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Sugar and Skin: Take 10 Years Off Your Looks!


By, Dr. Trevor Cates

Want to know how to take 10 years off your look? It’s not expensive cosmetic surgery, a time machine or the glow of new love. So what is it?

Sugar and Skin

Essentially what happens is that sugar attaches itself to proteins in the body and produces harmful molecules called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). These reduce the effectiveness of elastin and collagen – the proteins in the skin that help maintain its youthful appearance. Normally collagen helps the skin have a younger plump look.

Elastin gives the skin recoil so that when you smile or frown your skin goes back to how it was. If you persistently eat a high sugar diet or have challenges with high blood sugar, then collagen and elastin become more rigid and it’s easier for wrinkles to form. Ultimately, your skin will lose that youthful plumpness and resiliency.

It also makes it harder for the cells in the skin to repair any damage, and your skin becomes more prone to the damaging effects of the environment and UV rays.

Blood Sugar Levels

When your blood sugar level spikes or drops too frequently, it is out of balance.

This triggers stress and cortisol production in our body and can disrupt healthy digestion, mood, and other hormone levels.

This stress shows up on the skin as breakouts, redness, uneven tone and dehydration. Over time, it can prevent the skin from properly healing and renewing itself, and this can lead to premature aging or scarring. Bottom line: pay attention to your blood sugar level and keep it in balance.

Going long periods of time during the day without eating, ingesting too many sugary or processed foods, or eating excess amounts of carbohydrates (even fruit) without fat and protein can all trigger imbalances in blood sugar.

Keep Your Blood Sugar Level in Balance

  1. Limit or eliminate sugar spikers: sodas, sports drinks, desserts, and alcohol (this is ESPECIALLY important for those of you with skin imbalances you want to improve like acne, rosacea, scarring, hyperpigmentation, and wrinkles)
  2. Make meals and snacks with foods that will be slowly transferred into glucose in the blood such as salads, veggies and beans. And balance meals with protein like nuts, seeds, legumes and free range or grass fed meats.
  3. Eat every 3-4 hours except when sleeping. Portion size and quality of food is important here. The idea is that when you eat healthy foods more frequently, you won’t overeat because your blood sugar is better balanced.
  4. Up your fiber intake. Fiber helps maintain energy levels and prevents a spike in blood sugar. You can get it in whole foods like whole grains, vegetables, and legumes.
  5. Enjoy a couple servings of fresh fruit each day to satisfy your sweet tooth. The naturally occurring sugar in the fruit is far safer and healthier.
  6. Do something you enjoy each day. Instead of reaching for a sugary snack, get outdoors, get creative with a craft project or exercise with a friend. Doing a fun activity can replace the feel good sensation you temporarily get from eating sweets.

AKA Sugar!

Manufacturers often attempt to disguise sugar by simply adding a sugar by another name. You don’t always see the word “sugar” on a food label. It sometimes goes by another name, like these:

  • Agave nectar
  • Sugar Cane
  • Brown rice syrup
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Dextrose
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Glucose
  • Lactose
  • Malt syrup
  • Molasses
  • Sucrose

Watch out for items that list any form of sugar in the first few ingredients, or have more than 4 total grams of sugar.

Sugar Alternatives – What to use instead

Artificial sweeteners can be quite harmful for our health, so they’re not a better option. Did you know that when you eat or drink something with artificial sweetener in it, your brain anticipates that calories will follow?

When they don’t, the brain is triggered to compensate by increasing your appetite so you eat more!

A better and healthier option would be to fuel your body with natural, whole foods that the body can recognize and from which you can easily assimilate nutrients such as fruit (like citrus and berries) and spices like cinnamon.

If you’re still looking for a sugar substitute, my favorite is stevia because it’s natural and it does not affect your blood sugar. You can actually use the leaves of the plant or get it in liquid or powder form. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Need extra support for healthy blood sugar balance? Consider a supplement such as Metabolic Synergy. It helps maintain healthy blood sugar and insulin levels, while supporting the conversion of carbohydrates to be used for energy.


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