Curbing your sugar consumption will not only help make you slim, it will help keep you looking younger, too.
Researchers have found that high levels of sugar consumption can lead to dull and wrinkled skin. Proteins in your bloodstream attach or "glycocylate" to the sugars to form harmful molecules called Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs). The more sugar in your diet, the more AGEs in your bloodstream.
As the AGEs in your bloodstream increase, they begin damaging collagen and elastin, the protein fibers that keep your skin firm and elastic. Noticeable damage starts at about age 35, when once springy and resilient collagen and elastin become dry and brittle, leading to wrinkled and sagging skin. Glycation weakens the collagen and decreases the body's natural ability to protect itself from the harmful effects of the sun, a major cause of skin aging.
To minimize this aging process, cut back on foods that have added sugars. Always check nutrition facts panel for sugars, which are listed in grams under total carbohydrates. And be sure to watch out for hidden sugars as described in my earlier newsletter, Watching Out for Sugar.
You won't be able to eliminate sugar completely, but now you know that reducing your sugar consumption will help keep you both slimmer and looking younger. And now you have another reason to throw out all the leftover Halloween candy.
Megan Porter, RD