I am extending the Love the Skin You’re In series into July! I have enjoyed learning more about skincare, and this topic also ties in nicely with the Whole 30. This post will focus on how sugar consumption effects the condition of our skin and the aging process. I am pleased to introduce my next contributor, Kristin Moses, to you! She is a Master Pilates/Fitness Trainer and Certified Nutrition Coach. She is very knowledgeable on this topic. I am excited to feature her here! We have been friends for a long time. I love taking her classes at Beyond Studios. I highly recommend the Pilates Remix and Sweat Remix classes. She also offers Nutrition Coaching through her company, KM FIT.
SUGAR: The Number One Age Accelerator
We all know that too much sugar isn’t good for you, right? Did you know our bodies only need about 6-8 teaspoons (3-4 for children) per day? The average person is having 22 teaspoons or more a day? The typical adolescent who drinks soft drinks gets 73 grams per day. Wow! Our food supply is filled with it. Diabetes and obesity at all time highs. It raises your blood sugar levels, spikes your insulin with its empty calories, and increases your fat storage process. And, if that wasn’t bad enough, it’s also the leading cause of premature aging.
So, is sugar bad? No, it’s not. Every living thing on Earth uses glucose for energy. When you get your fructose from fruits and vegetables it’s mixed with fiber, minerals, enzymes, vitamins, and phytonutrients which moderate any negative metabolic effects. Your body metabolizes fructose much differently than glucose. The metabolism of fructose falls entirely all on your liver. During fructose metabolism the fatty acids accumulate as fat droplets in your liver and muscle tissues, causing insulin resistance. Unfortunately, insulin resistance can lead to Type ll diabetes. It is believed that today, 55% of sweeteners used in food and beverages are made from corn in the form of high fructose corn syrup. It’s the worst of the worst! Glucose suppresses the hunger hormone ghrelin and stimulates leptin, which regulates your appetite. Fructose, on the other hand has no effect on ghrelin and interferes with your brain’s communication with leptin, leading to overeating. Bottom line, sugar leads to wrinkles and increased belly fat. Sugar isn’t bad; it’s the massive consumption of sugar today that’s wreaking havoc on our bodies and longevity. So, first let’s break down the aging part, then I’ll share with you what you can do about it!
AGE’s and GLYCATION
When sugar mixes with protein (the amino acids that are the building blocks of protein), they form compounds called Advanced Glycation End products or AGEs.
AGEs are formed inside your body and can also be present in the food you eat and are linked to several chronic, degenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular, eyesight, joint pain, diabetes and premature cellular degeneration (aging).
When sugar glycates (reacts without the need for a chemical enzyme) with an amino acid, the resulting AGEs produce a large number of molecules called free radicals. These molecules move through your body causing damage to any cells they come in contact with. This cellular damage results in inflammation. They are usually present in large numbers and roam freely around in your body. AGEs cause wrinkles, inflammation in your heart, blood vessels and even your brain. Long term exposure to free radicals can cause damage to cells, tissues and vital organs.
Simple ways to avoid AGEs:
- Reduce your intake of refined sugars. All carbohydrate foods contain some sugar but refined sugars are much more reactive. Refined sugars are added to breakfast cereals, cookies, cakes, soda and fast food.
- Fruit contains lots of essential vitamins and minerals but it also contains a lot of fructose. Reduce your fruit intake to two servings per day and avoid processed fruit juice, dried fruit and over-ripe fruit. Raw berries are your perfect fruit. Low in fructose, high in fiber and super high in anti-oxidants which fight off free radicals.
- Avoid overcooking foods. The more browned the food is, the higher the number of AGEs. High cooking temperatures damage both the amino acid and the sugar in foods. Turn the heat down and cook food slowly, use a slower cooker and stay away from frying. For all you grill-a-holics (I’m one!) try not to char the food.
- The easiest way to fight off free radicals is by consuming foods high in anti-oxidants. Dark, green leafy vegetables like kale, collard greens, broccoli and dark berries. Radishes are perhaps the most beautifying food you can eat. Rich in sulfur they are collagen builders. A diet low in refined sugar, rich in lightly cooked food and high in anti-oxidant rich vitamins and minerals is your best defense.
Sugar in small doses is fine. There’s nothing wrong with it until we get to a certain level and it’s toxic and just as addictive as cocaine. I encourage each of us to take a real look at what we eat, what we feed our children. Become an advocate for your own health as well as your family’s. The recent documentary film Fed Up will blow your mind. https://movies.yahoo.com/video/fed-trailer-161051027.html
I want to share one of my favorite summer salad recipes with you, the Summer Detox Salad!
- Purple Cabbage (chop and shred)
- Red and orange bell pepper
- Pomegranate seeds
- Fresh squeezed lemon
- Pink sea salt
- Black pepper
Chop all the ingredients to your preferred size. Toss with lemon, salt and pepper. Enjoy!
Through KM Fit, Kristin offers individual consultations, customized plans, a 21- Day Detox, and a 6 week plan. You can contact her directly for pricing and more information at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you, Kristin, for contributing on this topic! Find her at Kristin Moses FIT: Food Inspiration Training, and teaching at Beyond Studios in Dallas.