Maybe the idea of smaller waistline has not been enough motivation to finally get you to curb that pesky sweet tooth. What if I told you that ditching the sweets can prove to give you smoother, less wrinkled skin? I know that may not be what you want to hear as you finish up that slice of chocolate cake, but experts now believe that those who have a diet high in sugar for most of their life have more wrinkles and duller skin. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
At the root of this process is glycation, where the sugar you consume attaches to your bloodstream’s proteins to form advanced glycation end products or AGEs for short. The problem is that the more sugar you allow into your daily diet the more AGEs you develop. What’s worse the more sugar you consume the more AGE’s accumulates.
What damage does AGE’s cause? It affects collagen, and elastin. You know what keeps your skin firm and elastic. When your skin becomes damaged it begins to sag and wrinkle.
Ok, so what you’re telling me is that a high sugar diet damages my collage? Well, it’s not that simple, you see besides damaging collagen, a high sugar diet also affects what type of collagen you have. What type of collagen I have? Yes, you see the majority of the collagen in our skin are types I, II, and III, with type III being the longest lasting. However, the process of glycation transforms type III collagen into type I, which is the more fragile delicate form of collagen. Ouch!
You might want to sit down for this one. You see AGEs deactivates your body’s natural antioxidant enzymes, leaving you more vulnerable to sun damage. Now that I got your attention, you may be wondering if there is anything you can do to reverse the damage or slow it down. The answer is yes!
1. Become a detective and cut out as much of the sweet stuff as possible.
I am not saying that reducing sugar in all its form is an easy task. The truth is that sugar is in just about everything, even the so called healthy whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. They all turn to glucose the very type of sugar that fuels glycation. So imagine how much worse it is when you give in to sugar laden foods like pastries, candy and the white stuff you put in your coffee to sweeten it. So be selective in the amount of sugar you allow into your body.
2. Run, not walk away from high fructose corn syrup.
This is the worst offender and because it’s cheaply made it is found in many processed foods, even those you would not consider a sweet treat, like ketchup. Why? Because it produces more AGEs than any other type. This form of sugar in particular is an extremely pro-inflammatory and one you want to avoid if you deal with any type of chronic pain.
3. Need another reason?
A diet high in sugar also causes the growth of fat cells around your vital organs, what is commonly seen in diabetics and those who suffer from heart disease.
4. Is there anything else I can do to slow down the aging process?
Well, besides the obvious reduction of sugar in your diet. The best product to rebuild collagen are those products that contain retinoids. You can find retinol in over the counter serums and prescription creams. However, do understand that the best defense against aging skin is what you consume. Preventing is much easier, than correcting.
Let’s face it we all want to age gracefully, but in order to do so we will have to do more than slab on one expensive cream on top of another. The truth is we will have to be willing to lower our sugar consumption. Which is yet another good reason to eat a low carb plan, since low carb foods are naturally low in sugar. So if nothing else has motivated you to change your eating habits perhaps this just might.