We all age differently and yet some of us have way more wrinkles and some of us are still getting acne at 30 and 40 years old. Could the amount of sugar you are consuming be the reason why your crow's feet are deeper and your acne is more prevalent later in age? We always hear that the sun is the biggest source that damages skin but could sugar be just as damaging?
Take a moment and think about the sugar that you consume. I would bet you are thinking of a candy bar and maybe the cookies you had at the office yesterday, but what if you knew that the granola bar you ate for breakfast had five teaspoons of sugar in it? What if you knew that the 16 oz of sweetened tea you sipped on your way to work had 12 teaspoons of sugar? What if the reduced fat salad you had at lunch, because you are trying to be healthier, had 2 teaspoons of sugar? When you think of sugar do you think of the sugar in the vitamins you take? Do you think of the sugar in the pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce that you had last night for dinner? Do you think of sugar when you think of the yogurt you ate for a snack… 6oz of yogurt has about five teaspoons of sugar in it, equivalent to a half a cup of vanilla ice cream! The tricky thing is sugar has been added to almost everything we eat. At your local supermarket upwards of 75% of all the products they sell have added sugar in them.
The only sure way to shield your health from disaster and heal your body from the inside out without causing massive outbreaks and wrinkles is to eat sugars in their natural WHOLE forms, which means whole pieces of fruit and veggies. Mother Nature has the antidote for high sugar diets and that is called fiber. The only way you truly can eat healthy sugar which may sound like an oxymoron to most people is when you eat a whole piece of fruit. More doctors and scientists are finding even skinny people and more children now have fatty liver disease due to high daily doses of sugar. The American Heart Association has stated the average adult American consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar everyday and even worse children consume 34 teaspoons of sugar everyday. The recommended daily dose of sugar is under 9 teaspoons a day from the American Heart Association. The American Heart Association has actually recommended men have 9 teaspoons and women have six teaspoons, this is equivalent to 100 to 150 calories. I highly recommend that any amount of sugar you eat, you eat it and it's whole form.
So can sugar be linked to the wrinkles on your face, your low labito, and the acne you so desperately want to get rid of? The answer is yes! We have to remember that when we eat sugar it impacts our hormones. Immediately after a meal, our sugar triggers our insulin levels and once our insulin levels are spiked this can also lead to lower levels of an important protein, known as the sex hormone-binding Gobulin (SHBG). This hormone-binding globulin find excess estrogen and testosterone in the blood to bind too, however when it is low hormones can increase. We have to remember insulin also increases the production of testosterone and when you have a lot of fat tissue in the belly this testosterone can be converted into even more estrogen. Needless to say when one of our hormones is off they all can become off. Just think as we get older our hormone levels naturally change but when we add a diet high in sugar we are drastically changing the natural state of aging that are hormones go through. So, if our body is taking the testosterone that we have and converting it into estrogen, due to the high levels of sugar and fat in our bodies this throws off our ratio of estrogen to Progesterone. A balance of estrogen and progesterone are known for keeping us calm and happy, when estrogen is way too high (which can happen on a high sugar diet) and this ratio is compromised this leads to irritability, anxiety, trouble sleeping and much more. Now imagine if you are someone going through menopause these symptoms can feel way more intense due to the sugar you are consuming. Can you tie your mood swings to patterns in your diet?
Not only are your hormones going to be out of whack if you eat too much sugar your skin also suffers. When insulin levels skyrocket this causes an inflammatory response in the body, so now instead of the body being able to utilize its resources properly throughout the body; to digest our food and maintain all the other actions within our body, our body cannot do this because it is in inflammatory response mode. When we have this inflammatory response it produces enzymes that break-down collagen and elastin, this results in sagging skin and deeper wrinkles.
Sugar actually once digested can permanently attached to the collagen in your skin through a process known as glycation. When this happens due to too much sugar in the body these sugar molecules actually cross-link with protein molecules during this process. Once this process is completed it is known as advanced glycation aka AGE’s. This end product is not recognized as normal in the body and the body then creates antibodies against it, which again, cause inflammation and attack AGEs. This is a major problem because AGEs gravitate towards dermal collagen and elastin and this process can damage the skin and cause your skin to age faster. It does not matter what type of sugar you eat. The problem that comes into play is when your blood sugar levels (AKA insulin levels) spike to high levels. The key again to eating whole fruit and not exceeding 36 grams of sugar a day. Remember, the antidote to sugar is fiber which can only be eaten in its whole form and this way of eating is kinder on the liver. Just remember when the body is overwhelmed with AGEs collagen becomes compromised. This impacts the skin structure and will result in wrinkling, loss of elasticity, and accelerated aging can occur. We also tend to have a lack of microcirculation during this process which then damages cell turnover and you can lose volume in your face.
As for the acne… there have been different links to Dairy and acne. A 2002 study published in The Archives of Dermatology show strong evidence that certain foods can cause breakouts. It notes that acne is primarily a “Western” disease after a study done with 1,200 people in Puya New Guinea and 115 people in eastern Paraguay. The people from these countries ate primarily a diet of fresh plant foods and lean meat (meat they raise themselves). Of all of these people this 2002 study shared, is they didn't see a single pimple. Could this be because their bodies didn't have to process the lactose aka milk sugar? Dermatologist Dr. Joel Schlessinger said, “Aside from “McDonald's acne,” which is common with people who operate fryers, it's not the fat in the fast-food that seems to cause breakouts; It's the process carbs” aka sugars.
So if you want to age more gracefully, have a stronger sex drive, and be sure not to get the pimples you once did as a teenager, you need to cut out all the excess sugar in your diet and limit your sugar intake to whole sources.
Check back at www.happywholeyou.com/blog for a 31 day no sugar added challenge coming soon!
Think you are addicted to sugar? Read this:
Additional recommended reads: http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/eating-too-much-added-sugar-increases-the-risk-of-dying-with-heart-disease-201402067021