Crow’s feet, sagging skin and achy joints – all telltale signs of Father Time’s wicked ways. While a few wrinkles might make us cringe when we look in the mirror, there could be more going on inside our body that adds years on a lot faster than you might think – with much thanks to sugar.

The bottom line is when we eat too much sugar we throw our insulin levels out of whack. Eventually, excessive sugar consumption leads to type-2 diabetes.  Even if you’re not afflicted with this form of diabetes, eating too much sugar has a profound effect on how our bodies operates from the inside out. So before you reach for your morning muffin, or evening ice cream, read on…

1)       Sugar Hinders Vitamin C Absorption: Vitamin C is a vital, powerful nutrient that, among many other things, helps our skin look great and our immune system strong. Excessive sugar intake inhibits the intake of Vitamin C.

2)       Sugar Causes Collagen Breakdown: The delicate connective tissue that keeps our skin toned and tight breaks down faster on a diet made up of excessive consumption. Think of collagen as your skin’s best defense against gravity. Take care of it!

3)       Sugar Elevates Bad Cholesterol/Lowers Good Cholesterol: Sugar has been shown to elevate bad cholesterol and lower good HDL cholesterol. In fact, a recent study funded by the British Heart Association1 showed that people living with Type-2 diabetes had high levels of a newly-discovered “ultra bad” cholesterol called MGmin-LDL. This LDL cholesterol is sticker that the garden-variety (already bad) LDL cholesterol. Stickier than regular LDL? That’s not good.

So you think you eat pretty good, but want to watch sugar? 

A lot of foods, good an bad, contain sugar. It’s modifying what you eat to consume less sugar, and avoiding foods that are loaded with it in the first place.

  • Soda: BAD; Seltzer water with a splash of juice: GOOD
  • Super sugary yogurt: BAD; Plain yogurt with a little honey and cinnamon: GOOD
  • Pre-packed flavored instant oats: BAD; Old fashioned oats with milk and a handful of berries: GOOD
  • A bag of pretzels (yes, even pretzels turn to sugar in our bodies): BAD; A handful of pretzels + a handful of almonds: GOOD
  • Plain toast with jam: BAD; Whole grain toast with an egg or your fave nut butter: GOOD
Happy eating, and keep your sugar in check!

 

1. N. Rabbani, L. Godfrey, M. Xue, F. Shaheen, M. Geoffrion, R. Milne, P. J. Thornalley. Glycation of LDL by Methylglyoxal Increases Arterial Atherogenicity: A Possible Contributor to Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in Diabetes. Diabetes, 2011; DOI: 10.2337/db11-0085

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