The Effects of Sugar on your Skin
Let's start with the basics. When you ingest sugar or high-glycemic foods that are rapidly convert to sugar (whether it's in the form of an apple or a piece of cake) your body breaks down these carbohydrates into glucose, which raises your insulin levels. Simple carbohydrates, like refined sugar, white bread and soda, cause your insulin levels to spike, which leads to "a burst of inflammation throughout the body."
Glucose is the form of energy you were designed to run on. Every cell in your body, every bacterium—and in fact, every living thing on the Earth—uses glucose for energy.
What Sugar You Shouldn't Eat
Simple carbohydrates are your skin's enemy, since they rapidly break down into glucose and result in insulin spikes. Avoid foods that are pro-inflammatory, high-glycemic or high in saturated fats like: white bread, candy, fried food, ice cream, fruit juice, pasta, ketchup, cream cheese, jam, pizza, sugar (white and brown), packaged snacks and sodas.
What Sugar You Should Eat
Opt for complex carbohydrates, like brown rice and vegetables, which are broken down into glucose at a slower rate (and therefore don't cause that pesky insulin spike). Low-glycemic options, like beans, nuts and whole grains, as well as fibrous foods, which delay sugar absorption, also help control blood sugar levels. Do your best to follow an anti-inflammatory diet if you want glowing, youthful skin.
- Healthy fats (like olive oil and avocados)
- Lean protein (like salmon)
- Fiber (like broccoli and cauliflower)
- Antioxidants (like berries)
How To Counteract Sugar's Effects On Skin
•Get plenty of sleep- When you don't get enough shut-eye, your body releases the stress hormone, cortisol, which mobilizes sugar stores and causes your insulin to spike.
•Personal stress can spike insulin levels just like eating sugar can. The effects of stress are particularly correlated with acne breakouts.
•Eat frequent, balanced meals. If your goal is to keep your blood sugar levels consistent, make sure to fuel up with low-glycemic, high protein food every three hours to avoid insulin spikes.
•Be mindful about how you prepare your food- When cooking starches, like potatoes and foods with wheat, keep in mind that the heat involved in cooking causes a process known as gelatinization, which can lead to upping the glycemic index of a food item. The takeaway? Avoid starches fried in high heat or that are commercially processed.
•Order counts. Eat your proteins first when sitting down for a meal, since they don't stimulate insulin spikes and therefore keep your body from triggering the inflammatory effects caused when you ingest insulin-spiking foods.
•Fats are your friend. Healthy fats, like Omega-3s, keep your skin looking soft, supple and radiant.
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