We all know that sugar causes cavities and an expanding waist line but what does it do to our skin?
White table sugar and simple carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, and soda that break down into sugar in the body, cause insulin levels to spike and increase inflammation in our bodies.
Inflammation produces enzymes that break down collagen and elastin which results in sagging skin and wrinkles.
What’s more, digested sugar permanently attaches to collagen protein in a process called glycation. This process causes a new type of substance: advanced glycation end products or AGEs.
AGEs break down elastin causing wrinkling and loss of skin firmness.
We all want to avoid AGE-ing in more ways than one!
High inflammation can also cause red, irritated skin, inflamed rosacea and break outs.
Excessive consumption of sugar can lead to dehydration as sugar sucks the water from your body’s cells leading to dry, puffy skin and those under eye circles that are so hard to get rid of.
Not all sugar is bad for you. Complex carbohydrates like vegetables and fruit break down at a slower rate and don’t cause insulin spikes. If you are going to have sugar you want to concentrate on following an anti-inflammatory diet of healthy fats like olive oil and avocados; include fibrous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower and antioxidants like berries.
Don’t worry though. I wouldn’t tell you all the bad stuff and leave you without a solution!
Here are 5 ways to counteract the effects of sugar on your skin:
- Sleep– get plenty of it. Lack of sleep causes your body to release the stress hormone cortisol. High levels of cortisol causes your insulin to spike.
- Stress– keep it at a minimum. Stress wreaks havoc on the body in all sorts of ways and effects the skin through spiked insulin levels just like lack of sleep and can cause acne breakouts.
- Balanced Meals– you want to keep your blood sugar levels consistent which means eating balanced low-glycemic foods without too long a time in between each meal.
- Eat in a Specific Order– you will want to eat your proteins first when eating your meals. Protein does not stimulate insulin spikes and keeps your blood sugar levels even which keeps inflammation from flaring up when you eat the insulin spiking foods after the proteins.
- Healthy Fats– good fats like Omega-3s found in avocados and olive oil, keep your skin soft and plump leading to a nice youthful appearance.
So, to avoid looking like a wrinkled up raisin stay away from refined sugars.
But the good news is, you don’t have to give up all sugars! You can feast to your heart’s delight on delicious berries and sweet corn on the cob.
By eating the right foods and keeping yourself rested and stress free, you can stay youthful and glowy for many years to come.
Try My Delicious Hummus Recipe – this legume based recipe will keep your insulin levels steady and your skin looking awesome
Makes about 2 cups
1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained & rinsed
⅓ cup tahini
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 dash salt
1 dash pepper
- Put all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. You may need to thin it out with a bit of water, so add it 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time and blend.
Serve & enjoy!
Tip: Don’t like sesame? Use an avocado in place of the tahini, and olive oil in place of the sesame oil.