There’s a good chance if you’re reading this, you are already on a mission to watch what you eat and limit sugar and carbs. Even if you follow a loosely low-carb lifestyle, you are probably aware of how sugar affects your system. Today we’ll look at another reason to avoid sugar in all its sneaky forms. Let’s start with a question. How does sugar contribute (or not) to the aging process? It turns out that sugar is one of the major nutrients that contribute to skin aging through a process known as glycation.
When sugar (more specifically glucose and fructose) enters the bloodstream, it binds to proteins – including the proteins collagen and elastin, which are responsible for keeping the skin plump and wrinkle-free. When sugar binds to these proteins, it makes the proteins unable to repair themselves and thus causes those proteins to be broken down. This process produces what’s called Advanced Glycation End Products (seriously, it’s called AGEs – I couldn’t do this if I wanted to). These advanced glycation end products can cause countless skin problems including dark circles, sagging, and wrinkles. There is no need to fear merchants, but most people I know are spending a small fortune trying to stop the natural process of aging from happening. Even worse, these age elements that produce this process begin to speed up when stimulated by UV light on the skin. So does that mean you can’t eat sugar or go out? The pandemic may have eased one of those fears, but this is only temporary, and you need real solutions.
For me, it’s a personal hobby spending money on various skin care products, developing a complete routine, and that doesn’t take into account the necessary and expensive daily application of sunlight. When calculating the time, I could spend over 2 hours a day on my skin care. After all that effort, I definitely don’t want to do anything to make my hard work obsolete. I knew that a diet consisting of excess sugar could cause acne, but I happily realized that my sugar consumption was directly countering the work I put in my face twice a day, every day. Although this wasn’t exactly the welcome information to enter my mind, I am glad I knew it, and thought it would be important to share it with others. Basically, with all I know about skin care and aging, which counts a lot at this point, the most important things you can do to maintain a youthful look are regular use of sunscreen, good sleep hygiene, and a low-sugar diet – everything else. It is just an increase.
The good news? Natural sugars, such as those found in fruit, produce a relatively small amount of lifespan which should not be a concern. It’s those pesky sugars and processed carbohydrates, the ones you likely will actually be avoiding, are the biggest offenders – so hopefully this article didn’t scare you, but it made you feel better about the things you already do.
If you are reading this as 20 or 30 things and scary because you don’t necessarily regulate or care about sugar consumption, stay calm. It will be alright. Not only is sugar being heavy for your age (the younger you are, the lesser its effects), the benefits from reducing sugar intake can have visible results on the skin in as little as a few days – AKA faster than any results you’ll see from any diet.
Maybe slowing down the aging process isn’t a top priority for you, but if you need an extra reason or incentive to avoid sugar and carbohydrates, you now have an extra tool in your tool belt.