Sugar: What Are Its Effects On The Skin and Body?
It's hard to believe Halloween is just around the corner. Those who have a sweet tooth are likely getting either excited or anxious, depending on their relationship with sugary foods.
The truth is, it can be hard to balance your sugar consumption. Sugar is addicting and causes your body to crave more whenever you eat some.
The hard thing about eating less sugar is that added sugar is everywhere. And we mean everywhere- "healthy" protein bars, nut butter, salsa, bread (especially white bread), pasteurized fruit juice, and other common, everyday foods.
To make things even more complicated, brands often try to trick the consumer by using different names for sugar, such as cane juice, sucrose, or corn syrup. Don't let these names fool you; they're still sugar.
The amount of sugar adults eat is, typically, very high. Of course, some people simply don't care and will eat the sugar regardless (totally fine if you're one of those people). Other people are really trying to eat less sugar, but don't account for hidden sugars and simply assume everyday food items don't contain added sugar.
There is an important difference between natural sugar and added sugar (processed sugar). Natural sugar is found in fruits, some vegetables like beets and root vegetables, and milk. Fruit sugar is known as fructose, and milk sugar is known as lactose. Carbs are broken down into glucose, which is blood sugar.
Read on to see how sugar affects our skin and body, and how you can correct these issues naturally.
What effect does sugar have on the skin?
Sugar is one of the biggest agents in destroying our skin, causing problems like breakouts, the deterioration of elastin and collagen, and more. A diet high in excess sugar will cause you to age prematurely.
Fine lines, wrinkles, sagging skin and dull skin are all signs of aging that can be brought on from eating too much sugar. All the face masks and skincare in the world can't reverse these issues completely.
As sugar attaches to proteins in the bloodstream, it creates AGEs (advanced glycation end products). These molecules age your skin. Basically, sugar ages the skin and causes collagen, elastin, and the skin barrier to deteriorate.
It is also highly inflammatory, which contributes to flare-ups of psoriasis, rosacea, eczema, and dermatitis.
It can also make your skin more oily, because a rise in blood sugar can trigger hormones that create oil for the skin. Excess oil leads to clogged skin and blackheads.
If you truly want glowing, strong skin, it may be best to cut back on the sugar.
What effect does sugar have on the body?
Sugar can have many effects on your body, and unfortunately they are mostly negative. These effects can include raising your blood sugar levels, preventing weight loss and preventing you from slimming down your waistline. This is because sugar inflames fat cells.
It also affects your pancreas, which pumps out insulin. When you eat too much sugar, the body starts pumping out more, increasing your insulin levels.
It can also affect your heart, because excess sugar means excess insulin. Excess insulin affects the arteries in your body by causing them to grow and become stiff. This can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, and even strokes.
Sugar can have an effect on your liver. Fructose is processed in the liver, and large quantities can damage it. As it is broken down in the liver, it is turned into fat.
Sugar can also affect your joints, as excess sugar consumption increases inflammation. Inflammation in the joints can lead to issues such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Lastly, it affects your teeth. Bacteria that cause cavities eat the leftover sugar in your mouth.
Does cutting out sugar improve your skin?
Yes! Cutting out sugar can greatly improve your skin. Sugar can be a huge trigger for a variety of skin issues such as rosacea, acne, eczema, and increasing the aging process of the skin. Of course, there are other reasons why these issues may be occurring, such as stress hormones like cortisol, so always see your dermatologist or doctor if you have questions regarding your skin health.
Your sugar intake from added sugars should be as low as possible. The American Heart Association recommends a daily serving of 36 grams (150 calories) for men, and 25 grams (100 calories) for women. Cutting out sugar can help to lower inflammation in your body, which in turn can improve many skin issues.
Try and get as much of your daily sugar intake as you can from natural sugar that can be found in fruit. Of course, it's ok to have some added sugar here and there, but it is important to monitor just how much you're consuming.
How can you remedy the effects of sugar?
The biggest way to remedy the effects of sugar? Your diet. Many people assume skincare is the best way to fix skin issues, but this is not the case most of the time. What we eat directly affects our skin.
If chosen properly, the foods we eat can help to strengthen our skin barrier, decrease inflammation, and promote cell turnover. Not to mention, eating clean can help remedy the issues that sugar causes for your body, such as excess fat and high blood sugar levels.
Processed foods can cause a variety of issues, such as heart disease, gut problems, pimples, excess oil production, and other related issues.
One thing in our bodies that gets destroyed from eating loads of sugar is collagen. Collagen is largely responsible for healthy skin function, along with strengthening joints, bones, hair, and nails. It is the most abundant protein in the human body and it is formed through chains of amino acids.
Collagen serves multiple functions throughout the body. As we age, natural collagen production decreases by around 1% each year, resulting in aging in the skin and body. Sugar destroys collagen by breaking it down and rendering it useless within the body. Digested sugar bonds to the collagen in your skin in a process called glycation. This is what allows sugar to have such a detrimental effect on your skin and blood sugar levels.
Thankfully, you can consume collagen as a supplement or get it through the foods you eat (bone broth, fish, chicken, etc). Our Kalumi BEAUTYfood bars contain 8 grams of premium, hydrolyzed marine collagen, which can help with many skin conditions.
Marine collagen can help with issues like acne, dehydrated skin, eczema, and dull, tired-looking skin. Our Kalumi bars also contain other beauty-boosting ingredients like sweet potato (containing vitamin A), and cocoa butter (containing polyphenols and flavonoids). The formula is designed to help absorb and retain collagen and can be a great way to support your skin health and overall health while combatting the effects of sugar.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.Sources: