Let’s face it, we all have sugar cravings every once in a while – especially around the holidays, where delicious cookies and pies are teasing us on every corner!
If the promise of a slimmer waistline hasn’t curbed your sweet tooth, maybe the desire for smoother, younger looking skin will.
Recent findings suggest that a diet high in sugar can contribute to acne and accelerate skin aging. At blame is a natural process that’s known as glycation – a process through which sugar molecules enter your bloodstream and attach to proteins to form harmful new molecules known as advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs), which cause protein fibers such as collagen and elastin (fibers that keep skin firm and elastic) to become stiff and malformed.
The average American consumes nearly 89 grams of sugar per day. That’s more than four times the recommended amount for women (20 grams) and more than twice the recommended amount for men (36 grams). This tells us that there is certainly some room for improvement in our daily sugar intake levels.
While fruits contain varying amounts of sugar, they still offer numerous health benefits in terms of high vitamin and nutrient content – therefore making them a great option if you are craving something sweet.
What is concerning is that many of our other “go-to” foods may contain added sugars and we may not even know it. Food companies list sugar under aliases like dextrose, barley malt, corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate, maltose, maple syrup, molasses, fructose, and high-fructose corn syrup in an effort to hide the large amounts of sugars they contain. Therefore simply by cutting down on their consumption you can significantly reduce your sugar intake and be on the way to a healthier you!
An additional source of excess sugars is in what we are drinking – fruit juices, sodas and alcohol are also sugar-loaded culprits. Cutting down on these and occasionally substituting them for water is sure to help you get to your ideal weight and keep your skin looking smooth and youthful.
The good news about sugar-damaged skin: It’s never too late to turn back the clock. It may be tough to quit sugar cold turkey, so start by eliminating or reducing your intake of candy and chocolate. Be sure to continue to cut out additional sugary foods until you have reached your desired daily sugar intake.
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