High sugar diets are not only implicated with heart disease, cancer, diabetes and dementia – scientists now believe that they can cause the skin to prematurely age. Indeed many scientists now argue that high sugar consumption is as aging for the skin as smoking.
All the evidence indicates that Britons love sugary treats and we consume roughly 3 times the recommended daily amount – government guidelines indicate that no more than 5% or 30g should be consumed.
So how is sugar guilty for not only making us fat and unwell, but also looking older?
There are two important proteins in our skin – Elastin (which gives it stretch) and Collagen (which plumps it out). Both of these proteins are gradually lost over time resulting in wrinkles and saggy skin, however high sugar diets massively speed this process up.
Sugar “spikes” during the day, as we eat our cakes and biscuits, causes the release of insulin into the blood – this causes inflammation under the skin and eventually leads to the degradation of elastin and collagen, through a process called glycation.
The safest and easiest way to avoid the ravages of sugar (and time) is simply to reduce the amount of free sugars consumed by trying to eat low GI foods and keeping the chocolate cake as an occasional treat!!