Say Goodbye to Sugar Wrinkles
Say what? A new Botox procedure? Not quite.
While we all know that sugar plays a significant role in weight gain and many diseases that significantly impact our health, like weight gain and/or Type 2 Diabetes for example, the influence it has on other aspects of our body, including our skin and aging processes isn’t as well known.
The deal is- sugar doesn’t do the body good no matter how you shake it.
Here’s the science behind how sugar makes us age faster and appear older than we really are:
Sugar molecules, in the form of glucose and fructose, link themselves to the proteins present in the collagen and elastin that support the dermis (our skin), producing Advanced Glycation End products or “AGEs.” (1) Increased accumulation of AGEs in human tissue has now been associated with end stage renal disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and, recently, skin aging. (3) This crosslinking of the collagen with a sugar molecule causes the skin to become stiff and inflexible instead of soft and supple. When we eat high-glycemic, high-sugar carbohydrates it causes an immediate glycation of the protein in our tissues. Another interesting thing to note is that this glycation process is the same as that which discolors and toughens food in storage; think tanning leather or beef jerky. (2) Ummm, yes, something we definitely want to avoid when it comes to our skin!
The skin we can see is obviously not the only skin we have to worry about. These “sugar bonds” can occur throughout the body. The sugar molecule can attach itself to our arteries, veins, bones, and even our brains. This increases cellular inflammation resulting in the breakdown of organ systems and the deterioration of the body. (2)
So what to eat to age regress a decade in how you look and feel?
- Eggs instead of cereal
- Unsweetened almond milk instead of skim milk
- Full fat heavy cream or half & half instead of flavored creamers
- Fish or animal protein with veggies instead of pasta
- Berries like strawberries and blueberries over tropical fruits like grapes and mango
- First cold pressed extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil instead of canola and vegetable oil
Darn that sugar; it’s like a bad boyfriend….or girlfriend. NOW is the time to let that relationship go along with all the wrinkles it’s caused!
- Danby FW. Nutrition and aging skin: sugar and glycation. Clin Dermatol. 2010 Jul-Aug;28(4):409-11. doi: 10.1016/j.clindermatol.2010.03.018. PMID: 20620757.
- Bennet, Connie. Sugar Shock!. Berkley Books, 2007.
- Nguyen HP, Katta R. Sugar Sag: Glycation and the Role of Diet in Aging Skin. Skin Therapy Lett. 2015 Nov;20(6):1-5. PMID: 27224842.