Sugar is not only bad for your waistline and dental health, it’s also bad for your complexion.
The cause is that the natural process that’s known as glycation, in which the sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins, forms harmful new molecules called advanced glycation end products (AGEs for short). The more sugar you eat, the more AGEs you develop. As AGEs accumulate, they damage adjacent proteins in a domino-like fashion. Most vulnerable to damage: collagen and elastin, the protein fibers that keep skin firm and elastic. In fact, collagen is the most prevalent protein in the body. Once damaged, collagen and elastin become dry and brittle, leading to wrinkles and sagging. These aging effects start at about age 35 and increase rapidly after that.
Besides damaging collagen, a high-sugar diet also affects what type of collagen you have—another factor in how resistant skin is to wrinkling. The most abundant collagens in the skin are types I, II, and III, with type III being the most stable and longest lasting. Glycation transforms type III collagen into type I, which is more fragile. When that happens, the skin looks and feels less supple. AGEs deactivate your body’s natural antioxidant enzymes, leaving you more vulnerable to sun damage—still the main cause of skin aging.
One of the main ways sugar ruins your skin is it causes inflammation in the body. Sugar causes a rise in blood sugar levels that surge and plummet, which leads to inflammation. Any sign of inflammation in the skin will cause breakouts, so be sure to avoid refined sugars and added sugars including white sugar, brown sugar, agave syrup, molasses, maple syrup and honey if you’re prone to breakouts. Though some of these have benefits, they all contain the same amount of sugar and calories per teaspoon. Instead opt for fresh fruit or stevia, which is less acidic.
Rashes & Redness
Another way that sugar ruins the skin is it can cause redness and irritation. You can also blame this on the inflammatory properties in sugar. If you suffer from rashes or are prone to yeast imbalances in the body, it could be because you are eating too much sugar. Rashes can be a sign of yeast imbalance, and redness occurs mainly from inflammation. Eliminate all refined and added sugars and focus more on beautifying green veggies and fiber rich options instead.
Breakouts & Wrinkles
The inflammatory properties in sugar don’t only lead to breakouts, but also to wrinkles. Sugar basically attacks the healthy, supple collagen in your skin that keeps your skin wrinkle free. Sugar basically “eats” the collagen, so to speak, on a cellular level, which leads to dehydrated, dull-looking skin. When your collagen levels are diminished, wrinkles occur.
Have you ever had a tummy ache or gas after eating sugary foods or too much sugar? You can blame that on your digestion. Believe it or not, no matter how good sugar tastes, it is quite nasty to your digestive tract. It inflames your stomach, ferments in the gut, and doesn’t digest efficiently since it can’t be broken down into nutrients the body can use outside of simple glucose. Once the glucose is gone and your blood sugar has surged, sugar creates a toxic state for your tummy. Anytime a food doesn’t digest well, it will most likely show up through your skin. Eliminating sugar usually leads to a better functioning digestive tract, along with less food cravings, which leads to better skin.
And did you know that sugar actually sucks all the water out of your cells, which can lead to dryness, puffiness and those terrible under eye circles!
Cut down on sugar and drinking plenty of water are very helpful ways in achieving a healthy lifestyle and glowing skin!
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