Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Does Sugar Age You & Cause Wrinkles? What is Glycation?

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The American Heart Association, 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.

Is sugar bad for you?
I have been hearing even more lately about sugar. It's not good news. Eating sugar causes a process in the body called glycation, among other things like chronic inflammation that can lead to a variety of disorders and diseases. 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.

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 is the breakdown of the skin's elastic fibers.

AGEs also make our skin more vulnerable to UV light. As we age, we don't produce as much collagen and elastin, therefore, the body can't repair the sugar damage like it used to. Our skin shows signs of aging. This, unfortunately, is a natural body function. Many healthy foods cause glycation, but sugars are the main culprits. Reducing sugar intake will slow the process. 

Cut waaaay back on sweets!

The American heart Association says that women should have no more than 24 grams, 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 sugar. Why are men allowed to have more? It's based on calories. A man is allowed a higher calorie count. 

What is added sugar?
Added sugar means sugar, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, evaporated cane juice, etc. that has been added to food, not sugar that naturally occurs in food. Even honey, with all it's health benefits, is a sugar. Fructose is particularly bad because of it's insulin resistance effect. Glucose is friendlier because it helps suppress the hunger hormone

Count your daily sugar grams 
24 grams is not much sugar. I decided to count my sugar grams just after lunch. I am over the limit at 33 grams! This is not going to be easy. There is sneaky added sugar everywhere. 

Yogurt is healthy right? There can be 27 grams of sugar in one regular yogurt. Go for a low calorie yogurt. They have less sugar. Chobani Hint of Flavor yogurts contain 9 grams of total sugar. Oikos Triple Zero has no added sugar, 6 grams of 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 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 this time of 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 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 think diet soda is a better choice. It's loaded with unhealthy artificial sweeteners that stimulate your craving for sweets.

Now back to the American Heart Association. I wondered why they, a heart association, would be recommending a sugar limit. Well, it is because fructose is metabolized by the liver where it is converted to fat that can built up in the liver, 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 sugar, there are a few other ways we can fight the glycation aging process.

Green Tea
Drinking green tea interferes with glycation and also promotes collagen production. 

Skin Care
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. Also, there are specific skin care products designed to address the glycation issue. Dr Brandt is one of them.  Click here to view Dr. Brandt products.

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, s
ome days, like Valentine's Day, I think we get a day pass!😁

Reduce aging from sugar in a nutshell:

1. Cut down on your carbs

2. Cut down on added sugar by reading ingredient labels

3. Use stevia as a sweetener

4. Drink green tea and white tea

5. Drink seltzer water flavored with a splash of juice, instead of soda

6. Eat foods that support collagen production: soy, 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)

7. Use anti aging skin care products that contain retinoids and peptides. Get facials that include peels to stimulate collagen production. Schedule a healing rejuvenating facial with me!

8. Use a sonic skin care brush and other beauty tools to help stimulate collagen and smooth wrinkles.

Beauty tools that fight aging of the skin

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Have Sweet Valentine's Day!

Licensed Cosmetologist, 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!

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