"The Picture of Dorian Gray" is a novel about a young man whose portrait ages while he stays youthful, despite the terrible things he does to his body and to others.
After decades pass, the tables turn in an instant — and Dorian turns into an aged and grotesque corpse.
That’s not a bad picture of what happens to your body when you gobble down nutrition-stripped, ultra-processed foods (UPFs).
We've long known that UPFs contribute to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Now, a new study out of Spain published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looks at how UPFs age you prematurely.
The researchers found that eating these fake foods severely shortens your telomeres — the ends of chromosomes that protect them from deterioration and help repair errors in your cells.
When you eat more than three servings of ultra-processed foods daily, your telomeres are twice as likely to be shortened than those of a person who avoids UPFs.
And the shorter your telomeres, the older you feel.
The study also found that those who ate the most UPFs had telomeres reduced in length by 82%. According to other research, four servings of UPFs daily increases your risk for premature death by 62%.
Unfortunately, more than half of Americans' calories come from UPFs. But fortunately, you know what you need to do: Buy fresh, whole foods and ditch added sugars, refined grains, processed meats, and packaged goods with a long list of ingredients that come from a lab.