Anti-aging specialist Nicholas Perricone M.D., says the effects of sugar on skin is up there with smoking and the sun as a leading cause of wrinkles. Many other anti-aging doctors including Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Howard Murad, Dr. Jessica Wu and Dr. Adrienne Denese advise us to avoid sugar.
Sugar causes inflammation and reduces the power of collagen to rebuild the skin’s structure and increase the rate at which collagen breaks down naturally.
When our blood sugar spikes quickly and repeatedly, the sugar attaches to the proteins (collagen and elastin) in our skin, rendering them stiff and inflexible.
This process is called “glycation.” These harmful sugar molecules accumulate and damage adjacent proteins, which leads to sagging skin, and wrinkles.
Glycation also robs the skin of its natural moisturizer – hyaluronic acid – resulting in greater dryness and sagging.
Natural sugars are a little better for us, because they raise it less, or more slowly, and they do contain some nutrients (white sugar has none), but, all sugars raise blood sugar level. Fruit juice has a lot of sugar, without the fiber too much of it can raise the blood glucose level as fast as regular sugar.
The work of a hormone specialist, Dr. Robert Lustig, called “Sugar: The Bitter Truth,” (on Youtube) concludes that diabetes and obesity levels have risen since the “low fat” craze began. Processed “fat free” foods generally contain more sugar or High Fructose Corn Syrup, which helps make them taste better after all the delicious fat has been removed.
Omitting sugar from our diets entirely is probably never going to happen, because even fruits, vegetables and whole grains turn to glucose (the type of sugar that fuels glycation) when digested. It’s a good idea to keep it to minimum if we care about our health and youth. Sugars (ALL sugars, even natural sweeteners like agave, honey, and maple syrup) raise our blood glucose level.
Here are some recommendations to consider:
- Read labels. If sugar is in the first five ingredients on a label, you would be wise to avoid the product.
- High-temperature cooking breaks down collagen and exacerbates glycation, go for slow cooking methods like soups and stews and eat as many uncooked foods like salads and dips as possible.
- Consider omitting soda drinks and try carbonated water with a splash of lemon or lime, tea, or coconut water.
- Stop adding sugar to food and beverages. Replace it with honey or maple syrup, but use the least amount your taste buds will allow.
- Drink less fruit juice (which is all sugar, no fiber) and eat the whole fruit instead. Or make smoothies from low sugar fruits, like strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries.
- Eat fewer high glycemic carbohydrates like white flour, white rice and pasta. Instead, eat whole grains, like brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa or whole wheat pasta.
- Keep added sugar to no more than 10% of total calories, this varies according to age so if you’re a 45-year-old woman, that’s approx 160 calories of added sugar.
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Does any of this sound familiar to you?
You know you need to break free from unhealthy eating habits you know are bad for you?
You want to enjoy delicious and nourishing food while boosting your metabolism?
You’ve tried so many diets that haven’t brought you the results you are looking for?
You wonder if there are foods you’re sensitive to that may be preventing you from losing weight?
You struggle with nagging cravings, like wanting something sweet, that sabotage your efforts to eat healthy?
Your low energy and extra weight, stop you from living your life with more passion and vibrancy?
Are you feeling overwhelmed with how to start a healthier lifestyle?