As if there weren't already enough reasons to lay off sodas and processed foods--what with all the fears about artificial sweeteners, food dyes, sodium and high-fructose corn syrup--researchers have recently discovered that the muffin you were craving all morning, or that Coke and cheeseburger you had for lunch, could make you look and feel old before your time.
Phosphates are a common food additive in sodas and processed foods such as meats, cheeses and bakery products. And since the 1990s, they have become a lot more common. Over the past 20 years, scientists estimate that the average daily adult consumption of phosphates from processed foods has more than tripled.
Phosphates improve the texture of many foods and make them look better. Too bad they won't do the same for you. According to the latest research, high levels of phosphates accelerate signs of aging, induce severe muscle and skin atrophy, and may increase the prevalence and severity of age-related health problems.
You don't have to give up phosphates altogether. In normal doses, phosphates are an important part of a healthy diet. But it might be a good idea to drink more water than soda, and to choose foods that are low on processing and high on nutritional value.
You'll certainly feel better. And according to the research, you'll look better, too.
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