It seems that every day we are being told to cut down on a food group, or simply stop eating foods we once thought were good for us.
A new book called Future Proof Your Skin has joined the league of anti-ageing diet books and in it author Dr Stefanie Williams, a dermatologist and medical doctor, is asking us to toss out some of our out-dated food beliefs and challenge our traditional food pyramid.
Dr Williams, the founder of European Dermatology London, makes some pretty controversial statements in the book, claiming to know the secret to slowing down the ageing process. She says it’s as simple as “changing the way you eat”.
She puts the boot into some current food fads, claiming that it’s perfectly OK to eat chocolate, that lentils age you, fasting is healthy and that we shouldn’t fear saturated fat as it’s actually sugar and carbohydrates that are prematurely ageing us.
In a short video on Williams’ website she crosses out the food pyramid and suggests modern research shows a new way of thinking.
“We all know what we need to do to look after our skin. However, did you know that what you eat is just as important?” Dr Williams says, before taking a swing at traditional notions of healthy food.
“The latest research shows that a lot of what we have been told is good for us, is actually not so healthy after all.
“A lot of so called healthy food makes us age prematurely and can shorten our life span. These foods can also contribute to a number of modern day diseases.”
She’s referring to the big four obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
“On the other hand what we have been told to avoid, is actually good for our skin and our health.”
Before you run to ditch your lentils for a box of chocolates, take a look at some of Dr Williams’ claims…
Sugar makes your skin age
This includes natural sweeteners like honey, and sugar found in fruit.
Brown carbs are still carbs
Even if you are eating wholegrain rice and pasta, you’re not out of the woods. The starch found in all carbohydrates will still cause premature ageing.
Say no to lentils
Despite the overwhelming healthy properties in lentils, they are still high in carbs. She recommends sweet potatoes, yams and squash for a more nutritious carb hit.
Fat in moderation is good for your skin
Dr Williams suggests we have become too concerned with cutting out all fat from our diets, she says research shows fat can be good for us and can help to minimise wrinkles. She says sugar is linked to a greater risk of cardiovascular disease than saturated fat.
Be a goog girl
Forget avoiding eggs for breakfast, cholesterol is important for good health as it helps our bodies produce oestrogen and testosterone, and vitamin D.
Despite the latest food craze that suggests eating smaller, more regular meals, Dr Williams claims that eating eight small meals a day will keep your sugar levels high and prematurely age you.
Fast and eat irregularly
Dr Williams controversially suggests that fasting for 24 hours twice a week is her best anti-ageing tip, as well as trying to eat your meals at irregular times to mimic our ancestors’ feast and famine way of life.
No to milk, yes to cheese
You don’t have to avoid all dairy says Dr Williams, just milk as it significantly raises your insulin level. If you want to eat yoghurt and cheese you can, just make sure you eat the full fat versions.
Chocolate gets the thumbs up
Forget the sugary milk or white choc block – they’re still out. Dr Williams encourages you to eat good quality dark chocolate for all its skin replenishing antioxidants.