Sugar is perhaps the biggest and most debated topic in health and wellness these days. There is no denying in the fact that it causes havoc on the mind and body in numerous ways. But have you ever wondered about the adverse effects of sugar intake on your skin? The increasing evidence on the negative impact of sugar consumption has proven it to the number one enemy of the people. It may sound unbelievable, but many of your everyday food items other than sweets also contain high levels of refined sugar. Manufacturers are adding sugar to a lot of products, including spaghetti sauce, crackers, and most canned food items. Here are a few more reasons to cut back on sugar from your diet if you’re in pursuit of beautiful-looking skin.
- Insulin Resistance
For starters, ingesting food with high glycemic index increases the amount of carbohydrates in the bloodstream. The body breaks down these carbohydrates rapidly into glucose, increasing your insulin level. In the long run, excess use of sugar can lead to insulin resistance, increasing the risk of diabetes. Insulin resistance may also manifest in skin discoloration around the neck and other body fold or excessive hair growth on the body.
Glycation is probably the most harmful effect of sugar on the skin. During the process of glycation, sugar molecules in the bloodstream bind to proteins or lipids in the body, including elastin and collagen to produce AGEs. As we all know that these proteins are needed to keep the skin firm, vibrant, and plump. But AGEs damage and break down both these proteins, leading to premature signs of aging, like wrinkles, age spots, and fine lines. They also destroy the body’s natural antioxidants, making it more prone to environmental stress, especially free radical damage.
Sugar makes your skin more susceptible to various skin concerns, including inflammation. When you consume sugar, your body releases more glucose, which attaches to collagen in the body. Collagen functions to keep your skin healthy by maintaining the cells in their optimal shape. The excessive intake of sugar affects the collagen, decreasing its ability to protect and repair the damaged cells, capillaries, and tissues. Consequently, exposing your skin to external agents that can cause certain skin infections. Too much sugar can even exacerbate an inflammatory skin condition, such as eczema and rosacea.
If you’re already struggling with acne or have oily skin that easily starts to breakout, consuming food with high glycemic index can make your condition even worse. The increased level of blood glucose can activate the hormones that cause your oil glands to produce more sebum. As a result, there will be more chances of acne breakouts on your skin. So, say goodbye to all those sugar-rich cakes, candies, and beverages if you want a clear and smooth complexion.
Dull, dry, and parched skin is yet another side effect of high sugar intake. A high concentration of glucose in the body drains your cells of all the fluid, leading to undernourished and dehydrated skin. This is the reason you feel thirsty after having high glycemic food like a chocolate bar or a soda can. Your body needs a lot more water to process the high sugar molecules in the body. Other than making your complexion dull, dehydration can also lead to dark under-eye circles and puffiness.