ISLAMABAD - Just one glass of fruit juice can contain up to six teaspoons of sugar and can send insulin levels sky-rocketing. One glass of bottled fruit juice with breakfast doesn’t seem like it’s doing much harm, but the sugar content in that one glass alone is far higher than many realise.
It’s well known that foods high in sugar and salt are dangerous for the waistline, but they could also be ageing your body much faster than you realise. A number of foods have been identified that speed up the body’s ageing process, each having elements that place stress on the body, causing cell damage and physical signs of ageing. While some foods are obvious risks, there are five popular winter foods that can speed up the ageing process: A potent mix: The blend of sugar and carbohydrates in muffins and banana breads leads to inflammation in the body. It is common practice to grab a muffin or a piece of banana bread with a coffee in the morning, but this habit could be contributing to long-term harm.
‘The potent mix of saturated fat and sugar mean that processed carbohydrates are a nightmare when it comes to increasing inflammation in the body,’ Ms Burrell said.
Besides impacting the skin, high sugar levels can actually change the kind of collagen the body has, transforming it to a more fragile kind which both looks and feels less soft.
Sugar syrup: The ‘chai’ in chai lattes is often a pre-mixed syrup which can contain as much as six teaspoons of sugar in a single serve and later lead to significant skin damage.
Chai lattes are a popular alternative to coffee, with they’re sweet, foamy texture a go-to winter drink for many.
However, most coffee shops don’t brew their chai lattes with chai leaves, instead opting for a pre-mixed syrup.
‘Pre-mixed chai can contain as much as six teaspoons of sugar in a single serve and when you combine that with the sugars found naturally in milk you have a sugar bomb hidden in a seemingly healthy drink choice,’ Ms Burrell said.
When the sugar enters the bloodstream, it forms harmful molecules that damage protein in the body, especially those responsible for collagen, leading to damaged, brittle skin that is susceptible to wrinkles.
Coffee isn’t a great alternative however, with the caffeine depleting the body of moisture and making the skin look aged and the acid causing enamel damage over time.
A cut to preparation means a cut to nutrition: Packet soups, especially those off the shelf, can have as much as 1000 milligrams of sodium, leading to fluid retention and cell damage
Packet soups are an easy alternative to slaving away at the stove all day, many of them simply requiring you to add boiling water. But the with the halved preparation time, comes half the nutritional benefits.‘With more than 800 - 1000 milligrams of sodium in a single serve of many of them, packet soups are likely to leave you bloated and retaining fluid,’ Ms Burrell said. One glass too many: Just one glass of fruit juice can contain up to six teaspoons of sugar and can send insulin levels sky-rocketing
One glass of bottled fruit juice with breakfast doesn’t seem like it’s doing much harm, but the sugar content in that one glass alone is far higher than many realise.
‘Not only is fruit juice highly acidic, which destroys tooth enamel but with more than six teaspoons of sugar per glass, juice will send your insulin levels sky rocketing,’ Ms Burrell said. ‘The high insulin levels are linked to both inflammation and weight gain.’ The sugar also strips the enamel from the teeth, while the acids make teeth more vulnerable to stains.
Fatty foods: The trans fat in fatty and fried foods has been specifically linked to cellular damage
Fatty, fried foods are a favourite treat after a long day or night out, but those treats could be adding up over time.
It’s not news that these foods are of little nutritional benefit, but their contribution to the ageing process is significant.
‘Not only are our favourite fried foods packed full of salt, but the trans fats found in many fast foods means you should consume as little commercially fried and packaged foods as possible as they have been specifically linked to cellular damage,’ Mrs Burrell said.
Trans fats have also been known to increase UV vulnerability, the number one cause of ageing.

Sitting comfortably jacks up anxiety level
Are you sitting comfortably? Then your anxiety levels may be mounting.
Scientists have now found that long periods sitting on the settee are bad for your mental health as well as being terrible for your body.
The tests on adults and adolescents found couch potatoes who spend their waking hours playing computer games, surfing the Internet and watching TV are more likely to suffer debilitating anxiety attacks.
Scientists have found that long periods sitting on the settee are bad for your mental health as well as being terrible for your body (file picture)
Anxiety is a normal reaction to certain situations such as exams, having a baby, starting a new job, or being diagnosed with an illness.
But sufferers of anxiety feel like this most of the time, worrying excessively and interfering with their daily life.
It also can result in physical symptoms including a pounding heartbeat, difficulty breathing, tense muscles and headaches.
The research adds to the catalogue of woes that are increasingly being linked to flopping out on the sofa.
Obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and the bone-wasting disease osteoporosis have all been linked to sitting down.
But few researchers have examined the mental impact of sitting.
Megan Teychenne, lead researcher and lecturer at Deakin University Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research (C-PAN) in Australia, said: ‘Anecdotally - we are seeing an increase in anxiety symptoms in our modern society, which seems to parallel the increase in sedentary behavior. Thus, we were interested to see whether these two factors were in fact linked.
Tests on adults and adolescents found couch potatoes who spend their waking hours playing computer games, surfing the Internet and watching TV are more likely to suffer debilitating anxiety attacks (file image)
‘Also, since research has shown positive associations between sedentary behavior and depressive symptoms, this was another foundation for further investigating the link between sedentary behavior and anxiety symptoms.’
The researchers analysed nine studies that examined links between sedentary behaviour and anxiety. These ranged from television viewing/computer use to total sitting time, which included sitting while watching television, sitting while on transport and work-related sitting.
Two of the studies included children/adolescents while the remaining seven included adults.
It was found in five of the nine studies that an increase in sedentary behavior was associated with an increased risk of anxiety.
In four of the studies, total sitting time was associated with increased risk of anxiety.
The evidence about screen time (TV and computer use) was less strong but one study did find that 36% of secondary school students that had more than 2 hours of screen time were more like to experience anxiety compared to those who had less than 2 hours.
The link could be due to disturbances in sleep, social withdrawal and the negative effects on health.
Teychenne added: ‘It is important that we understand the behavioral factors that may be linked to anxiety - in order to be able to develop evidence-based strategies in preventing/managing this illness. Our research showed that evidence is available to suggest a positive association between sitting time and anxiety symptoms - however, the direction of this relationship still needs to be determined through longitudinal and interventional studies.’