How Sugar Can Affect Your Skin As Well As Your Waistline

It is widely agreed that too much sugar is bad for you.  Excessive sugar intake can lead to obesity, resulting in heart disease and diabetes.  This week, MPs have been talking about a “war on sugar” and England’s chief medical officer has suggested that sugar be taxed (in a similar way to tobacco) in order to protect the nation’s health.   Most of us are aware of how sugar affects our health, but did you know high sugar intake can have a negative effect on your skin?

sugar affects your skin

How Sugar Affects Your Skin

Your body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, which raises your insulin levels.  Simple carbohydrates like refined sugar and white bread cause your insulin levels to spike.  The spikes in insulin levels produce enzymes which break down collagen and elastin, resulting in sagging skin and wrinkles.

Digested sugar permanently attaches to the collagen in your skin which can have an adverse effect on skin conditions such as acne and rosacea.

Eating too much sugar can lead to your body developing a resistance to insulin.  This can result in excessive hair growth and dark patches on the neck and in body creases.

What Sugars You Shouldn’t Eat

Avoid foods which are high in saturated fats:

  • White bread
  • Fried food
  • Ice cream
  • Fruit juice
  • Pasta
  • Ketchup
  • Jam
  • Pizza
  • Sugar
  • Fizzy drinks

What Sugar You Should Eat

Look for foods containing complex carbohydrates:

  • Brown rice
  • Vegetables
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Whole grain foods
  • Healthy fats – olive oil, avocados
  • Lean protein – salmon, chicken
  • Fibre – broccoli, cauliflower

Tips For Healthy Skin

Get plenty of sleep.  Sleep deprivation causes the body to release the stress hormone cortisol.  Cortisol mobilises sugar stores and causes insulin spikes.

Stay stress-free.  Stress can cause spikes in insulin levels just as eating sugar can.  Stress levels are correlated with acne breakouts.

Friendly fats.  Healthy fats like Omega 3 keep your skin looking soft, radiant and youthful.

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