How Bad is Sugar for the Skin?


It seems the sweet stuff we love so much and readily add to drinks, sprinkle on porridge and pile into desserts is also hiding in many other foods including pastas, breads and cereal, making it difficult to monitor your intake and cut back.

Not only is sugar known to be bad for your health – fatigue, obesity, diabetes and heart disease to name a few – it is also very ageing to the skin. Being a fairly recent addition to our diet, many nutritionists and health experts believe humans don’t have the ability to cope with sugar in high quantities or over long-periods. We don’t need sugar as our body naturally converts carbohydrates into glucose providing us with all the insulin we need.

In short, sugar is ageing to the skin since excess glucose causes skin cells to produce advanced glycosylation end products (AGEs), which damage collagen fibres causing them to cross-link; resulting in premature wrinkles, puffiness, spots and dullness on the skin’s surface. It can also cause cellulite, mood swings and hormonal imbalance.

Cutting down on sugar can be a challenge, particularly as it is so addictive. Resist temptation by giving away any sugary foods filling your cupboards such as biscuits, cereals and soft drinks. Fruit is a healthy, sweet alternative (containing fructose rather than glucose/raw sugar) with nutritional and antioxidant benefits. Honey is also a delicious natural substitute.

Strength of mind and a healthy diet will see you through and after a few weeks of perseverance the cravings should subside and your skin, health and sustainable energy level will reach new heights. 

By Nina Weston


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