Ditch Sugar To Keep Skin Beautiful

Monday 17 February 2014

Ditch Sugar To Keep Skin Beautiful

Reasons to quit sugar

Sugar degrades collagen and elastin
Sugar degrades skin's collagen and elastin
We all know that sugar is bad for our teeth. It makes us put on weight. We often feel guilty after eating it or even while eating it. Some people are so addicted to sweet things that they eat a massive tub of ice-cream or a big pack of sweets and chocolates in one go, then they feel depressed. And who does not feel guilty after consuming lots of empty food?

Apart from the mentioned reasons, there is another important reason to ditch sugar: that is our skin - sugar ages out skin a big time.

AGEs role in skin wrinkling and sagging

Sweets react with protein amino groups and form irreversibly bound advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs contribute to collagen and elastin degradation. These proteins are the two main building blocks of skin, so when they start degrading, the outer layer of our body loses its elasticity and starts to wrinkle and sag.

Food that is cooked on high temperatures, such as barbecued meat, is full of AGEs too. Whether AGEs are consumed exogenously or are formed inside our body makes no difference. They have the same effect on our skin. Cigarette smoke is also able to react with protein to form AGEs. All advanced glycation end products are bad and that's why smokers are said to have worse skin in the long term than non-smokers.

Carbohydrates or sugar is part of a healthy diet and we need some of them to supply our bodies with energy, but excess sugar binds with protein and ages our skin. What's worse, it is believed to play a role not only in ageing, but in some diseases too.

AGEs accumulate in the body as a function of age and body weight. The older you are the more AGEs you have and your collagen is more degraded. AGEs modify skin's biomechanical properties, which is associated with the increase of skin's brittleness and stiffness. Also, the more overweight you are the more your skin is affected by the same glycation process.

How to neutralise AGEs damage to skin?

One way to slow down the glycation process is by using some topical anti-oxidative products that help neutralise the damage of AGEs. Drinking green tea or consuming other anti-oxidants may help too, but most important of all is to stop using sugar or minimise its intake as much as possible.

How do we ditch sugar?

This is a complicated question as everyone knows how bad sugar is, but very few stop using it. Right now as I was writing this post I ate a bar of chocolate. It's so hypocritical of me to write about sugar damage to skin while eating sweets at the same time. The problem is that the logical part of us wants to quit, but there is another inner voice inside us which tells us that we like biscuits, cakes, ice-cream and we don't really want to stop eating them. It's an enjoyable pleasant experience that people don't necessarily want to ditch.

Many times I have tried to reduce my sugar intake, but every time my efforts lasted only a few days, then I was back to where I started.

So, you either accept that it's bad for you and you stop fighting your cravings or you look for help. Unfortunately, motivation and determination to quit is the only free help that I can think of, but there is some very realistic help to those with an open mind and a few quid to spare. I will be talking about how to overcome sugar addiction and cravings in my next post. We will be interviewing a qualified hypnotherapist to resolve this issue.

Final word

Do you have a sweet tooth? If so, do you embrace your sweet habits or you fight and try to quit all the time?

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