I’m sorry it’s taken so long for me to follow up on the tragic truths of sugar! It’s been a hectic couple of weeks.
You understand… haha.
Let’s talk about some face facts regarding sugar intake. First off, let’s establish the fact that when I say “sugar”, I’m referring to anything that converts into glucose in your body. This includes all carbs, fructose, glucose, sucrose, lactose, … ya know… all of the “-ose’s”. When you devour a serving of sugar, whether in some yummy pie or from the carbohydrates in a pretzels or a bread stick, your body converts that sugar to glucose. You need glucose, as it serves as the main source of fuel for your body. However, too much of any good thing leads to some problems.
We’ve all been there…
So, if the promise of a smaller jean size hasn’t curbed your sweet tooth, maybe the desire for smooth skin will. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but studies show that a lifetime of overeating sugar (or carbs) can make your skin dull and wrinkled.
Oh so sexy…
At blame is a natural process that’s known as glycation, in which the sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to form harmful new molecules called Advanced Glycation End-Products (aka AGEs). The more sugar you eat, the more AGEs you develop. As AGEs accumulate, they damage adjacent proteins in a domino-like fashion. Most vulnerable to damage: collagen and elastin, the protein fibers that keep skin firm and elastic. (We want that…) In fact, collagen is the most prevalent protein in the body. Once damaged, springy and resilient collagen and elastin become dry and brittle, leading to wrinkles and sagging. These aging effects start at about age 35 and increase rapidly after that… how fun…
Besides damaging your lovely collagen, a high-sugar (or high-carb) diet also affects what type of collagen you have—another factor in how resistant skin is to wrinkling. The most abundant collagens in the skin are types I, II, and III, with type III being the most stable and longest lasting. Glycation transforms type III collagen into type I, which is more fragile. When that happens, the skin looks and feels more dry and wrinkley (Old! You’ll feel OLD!). The final kick in the face: AGEs deactivate your body’s natural antioxidant enzymes, leaving you vulnerable to sun damage (the main cause of skin aging. ) Yikes!
One group that can attest to sugar’s monstrous and evil effects are people with diabetes, who—because they can suffer from years of undetected high blood sugar—often show early signs of skin aging. Depending on how well their disease is controlled, diabetics can have up to 50 times the number of AGEs in their skin as those who don’t have diabetes.
The good news about sugar-damaged skin: It’s never too late to turn back the clock! When you cut the crap, wear sunscreen, and add in foods with collagen producing properties, you’ll be on your way to some smooth and sexy skin!
Foods that have these amazing properties are:
1. Dark green vegetables: They are packed with an antioxidant called lutein. You need 10 mg to get results – which equates to about 4oz. of spinach or 2oz. of kale. This will boost skin hydration and elasticity, fighting wrinkles. Rich in Vitamin C, regular consumption of kale, spinach,collards, and asparagus help to strengthen the body’s ability to manufacture collagen and to utilize the protein effectively.
2. Beans: These help your body produce a vital anti-aging substance called hyaluronic acid. Aim for at least two tablespoons of beans each day
3. Red fruits and vegetables: The presence of lycopenes in these types of foods helps to act as antioxidants, which in turn increases collagen production. Try adding red peppers, beets, and fresh or stewed tomatoes to the diet. Also include sweet potatoes, carrots and more. Research has found that the antioxidants in red, yellow and orange foods build up under the skin creating extra UV protection.
4. Antioxidants: One of the biggest causes of skin ageing is attack by substances called free radicals, right? They break down healthy skin tissues. Antioxidants helps neutralize these free radicals before they can do any damage. So to ensure you’re getting lots of these, eat nutrient-dense fruits and veggies (one’s will really bold colors).
5. Flaxseed: A major sources of the healthy fat omega-3. Skin cells are surrounded by a fatty layer made from this and other fats so, the higher your omega-3 intake the stronger that layer is, and the plumper your skin cells are – which helps disguise lines and wrinkles. Make sure you get GROUND flax seed. Your body won’t absorb it whole because it won’t penetrate past the shell of the seed.
There are so many more! But you can definitely google that stuff. Google knows everything 😉 Hah!
Just be sure to look up NATURAL forms of naturally producing collagen. Slathering yourself with harmful chemicals that claim to help…may only cause MORE free radical damage from all of the toxins. So do your research. 😉 And definitely feel free to email me for advice.
Next blog will tell you about how sugar (or too many carbs) is jacking you up in another surprising way.
Eat Clean. Laugh A Lot. Pray Always.