If you frequent Sephora, the Wellness section of book stores, watch Oprah or read HBFIT--you're familiar with Dr. Perricone. For all of you that are just getting acquainted--he is a celebrity dermatologist/author/product creator/overall skin wizard. His philosophy is so far beyond surface-level products --instead he approaches skincare from a holistic perspective. After enjoying one to many BBQ's this summer, we asked him to give us the real deal on what we should and should not be eating to get our glow back.
- High-quality protein, like that found in fish, shellfish, poultry and tofu;
- Low-glycemic (will not provoke a glycemic response when consumed in moderation) carbohydrates including colorful fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains such as old-fashioned oatmeal, legumes such as beans and lentils;
- Healthy fats, such as those found in cold water fish (especially wild Alaskan salmon, halibut, sardines, herring, anchovies, etc.), nuts, seeds, and olive oil
- 8 -10 glasses of pure spring water per day
- Anti-oxidant rich beverages such as green tea
These foods and beverages act as natural anti-inflammatories and help to maintain normal levels of insulin and blood sugar.
And if you want radiant, supple skin don’t go low fat or fat free! After water, fat is the most abundant substance in your body. Fats from animal (especially cold water fish and fish oil) and vegetable sources (extra virgin olive oil and extra virgin coconut oil, nuts, seeds avocados), provide a concentrated source of energy in the diet; they also provide the building blocks for cell membranes, for hormones, and for prostaglandins.
Don’t forget to eat plenty of protein. High-quality protein, like that found in fish, shellfish, poultry, grass fed beef and lamb and tofu for cellular repair. In general, women often do not eat enough protein—a problem not usually seen with men. This is one reason that men can often look younger than women of the same age. This ongoing lack of protein is first notable in the face, as the features become soft looking. The sharp definition, contoured cheekbones and that great jaw line all becomes blurred. When the supply of protein is depleted, the body is then forced to feed upon itself. This causes both tissue and muscle to breakdown. Protein cannot be stored in the body. Because it is essential for cellular repair, the days that we don’t eat enough protein are the days that we are accelerating aging. Protein foods will also give you a boost in alertness and your ability to concentrate—perfect for focusing on important mental tasks.
WATCH OUT FOR:
Sugars and Starches: Human beings are programmed by millennia of evolutionary pressures to seek out sugars, which are the most readily usable form of fuel for the cells in our brains and muscles. Fortunately, other than occasionally stumbling upon a comb of honey, simple sugars were not readily available to our hunter-gatherer forbearers—much to their benefit. Unfortunately the opposite is true today, where food manufacturers and restaurateurs add sugars and other toxic, pro-aging forms of sweeteners such as HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) to foods in various guises. Sadly, this common practice has ruined the American palate beginning in infancy and habituated us to expect sweetness not just from pastries and candies, but from foods and beverages of all kinds.
Perhaps the quickest way to accelerate the aging process is to eat foods that convert rapidly to sugar upon ingestion. These include pasta, baked goods, snack foods such as chips, pretzels, rice and corn cakes, etc., soda, fruit juices (eat the fruit instead), French fries, cookies, cakes, pastries, breads, in short, avoid sugary, starchy foods.
Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils: To make hydrogenated oils (so-called “vegetable lard”), the EFAs in vegetable oils like cottonseed or soy are transformed, by catalytic conversion, into saturated fatty acids. The purpose is to make the oils in processed foods much more resistant to oxidation (rancidity) during months spent on the shelf or in a freezer. When vegetable oils are hydrogenated, the remaining unsaturated fatty acids get changed from their normal "cis" from to the "trans" form. Unfortunately, these man-made saturated and trans unsaturated fatty acids promote inflammation, arteriosclerosis, and cardiovascular disease.
Image via Bond & Taylor.