While sun damage can play a big role in the formation of wrinkles, sugar makes us age faster, both inside and out.
A process known as glycation, where sugar binds to protein and creates a new molecule that is destructive to the body (called an advanced glycation end-product, or AGE), is responsible for many signs of aging skin.
- Reduced elasticity
- Leathery texture
- Spider veins around the nose, cheeks, and chin
- Age spots
When you eat a diet filled with sugar, you build up high levels of AGEs. Research has even found that high levels of AGEs in the skin make it more susceptible to sun damage.
Sugar Ages Your DNA
Did you know that sugar in your diet can make you age faster? A high-sugar diet may contribute to signs of aging skin, like spider veins, age spots, and wrinkles.
Wrinkles aren’t just a sign of aging skin.
If you eat foods that are full of sugar, you place extra stress on your body. The process of glycation is a physical stress, releasing free radicals and inflaming the body. Glycation hardens blood vessels and makes tissue stiff and fibrotic. While many of the wrinkles that we get are a result of a high-sugar diet, the literal stress of a sugar habit can hurt the body in more ways than one.
For example, too much sugar can:
- Damage organs, like the liver
- Generate free radicals and inflame the body
- Cause breaks in strands of DNA
High levels of sugar in the diet can cause breaks in DNA, otherwise known as glycated DNA. Broken DNA triggers the immune system, and scientists now tell us that it may be one factor leading to autoimmune disease.
Even though fruit sugar is unprocessed and natural, that doesn’t necessarily make it “safe.”
Fruit sugar, otherwise known as fructose, is found in many plants. Foods with high levels of fruit sugar include:
- Maple syrup
- Fruits from vines and trees
- Root vegetables, like sugar beets
- Sugar cane
- Condiments, baked goods, and deli meats that contain high fructose corn syrup
Fruit sugar is eight times more likely to glycate, or create AGEs, than glucose. Glucose is a sugar that our cells use for energy. It is also the most basic sugar in starchy foods.
On The Body Ecology Diet, we recommend only sour fruits that contain low levels of fructose, including:
- Unsweetened juice from cranberry, pomegranate, and black currant
If you crave sweet foods, stevia liquid concentrate gives you that sweet taste without raising blood sugar. Unlike low-glycemic sweeteners (for example, agave), stevia is fructose-free. Research also suggests that stevia lowers blood sugar, reducing the risk of glycation.
To combat sugar cravings, consider adding fermented foods to your diet. Even a few ounces of a sour-tasting probiotic beverage can dampen a sweet tooth.
Want a delicious anti-wrinkle drink? Try this Anti-Wrinkle Pomegranate Coconut Spritzer recipe, which contains all natural ingredients shown to help reduce the signs of aging.
Anti-Wrinkle Pomegranate Coconut Spritzer
Mix 6 ounces chilled coconut water kefir, 4 ounces pomegranate juice and 2–3 drops stevia liquid concentrate and enjoy!