Sweet Posion: Effects of Sugar on Health

“Sugar and spice and everything nice

That’s what little girls are made of.”

When I was a little girl, I remember having this nursery rhyme in a picture frame hanging on my wall…and today this post happens to be about the effects of sugar on health and your skin. Halloween just passed and I managed to stay away from the temptation of “fun sized” candy bars this year. Sugar has been both a friend and an enemy to me over the years and remembering this old quote got me thinking….what exactly are the effects of sugar on health and our skin?

Sugar: The White Devil

effects of sugar on health

Yummy treats...indulge in moderation for lovely skin!

Who doesn’t love to indulge sometimes in a sweet treat? But what happens in the body when you ingest sugary sweets, such as candy bars and soft drinks? The sugar causes a rapid rise in blood sugar, causing glycation.  Glycation is the process by which sugar attaches to collagen (bad news for your skin.) Collagen is an essential protein in the body which assists in keeping the skin firm, flexible, and resilient. What happens when collagen is disabled? The skin loses elasticity, deep wrinkles appear and you look old! This process is exacerbated after age 35 (that’s why kids who eat a lot of candy don’t have wrinkles!) Now was that candy bar worth it when you come to think of it?

Then the cycle continues…the more sugary foods you eat, the less collagen you produce because it binds with the sugar. In fact, now your body is producing the least beneficial type of collagen, causing your face to become even more dull and saggy. Glycation also damages your body’s supply of natural antioxidant enzymes, leaving your skin prone to sun damage. This is why diabetics often show signs of aging before any other group of people.

By the way, sugar also makes you gain weight, can cause depression, and the worst effect of all….guess what feeds and thrives on sugar? Cancer! Want to know more about the effects of sugar? Check out this great article from Natural News.

Say No to Potatoes

Eating starchy foods is just as bad as eating sweets. Starchy foods, such as bread, pasta, and potatoes convert to sugar in the body. When you eat sugary foods, you crave more. I’m not saying never ever eat a potato again, but always remember the golden rule: “Everything in moderation!”  Watch for hidden sugar in juice, those fancy flavored coffee drinks, and other foods. You can seriously reduce your sugar intake if you start paying more attention.

Effects of sugar on health

Yikes! Is this what your skin looks like? Cut out the sugar to replenish your skin.

What to Do When You’ve Got the Sugar Bug

The damage caused by consuming too much sugar is reversible…with steps. First of all, reduce your intake. Having a little treat every once in a while won’t hurt, but if you’re slugging down Milky Ways every day, your skin will show it! Sorry if I sound preachy here, but I want you ladies feeling and looking your best and if it takes a little tough love to get you there, so be it. What else can you do to de-wrinkle your skin?

  • Take a good multi-vitamin, making sure to include B vitamins. The antioxidants will interfere with the glycation process. I use One-N-Only, a whole food supplement, plus I take Co-Enzyme B complex made by Kal.
  • Eat a healthy diet full of vitamin, mineral, and enzyme rich whole foods, such as mangoes, green tea, olive oil, walnuts, and berries. Don’t forget your water (your skin is thirsty!)
  • You can even try a collagen improving supplement (I am testing one out right now….will report on the results soon!)
An Alternative To Sugar

You don’t have to give up sweets entirely…I’ve found a fabulous alternative to use in my coffee and favorite recipes. It’s stevia! Stevia is an extract made from an herb with 100 times the sweetness of sugar. It has 0 calories and absolutely no effect on blood sugar, making it perfect for those watching their figures or diabetics. Stevia can be used as a liquid or powder and even comes in different flavors. I’ve found the best tasting brand of stevia around is made by Kal. I am addicted to lattes and every time I get one, I say, “Hold the sugar!” and add a few drops of my liquid stevia. It’s delicious! You can also bake with it and when you do so, you need much less since stevia is so much sweeter than sugar. So you see, you can have better looking skin and enjoy yummy foods now that you know about the effects of sugar on health. Live the sweet life! You deserve it!

Stay natural…stay beautiful…go green!

Robin started her career as an educator of children and has now become an educator for adults everywhere who want to know the truth about what they put into their bodies through the skin. She is passionate about educating people to make better health and beauty choices.
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  • http://freshradiantskin.com Ethnic Skin Care

    Ha! Sugar is the white devil! (sorta).

    I’m 42 years old (come Jan) and wrinkles are no wear in sight (thank God). I think its hereditary because if it were based on my sugar consumption, I should look like a prune!
    Ethnic Skin Care´s last blog post ..Beauty Really IS Skin Deep

  • http://www.toxicbeautyblog.com Robin Adler

    Good point, Michelle! Heredity, environmental factors and diet all contribute to the rate of aging.

  • http://perfectskincareforyou.blogspot.com/ Swathy

    Sugar is absolutely horrible but I did not understand the part where you wrote “kids eating a lot of candy do not have wrinkles”. That is one of the reasons I stay away from bread too. And, worst fact is that all the junk and processed food is loaded in sugar. Even the breakfast cereals are not spared.
    Swathy´s last blog post ..Winter Skin Care Lotions

  • http://www.toxicbeautyblog.com Robin Adler

    Hi Swathy,
    The kids not having wrinkles was just a bit of humor ;-) I think as we age, the intake of sugar becomes more problematic as it speeds up the natural aging process. I steer clear of bread as well since it acts as sugar in the body too. I notice when I reduce or completely eliminate sugar, I not only look better, but feel better too. Thanks for commenting!
    Robin

  • http://ohtobeamuse.com Cheryl

    these are all wonderful and educational tips, especially since i am a sugar fanatic!

    Enter my Jewelry & Makeup Holiday Giveaway (featuring goodies from Lanvin, Sephora and more) on my blog!

    http://www.ohtobeamuse.com/2010/11/holiday-giveaway.html

  • http://www.toxicbeautyblog.com Robin Adler

    Glad you found the post helpful, Cheryl!

  • http://www.unghii-4u.ro unghii

    great tips for those who find it hard to quit sugar

  • http://www.beyondtrance.com/ Sally

    Hi Robin – horror of horror I ate a chocolate bar (not Milky Way but one very similar) just before I read this. Seeing that crumpled face on the statue has put me right off. The real problem is that feeling about four o’clock in the afternoon when my energy level feels really low and I am desperate for sugar. I guess the real answer is a banana rather than a candy bar but sometimes I want something with a quicker effect to counter the dip. Thanks for the advice it’s real “food for thought”.
    Sally´s last blog post ..Eating Words Not Honey

  • http://www.toxicbeautyblog.com Natural Organics

    Sally,

    I’ve gone through the same thing as you (and gone through my chocolate bar phase too!) ….and you are right, it’s about making better choices. I get that hunger pang for something sweet around 4:00 too but now I usually reach for an apple. You may be interested in doing a sugar detox, I’ve read that this can free you of sugar cravings forever! Google the “21 Day Sugar Detox” for more info. Thanks for commenting!

    Robin