The Harmful Effects Sugar Has on Your Skin
It’s no secret that sugar is bad for your overall health; it has led to record cases of obesity in the United States and is a well-known culprit for heart disease. Many of us don’t realize that sugar intake also has beauty ramifications. Turns out, it can wreak havoc on your skin too! Here are some ways that sugar is harming your skin and preventing you from looking your best.
Why It’s Harmful
First off, when you ingest sugar or high-glycemic foods, your body breaks down the carbohydrates into glucose, which raises your levels of insulin. Simple carbohydrates, like those found in white bread and soda, can cause insulin levels to spike, creating inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation produces enzymes that break down important collagen and elastin in your skin, leading to sagging skin and wrinkles. Aside from speeding up the aging process, sugar can also aggravate skin conditions like rosacea and acne.
Bad Sugar vs. Good Sugar
You want to avoid foods with simple carbohydrates that are high in saturated fats. These foods include: fried food, ice cream, fruit juice, pasta, pizza, white and brown sugar, and packaged snacks. Complex carbohydrates are the good guys; they break down glucose at a much slower rate, preventing insulin spikes. Stick to a diet of healthy fats, lean protein, fiber, and antioxidants. Eat foods like avocados, salmon, broccoli, whole grains, and nuts.
Counteract the Bad
Look, no one is a perfect eater, especially around the holidays. We’re all guilty of indulging in some tempting sweets and greasy fried foods every once in a while. Here are some simple ways to help combat the harmful effects sugar has on your skin:
• Eat your protein first
When sitting down for a meal, always eat your protein first. It doesn’t stimulate insulin spikes and won’t trigger inflammation in the body.
• Eat frequent, balanced meals
By doing this, you can be sure that your blood sugar levels are consistent.
• Be mindful of food prep
Keep in mind that if you’re cooking starchy foods like potatoes, the heat involved in the cooking process can cause gelatinization, which can increase the glycemic index of a food item. Avoid eating starches fired in high heat or have been commercially processed.
The next time you reach for that doughnut at the office or are tempted to grab a quick bit at a drive-thru, remember that you’re not just hurting your health, you’re encouraging unwanted wrinkles and sagging in your skin. Your skin deserves better!