We love our sugar! Especially when we are stuck at home.
I know I have a weakness for anything chocolate. A few pieces of Dove Dark, vanilla buttercreams covered in dark chocolate, chocolate cake with buttercream frosting and ohhhh, fresh bake chocolate chips cookies!!!🍪 To die for!!!
But, we all know eating a lot of sugar is bad for us. But, why is sugar bad for us when it tastes so good? It's just plain not fair.
The American Heart Association, back in August 2016, issued new recommendation for kids and the amount of sugar they should eat. Children and teens ages 2 to 18 should have no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day. Children under 2 should have no added sugar. Adults have a sugar limit as well.
Why is sugar bad for you?Lately, I have been hearing even more about sugar. It's not good news. Eating sugar causes chronic inflammation that can lead to a variety of disorders and diseases like some cancers, rheumatoid arthritis and cardio vascular disease.
Sugar also causes a process in the body called glycation.
What is Glycation?The sugar we eat attaches to protein and fat cells in the body forming advanced glycation end products (AGEs) or it's just called glycation.
These glycation end products are damaging compounds that can accumulate in the body and can lead to the development of diseases including heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer's.
Our bodies can eliminate AEGs that are in small amounts. AEGs become a problem in large amounts when they build up in the body.
Glycation also causes premature aging. That's what I am going to focus on since I work in the skin care business.
How does sugar age the skin?
These AGEs damage the collagen and elastin fibers that give our skin firmness. They cause the collagen and elastin fibers to become discolored, weak and less supple. This results in our skin looking dull, yellow, saggy and wrinkly. Not a look I'm going for!
So glycation causes the breakdown of the skin's elastic fibers.
AGEs also make our skin more vulnerable to damaging UV radiation from the sun.
As we age, we don't produce as much collagen and elastin as we did when we were younger, therefore, the body can't repair damage like it used to.
Our skin shows signs of aging. This, unfortunately, is a natural body function. Some healthy foods cause glycation, but sugars are the main culprits. Reducing sugar intake will help slow breakdown of collagen and elastin.
So how much sugar is too much?Most of us will have to cut waaaay back on the sweets!
The American Heart Association says that women should have no more than 24 grams of added sugar, that's just 6 teaspoons, 100 calories, of sugar per day.
Men should have no more than 9 teaspoons which equals about 36 grams, 150 calories of added sugar.
Why are men allowed to have more? That's not fair, right? It's because the amount is based on calories. A man is allowed a higher calorie count. Again, not fair!
Let's talk about added sugar.
What is added sugar?
Added sugar means sugar, brown sugar, fructose, glucose, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, evaporated cane juice, agave syrup, etc. that has been added to sweeten food.
It's not sugar that naturally occurs in food.
Even honey, with all it's health benefits, is a sugar.
What foods have a lot of added sugar?24 grams is not much sugar when you start looking at the sugar content in foods.
There is sneaky added sugar everywhere!
I decided to count up my sugar grams just after lunch. I am already over the limit at 33 grams! This is not going to be easy.
Yogurt is healthy right? Well, maybe not all yogurt!
There can be 27 grams of sugar in one regular yogurt! Now some of that is naturally occurring sugar but still, that's a lot of sugar for a supposedly healthy food.
Go for a low calorie yogurt. They have less sugar. Chobani Less Sugar Greek Yogurts contain 9 grams of total sugar per 5.3 ounce.
Oikos Triple Zero has no added sugar, the 6 grams of sugar it contains are naturally occurring sugar.
We have to read the nutritional labels on all the products we buy. Look at the sugar content. Even organic marinara sauce has added sugar.
Fruit juices are notorious for their sugar content. It's naturally occurring sugar but it's high non the less and should be limited for a low sugar diet. 12 ounces of grape juice has 58 grams of natural sugar. 12 ounces of apple juice has 39 grams of naturally occurring sugar. 12 ounces of orange juice has 33 grams of naturally occurring sugar.
Then there is the obvious sugar!
One serving of delicious Entenmann's Marshmallow Iced Devil's Food Cake contains 27 grams of sugar. 27! One piece and you are over the limit!
And those Girl Scout Cookies that are everywhere at the beginning of every year. Oh, how I love those Thin Mints!
4 Thin Mints=11 grams of sugar
2 Peanut Butter Patties/Tagalongs=8 grams of sugar
2 Caramel deLites/Samoas=12 grams of sugar
2 S'mores=16 grams of sugar!!!
The best Girl Scout cookie choice, sugar wise, is the Shortbread Cookie.
4 Shortbread/Trefoils=4 grams of sugar
A 7 piece serving of Hershey's Milk Chocolate Kisses is 18 grams of sugar.
Soda is the absolute worst sugar culprit!
One 12 ounce Pepsi has a whopping 41 grams of sugar!!! One 12 ounce Coke has a 35 grams of sugar. Plus, there is absolutely no nutritional value with soda. At least with high sugar juices you get vitamins, minerals and anti oxidants.
Don't get caught thinking diet soda is a better choice. It's loaded with unhealthy artificial sweeteners that actually stimulate your craving for sweets.
Now, let's get back to the American Heart Association. I wondered why they, a heart association, would be recommending a sugar limit.
Well, the liver converts food to fat. That includes sugar. Too much sugar increases that conversion to fat. All that fat can built up in the liver causing a fatty liver.
The built up fat gets released into the bloodstream as triglycerides and cholesterol which can lead to heart disease.
So that explains the American Heart Association.
Besides cutting back on obvious sugary foods, there are a few other ways we can reduce the glycation aging process.
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How to Reduce Glycation & Glycation damage:
Cut down on your carbs
Read food labels
Cut down on the high carb foods you eat. Some high carb foods are bread, cereal, pasta, rice, cookies, and cake.
Read food labels
Cut down on added sugar by reading ingredient labels as you food shop. Leave those high sugar items on the shelf!
Use stevia as a sweetener
Stevia is a natural sweetener derived from the leaves of the stevia plant. It has no calories and sugar. You can easily find stevia products in the grocery store. Truvia is a brand that may sound familiar to you.
Drink green tea and white tea
Drinking green tea interferes with glycation and it also promotes collagen production.
Ditch the Soda
Drink seltzer water flavored with a splash of juice, instead of soda.
Soy products, beans, dark green veggies, orange veggies, red fruits & veggies, berries, citrus fruit, garlic, food high in Vitamin C and other antioxidants, food high in omega 3 fatty acids (fish, nuts, flaxseed) all help support the production of collagen.
Use the Right Skin Care Products
We can use skin care products that help build up collagen in our skin. Anti aging skin care products contain ingredients such as retinoids and peptides to stimulate collagen production.
There are skin care products designed specifically to support collagen production in the skin. Dr Brandt is one of them. Click here to view Dr. Brandt products.
Get facials that include peels. That is, when we are allowed back in the salons again! Peels are a great way to stimulate collagen production. The massage during a facial is also beneficial for promoting collagen production.
Use electronic Beauty Tools
Use a sonic skin care brush to help stimulate collagen and smooth wrinkles.
Use a home laser such as Tria SmoothBeauty Laser to stimulate collagen with light.
Use micro current to stimulate collagen and facial muscles such as the NuFace Trinity.
We may not be able to get ourselves down to 24 grams of sugar everyday, but we can easily cut back to slow down the aging from sugar. And, some days, like Valentine's Day❤ and Birthdays 🎂, I think we get a day pass!😁
Have Beautiful Day!
Licensed Cosmetologist, Esthetician, Makeup Artist
Wedding, special occasion or everyday makeup and skin care services available in the Philadelphia, Pa. area. Visit my makeup page for more information!
I receive a small commission that keeps my blog running and supports the care of animals in need!😸
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