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
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.
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!)
- Use a non-chemical sunscreen daily, such as Keys Solar RX.
- Use a topical skin care product designed to increase collagen production, such as Devita 65% Hyaluronic Acid SeruGel.
- 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!
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