Who doesn’t love a big piece of cake or a doughnut for breakfast? By now, I am sure most of you know that too much sugar isn’t good for you, but can sugar intake cause premature signs of aging? I am here to answer this question for you. Before you eat that ice cream read this post about sugar and aging.
Sugar Can Cause Aging
As I was researching this topic, I located a study done in 2010 on the effects of sugar and aging. Bottom line here, sugar causes advanced glycation, which basically means that sugar you digest can attach to the proteins in the body and skin causing new molecules to form called advanced glycation end products or AGES.
This attaches to the collagen in the skin and we already lose collagen as we age, but sugar may speed up this process. Collagen is important for our skin and body such as our joints. When sugar is elevated, this process is further stimulated by UV rays, we should already be wearing sunscreen daily anyway, but this is just another reason it is so important.
Glycation also has an effect on aging our hearts, vascular system, our eyes and kidneys. In the skin you’ll see the signs of glycation such as fine lines, discoloration, wrinkles and age spots.
How To Prevent Glycation
Now that we know how sugar causes aging, what can we do about it? Well first of all we have to look at our diets. Americans consume more than 50% of their calories from refined sugar, such as white bread, pasta, prepackaged foods, and sweets.
We obviously need to cut these down or completely out. Our bodies were not made to process these foods. Earlier generations never ate cake, donuts, and cookies or anything else high in sugar and fats. These foods cause glycation by causing a buildup of unwanted waste products in our cells.
The sugar in fruit is different from the refined sugar we see today, although you should always try to limit any type of sugar intake, but fruit also has added nutrients to help our bodies digest these AGES and flush them out of our systems. The best way to prevent glycation is through our daily diets and supplements.
Antioxidants and anti-inflammatories are very important to preventing glycation and preventing free radicals. Blueberries are the best for preventing inflammation and block the aging from the sun. CoQ10 is also an important supplement to your diet. Here I have an article on the best foods to eat for anti aging.
Can Glycation Be Reversed?
The great news here is that glycation that causes aging can be reversed. The power peptide Hexapeptide-3 promotes skin restructuring and repair. Collagen is the most abundant fiber, which is why it is so affected by glycation. Hexapeptide-3 is said to increase hydration in 1 hour.
Eating a healthy diet can also potentially reverse these effects. Exercise is also super important because it can give you better control of the amount of sugar in the blood both during and after, which reduces the chance for AGES to occur. There are also anti-glycation supplements you can take.
These supplements often contain ingredients from the plant world and have shown to have positive effects on the skin. Beta carotene, the ingredient found in carrots and sweet potatoes have been shown to reduce the effects of aging by the sun by blocking harmful UV rays.
These supplements also often contain powerful antioxidants to further prevent the formation of AGES. Another important thing to remember is to get adequate sleep. Not getting enough sleep can impair insulin sensitivity causing advanced glycation.
Try to limit stress because stress can free radicals and oxidative stress throughout our whole body, which is a key factor when it comes to aging. Stress also leads to raised levels of cortisol, which also degenerates collagen. Check your labels. Sugar seems to be in EVERYTHING.
Candy and sugar is pretty obvious, but check your labels on dressings, sauces, canned goods and prepackaged foods. If it is high in sugar and carbs stay away. Reach for protein rich foods and snacks and avoid snacking throughout the day on any sweets.
Following a low carb diet or keto can definitely help your body reverse or prevent glycation, you can lose fat this way too. Cut down on the barbecue. Barbecuing your foods can actually cause AGES in the food. Whenever you see seared or blackened foods your are looking at AGES and eating them you’re adding to what is already in your body.
Use sunscreen to block the harmful UV rays from causing AGES whether you’re inside or outside. Losing excess weight can decrease AGES. Watching your alcohol intake is so important also because alcohol increases the formation of AGES.
Lifting weights can also help because muscle consumes glucose so the more muscle you have the more glucose your body will take up. Researchers have shown that vitamin B1 and B6 can help inhibit the formation of AGES, so get a supplement for your diet. Another supplement that I take every day is L-Carnosine. This protects the body from AGES.
I always say we cannot stop the aging process, but we can slow down the signs of aging such as wrinkles, fine lines, discoloration, and sagging skin, by being mindful of how we treat our bodies in terms of diet and exercise and keeping a low stress lifestyle.
We can’t completely get rid of AGES, but we can prevent and reduce some AGES we already have going on in our bodies. We need to protect against glycation by eating antioxidant rich foods, and anti-inflammatory rich foods. Using an antioxidant serum before your moisturizer can be an added defense against oxidation and glycation.
Have you ever noticed aging from too much sugar? I would love to hear any thoughts or questions you may have so don’t hesitate to leave comments below. ( Links lead to Amazon )
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