We all know that sugar is not our friend. Causing obesity, heart problems, diabetes and many more unpleasant and even dangerous conditions. But not everyone knows that sugar is a great enemy to our skin as well. In this article we will explain this bitter truth and give some advice.
Why is sugar bad to my skin?
The devil lays in insulin – a hormone responsible for sending energy from glucose to our cells and thus, lowering blood sugar level. Simple carbohydrates and high-glycaemic foods make insulin level to spike, causing inflammation in whole body. Excessive sugar molecules may stick to protein molecules turn them into unnatural to the body AGE – Advanced Glycation End products. AGEs attach to elastin and collagen causing any bad skin condition. AGEs can turn strong collagen (type III) to weak one (type I). Sounds bad, right?
Do I have “sugar face”?
“Sugar face” might sound cute but it has nothing to do with cuteness. First of all, sugar quickens the ageing process (we covered that topic slightly here). It causes typical ageing symptoms, such as wrinkles, sagging skin, lack of elasticity and overall decrease of skin volume. Besides that, it may cause acne and rosacea. What is worse, eating too much sugars may develop insulin resistance effecting with excess hair growth and dark patches.
How much sugar should I eat to maintain healthy skin?
Of course, cutting sugar completely is hard and may immensely decrease the joy of life. Balance is a crucial thing. According to WHO:
In both adults and children, the intake of free sugars should be reduced to less than 10% of total energy intake. A reduction to less than 5% of total energy intake would provide additional health benefits.
Recommended daily calories intake is 2000 from which 45-60% must come from carbohydrates, which gives 900-1200 kcal. Sugars should be decreased just to 200 kcal. 1g of sugar gives 4 calories, so that we can eat 50g of sugar per day. Not too bad! You must remember, that it is present not only in chocolate bars, candies, cookies, soda and any kind of sweets. White bread, root vegetables, beans, sweet fruits also contains a lot of simple carbs, so count it in! For example, popular Kit-Kat bar contains 29g of sugar in one portion and medium banana 27g. Not a big difference, right? Of course, we recommend choosing banana, because it has plenty of beneficial nutrients
What food is bad and what food is good to my skin?
It is essential to understand glycaemic index and choose low GI foods. You can find information about GI of most popular products easily in the internet. We’ll just sum up the most important basics here:
- Choose complex carbohydrates, such as vegetables (except beans and sweet roots) and whole grains.
- Enrich your calories intake with nuts. They contain a lot of healthful fatty acids.
- Eat more vitamin B1 and B6 that help to inhibit AGEs. Foods rich with these vitamins are e.g. dark leaf greens, oatmeal, dark rice.
As you see diet is extremely important to our health and skin as well. Skin that actually reflects the state of our wellness.
Sometimes it might be too late to turn back damages already induced by poor diet. But it’s never too late to change your habits and start to live healthier from now on. What has been already destroyed we can help you rebuilt with our procedures.
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