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Why Sugar Is Bad For Your Skin

We hear it daily that sugar is bad for your waistline, but do you know what toll it takes on your skin?

Why Sugar Is Bad For Your Skin

Simple sugars and foods high on the glycemic index which includes fruit as well as cake are quickly broken into glucose raising our insulin levels. Spikes in our insulin levels leads wide spread inflammation in our bodies.

The inflammation from sugar leads to enzyme production that DESTROY COLLAGEN & ELASTIN, resulting in sagging skin and wrinkles. Digested sugar permanently adheres to the collagen in your skin through a process known as glycation. Aside from increasing the effects of aging, glycation can also exacerbate skin conditions like acne and rosacea. Plus, the more sugar you eat, increases the risk you’ll develop insulin resistance, which can manifest as excess hair growth (hirsutism) and dark patches on the neck and in body creases.

The glycemic index, the scale which determines how quickly blood sugar levels rise after ingesting particular foods (hence, the high- and low-glycemic labels), is key to making the right choices for your skin when it comes to sugar.

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What Sugar You Shouldn’t Eat

Simple carbohydrates are your skin’s enemy, since they rapidly break down into glucose and result in insulin spikes. The worst offender are foods that are high-glycemic or high in saturated fats like: white bread, candy, fried food, ice cream, fruit juice, pasta, ketchup, cream cheese, jam, pizza, sugar (white and brown), packaged snacks and sodas.

What Sugar You Should Eat

More complex carbohydrates release sugars slower and include foods such as brown rice and vegetables. Low-glycemic options, like beans, nuts and whole grains, as well as fibrous foods, which delay sugar absorption, also help control blood sugar levels. Do your best to follow an anti-inflammatory diet of healthy fats (like olive oil and avocados), lean protein (like salmon), fiber (like broccoli and cauliflower) and antioxidants (like berries) if you want glowing, youthful skin.

Here Are Some Tricks To Alleviate Some of Sugar’s Effects On Skin
  • Get Your Zzzzzzs. Lack of sleep contributes to the production of cortisol which mobilizes sugar stores and causes your insulin to spike.
  • Namaste. Reduce your stress with regular activity be it yoga or power walking. Emotional stress can increase insulin levels just like eating sugar can. The effects of stress are particularly correlated with acne breakouts.
  • Eat Healthy Snacks. To maintain consistent sugar levels throughout the day eat foods that are high in protein and low on the glycemic index every few hours.
  • Be mindful about how you prepare your food. When cooking starches, like potatoes and foods with wheat, keep in mind that the heat involved in cooking causes a process known as gelatinization, which can lead to upping the glycemic index of a food item. The takeaway? Avoid starches fried in high heat or that are commercially processed.
  • Order counts. Eat your proteins first when sitting down for a meal, since they don’t stimulate insulin spikes and therefore keep your body from triggering the inflammatory effects caused when you ingest insulin-spiking foods.
  • Fats are your friend. Healthy fats, like Omega-3s, keep your skin looking soft, supple and radiant (read: youthful).
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