The Sweet Life

The Sweet Life

 

Life is Sweet. Early aging is not. Sugar is a staple in the American diet. According to the USDA, consumption of sugar has risen 40% since 1970 [1]. A study shows an American consumes almost 270 calories of added sugar each day. That translates to almost 17 teaspoons of sugar! [2] How does your diet affect your skin? Can you curb your sugar intake to defy aging?

It all starts with basic science

Glycation is the process of sugar binding to proteins. Elastin and collagen are both proteins and main components of the skin. With the glycation process, toxic compounds are created called Advanced Glycation End Products or AGEs. In addition to causing skin to age rapidly with wrinkles, dark spots and loss of elasticity, it also causes damage to your other major organs. 

Sugar consumption can also trigger life-changing diseases such as Type II Diabetes. While eating foods with added sugar isn’t the only factor in developing these diseases, it certainly is a major contributing factor. It affects over 30 million Americans, according to the CDC, and it accounts for 90–95 percent of diabetes cases. [3]

Excessive sugar intake can also aggravate other skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis said Dr. Debra Jaliman, board-certified NYC dermatologist, assistant professor of Dermatology Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. [4]

SUGAR FACE

Popular celebrities, trainers, and other influencers have started using the word ‘sugar face’ when talking about cutting sugar out of their diet. In addition to above, sugar is dehydrating and it increases oil production. It also affects water binding so your skin looks less supple.  “The skin becomes sallow, lackluster and you get those unwanted dark circles,” explains Dr. Lancer. People who have achieved ‘Sugar Face’ see their skin respond positively and quickly to less sugar in their diet and an uptick in overall health. Some seeing these results in 72-96 hours! . [5]

What can I do?

The World Health Organization recommends sugar is 5- 10% of your diet. “Ideally we should eat no processed sugars at all,” Chan says. “Sugar should come from a wholefood diet such as grains, fruit and natural food.” [6] 

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