Think the only way to stay wrinkle-free is to avoid the sun and moisturize faithfully? Well don’t discount the effect of a little white refined substance that’s in nearly everything you eat.
New research points directly to your sweet tooth and prepackaged foods; studies have now proven that sugar causes wrinkles. The more you indulge in sweets and overly processed foods containing sugar the quicker you’ll lose your healthy “glow.”
It make shock you to discover that the average American eats a whopping 22 tablespoons of sugar daily and most of this is from processed foods, not including traditional sweets.
Skin Science and Sugar
A process called glycation, in which a sugar attaches to and damages proteins in your blood, makes you more vulnerable to skin damage and premature wrinkles.
The more sugar you consume, the more damage you inflict on your skin by exposing it to glycation end products (AGEs), which eventually damage not just the proteins they are attached to but the proteins nearby as well. Which in turns proves the point that sugar causes wrinkles.
Collagen and elastin are the most important proteins for skin health. They are the two building blocks essential to keeping your skin smooth and flexible. The British Journal of Dermatology explains, “Dryness and lack of elasticity occurs when these proteins become damaged.”
Your skin is your body’s largest organ and collagen its most abundant protein.
Collagen production steeply declines every year after your mid-thirties and a diet high in sugar damages your remaining collagen reserves. Diabetics are especially prone to wrinkles caused by sugar since their condition can go undetected for years.
Reversing The Wrinkle Damage Caused by Sugar
Retinoids – found in beauty lotions and skin serums – help collagen remain supple and prevent glycation from further damaging your skin.
Scaling back the amount of sugar you eat is crucial to skin health. Sugar has some of the worst effects on your total body health – especially fructose which has been proven in countless studies to be highly inflammatory. Fructose is found in many everyday foods, such as cereal crackers and spaghetti sauce.
Curbing your intake of sweets affects far more than your skin, of course. Too much sugar promotes fat cell growth, increases your risk for insulin resistance and puts you at higher risk for obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
The average American consumes more than two pounds of sugar every week!
Sugar content is not just the typical “sweets” – such as candy, soda and baked goods. Many pre-packaged and pre-prepared foods contain sugar additives such as high-fructose corn syrup. Products you may not consider sweet could have a much higher sugar content than you’d imagine so always check your labels!
How Much is Too Much?
Experts recommend keeping your sugar intake between 15-25 grams per day – especially if you are pre-diabetic or diabetic.
Removing sugar from your diet is not easy if you have a sweet tooth. It is considered a highly addictive substance. Try weaning yourself off processed foods but don’t substitute with artificial sweeteners which have been proven to stimulate cancer growth.
You should also avoid using agave syrup since it is a sap that has been over-processed and is almost entirely fructose.
Top 3 Tips to Reverse the Effects of Wrinkles Caused by Sugar
- Limit sweets and opt for raw, organic sweeteners whenever possible – such as raw cane and raw honey. Even these sweeteners should always be used in moderation.
- Include more antioxidant rich foods to fight free radical damage. A diet that includes antioxidants has been proven to slow the effects of aging. Vitamins B1 (thiamin) and B6 are recommended by dermatologists to inhibit AGEs. Tuna, seeds and beans are rich in these skin-friendly vitamins.
- Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun.
If you can’t live without sweets, consider an ounce of dark chocolate, which contains less sugar and helps curb your craving for salty and sweet foods. Unlike milk or white chocolate, 70% cacao (or higher) chocolate is also heart healthy!