diabetes mellitus risk[6]

3. Fried Food 

foods you should not eat after 40 - fried food

Frying food will make food more delicious. However, fried food is not good for our health, especially for people over 40. A study in 2014 reported that frequent fried food consumption could make the risk of incident type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease higher[7]. To support these findings, a study published in 2015 showed that consuming fried food regularly could lead to a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart failure, obesity, and hypertension[8]. Therefore, there is a close relationship between fried food consumption and a higher risk of developing chronic diseases in adults.

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4. Margarine

Margarine contains trans fats which make margarine become harmful for our health. Trans fats are also inexpensive and tasty, so it is used commonly. However, because of trans fats, your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels increase meanwhile your good (HDL) cholesterol levels decrease. Therefore, consuming trans fats raise the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke[9]. In addition, to support the harmfulness of trans fats, the US FDA in 2015 indicated that trans fats should be taken from the food due to their bad effects on health[10]. The greatest danger of trans fats is to distort the cell membranes. Trans fats develop the risk of coronary heart disease. This fats also affect badly on the brain and nervous system because of changing the ability of neurons to communicate. Moreover, there is more and more evidence to prove that trans fats are associated with the increase in Alzheimer's disease and cognitive decline because of age.

5. Canned Food

Canned food is easy to buy and very convenient. However, due to its bad effects on health, people, especially those who are over 40, should avoid this type of food. The canned food has a lot of sodium, and it is difficult for older people to filter out excess sodium. The article published in the American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology indicated that the ability to get rid of excess sodium will reduce when we are older[11]

Furthermore, canned food is usually covered by BPA or Bisphenol A, which is an industrial chemical to prevent bacteria from entering. The danger is that small amounts of BPA in food packaging can transfer to food and drinks, which can lead to hormone disruptor. A study which is conducted with 6,000 children and adults showed that people who ate canned food regularly (two or more daily) would have 54 percent more BPA in their urine than people who ate less or do not consume canned food[12]. Another study of Jennifer Hartle, PhD, a postdoctoral scholar at the Stanford Prevention Research Center at the School of Medicine and her colleagues also proved that canned food caused the increase of urinary BPA concentrations[13]. A study published in 2016 informed that there is an association between BPA and the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus[14].

6. Energy Drink

The consumption of energy drink becomes widely because these products are useful in increasing energy and enhancing mental alertness and physical performance. Nevertheless, this kind of drink is not good for health at all. Energy drink usually contains caffeine, which can lead to serious heart and blood vessel problems[15]. Caffeine is also considered to be a reason for anxiety, sleep problems, digestive problems, and dehydration[15]. According to a mini-review in 2017, although energy drink is beneficial in improving the physical performance, it has many negative effects on health such as risk-seeking behaviors, poor mental health, adverse cardiovascular effects, and metabolic, renal, or dental conditions due to its ingredients like sugar[16] Seriously, a study in 2015 reported that overconsumption of energy drink which has high caffeine could cause insomnia, agitation, tremors and cardiovascular complications including sudden death[17].

7. Fast Food

No matter what age you are, you should always try to avoid fast food because of its bad effects on health. You can easily find a fast food restaurant or buy fast food online, but do not do this. Many studies had a conclusion that consuming fast food twice or more a week would lead to poor health, added weight, and obesity[18]. Moreover, according to a study in 2016, fast food is one of the causes of cardiovascu­lar diseases[20]. This study also showed that there is an association between fast food and a higher risk of obesity when you eat fast food once weekly while eating fast food more than twice a week will cause a higher risk of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and death from coronary heart disease.

8. Fruit Juice

foods you should not eat after 40 - fruit juice

We all think that fruit juice is very healthy. According to a new study in 2017, the juice is beneficial to protect our body from cardiovascular diseases because it has antioxidant effects, improves aspects of the cardiovascular system and endothelial function, and prevents hyperhomocysteinemia[21]. However, when you are over 40, you should limit the amount of fruit juice to your body. Fruit juice contains fructose which can harm the liver, cause diabetes, and obesity when being used too much[22].  Additionally, fruit juice may have added sugars and sweeteners, which often appear in the soft drink. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association proved that women had twice as much at risk of gout if they use fruit juice or sodas daily because of too much fructose[23]. Another study showed that eating the whole fruit would reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes while consuming fruit juice could increase the risk of this disease[24].

9. White Flour Food

The products such as cakes, white bread, and pasta have refined carbs in which most of the minerals, vitamins, and fiber are removed. This food also has a high glycemic index, which  can increase blood glucose levels. According to many studies, consuming too much food with a high glycemic index can cause a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes[25]. A study published in 2016 showed that middle-aged and older urban Chinese women might suffer from the higher risks of total, ischemic, and hemorrhagic stroke due to the high dietary GI primarily coming from high intakes of refined grains might increase[26]

In conclusion, especially when you are 40 plus, you have to focus more on your health. According to the evidence in studies, you should avoid or limit the above foods to have good health. Besides, you should drink enough water, exercise, get enough sleep, and have a health examination regularly.

Hope that the information in this post is useful for you. All content provided is for informational & educational purposes. We recommend you consult a healthcare professional to determine your health condition to have a suitable diet when you enter the middle-age.

Do you know other foods you should not eat after 40? If yes, please let your suggestions and opinions in the comment box below. If you want to read more about the benefits of food on health, you can visit the SuperFoods page.

Note: You may read this article was medically reviewed/ fact checked by Rachelle Caves, RDN, CNSC, CPT at (Link).

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