As a general rule, the foods you already know are good for you, like vegetables, fruits, wild-caught fish, and whole grains, are the foods that also tend to promote anti-aging and keep you looking younger longer.
The foods you already know are bad for you, like sugar, trans fat, and processed junk foods, are the foods that actually cause accelerated skin aging.
However, we probably want more specifics, and indeed, there are very specific bad food that are particularly likely to age you quickly, and some very specific good food with super anti-aging powers.
Age Wrecker #1:
Sugar is just about the worst thing you can eat when it comes to your skin. If there is one thing I would like you take from this
blog post , it’s this:
Sugar = Wrinkles.
Let’s look at why.
Just about everything you eat gets broken down into sugar. The process is complex, but to simplify, cookies, mashed potatoes,
carrots, a sandwich, even a steak dinner gets converted into glucose (a type of simple sugar) for your body to use as energy.
Anything you don’t need right away gets stored in your liver and muscles in the form of glycogen, (which is why you should only eat when you are hungry) which your body can use later when it needs more energy. Foods with more carbohydrates are more readily turned into sugar to fuel the body than foods with more protein and/or fat (this is why athletes sometimes ‘carb-load’ before a race or competition). If you take in excessive calories and your liver and muscles have all the glycogen you need, anything leftover gets stored in your fat cells.
The more sugar you eat, the more likely you will have significant stores of body fat, because your body has to put
that excess sugar somewhere.
However, the problem, when it comes to health as well as beauty, isn’t so much about fat as it is about insulin. Normally, when you eat food and your body turns it into glucose, your blood sugar goes up. In response, your body releases just enough insulin to help shuttle that extra sugar into the liver, muscles, and fat cells.
When you eat too much sugar, however (and that can mean too many calories, especially carbohydrates calories made of starchy and sugary foods), your body can’t keep up.
A large amount of sugar (including the sugar from refined carbohydrates like white bread) triggers the body to release a flood of insulin to get that blood sugar down before it hurts you. This in turn can push blood sugar too low. Too much of this up-and-down blood sugar/insulin instability can lead to diabetes and many other related issues, including obesity and system-wide inflammation.
Chronic inflammation damages your skin and impedes your body’s natural processes, which can lead to compromised health over time. As you probably already know, glowing health looks younger. Ill health looks (and feels!) older. As a final insult, spiking insulin levels can also result in increased levels of androgenic hormones and excess oil, worsening acne. But perhaps the most direct link between sugar and aging is glycation. High levels of sugar in the bloodstream cause a chain reaction of accelerated aging when sugar molecules bond to protein and fat molecules in the body, deforming and stiffening them.
This happens with glucose, and at an even higher rate with fructose (high fructose corn syrup, a sweetener that’s very common in processed foods, is one of the worst “foods” in terms of premature skin aging—avoid it like poison!). The molecules that are impacted by glycation include collagen and elastin, which are the building blocks of your skin. Collagen
and elastin give skin its firmness and elasticity, but when sugar molecules attach to them, they get stiff, bent out of shape, drained of color.
They become sugar-protein hybrids, called advanced glycation end products or (appropriately), AGEs.
And they aren’t pretty.
Glycation is a natural process and some AGEs are inevitable, but the more AGEs you have, the more your skin will be
affected, even overwhelmed. The equation is simple: too much sugar = too many AGEs. This can result in premature wrinkles,
sagging, stiffness, slower cell turnover, and a loss of circulation to the skin.
It can cause unattractive distribution of fat pockets and a loss of that youthful bloom. All skin ages eventually, but AGEs have a definite accelerating effect that becomes most
noticeable after the age of 35. This is all some people need to know to cut out the sweet stuff, but sugar and simple carbohydrates are hard to resist.
Overeating, which creates a flood of glucose, and especially overeating high-sugar and high-starch foods (from candy to
white rice), is the quickest way to age due to too many AGEs, so the next time you are tempted to eat too many carbohydrates, just picture your skin, and the damage you could cause by eating that extra slice of cake.
Another aging effect of sugar is inflammation. Many studies have linked high blood sugar and also the high insulin that
inevitably follows to system-wide chronic inflammation, which can cause chronic disease but can also have a negative effect
on a youthful appearance.
Chronic inflammation can worsen rosacea and rashes, can increase skin oiliness, and may also
weaken the collagen and elastin in your skin over time. It can impair the skin’s natural healing ability, slowly degrading skin
quality and accelerating aging.
Even if you weren’t at all worried about wrinkles, sugar has also been linked to acne. When high blood sugar spikes trigger insulin spikes, insulin triggers insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1). Both insulin and IGF-1 increase the production of androgens, which are hormones that can trigger acne. The short version:
Sugar accelerates aging and causes breakout – two strong reasons to pass on the sweet stuff ………………………………………………………….
To Be Continued …………