How Sugar and Aging Are Connected in 3 Powerful Ways

sugar and aging

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It’s funny how we feel invincible in our twenties, then still keep our poor habits as we feel some minor age-related health changes in our 30’s, but it’s our 40’s and 50’s that we truly pay far more attention to our health and anti-aging game plan. 

 

It’s really common for women in their 40’s (me included) to look in the mirror with some disappointment and want to find ways to look and feel younger. We all want to slow down the aging process and preserve our youthful skin and energy for as long as possible! 

 

Well, do you know that something as simple as sugar intake and aging is connected? From your skin to your brain, to your digestive system, sugar has a number of ill effects on the body, including speeding up the aging process…ugh. 

 

When thinking about what makes you look older, it’s important to consider factors in your diet, especially sugar! In today’s post, let’s talk about how sugar and aging interact, what effects sugar has on your health and skin, and how you can cut back on sugar in your daily life. 

 

Sugar and Aging Basics

 

When we try to slow down the process of aging, we don’t often think about sugar and aging. Instead, we focus on costly miracle pills and creams. When in fact, we really should be focusing on the foods and liquids we fuel our body with because aging happens inside before it shows outside our bodies. 

 

Sugar is not your friend in any health department, and it is directly related to lowering your immune system, leaving you vulnerable to getting sick, and feeling terrible. A high-sugar diet causes a fluctuating glycemic index, which can even eventually lead to diabetes or obesity. However, the most easily visible effect of the link between sugar and aging happens within your skin. 

 

I know from personal experience I feel so much better when I don’t eat so much sugar! Which can be tricky sometimes when my girls want to bake all the time, and I don’t have great portion control when it comes to sweets…who does?!

 

Sugar Ages Your Skin

 

Adding extra sugar to your routine can actually speed up the aging process on your skin in a huge way, best explained with a banana-themed analogy. When you lay a banana out unpeeled, it very quickly turns brown. The sugars within the banana are reacting with proteins and triggering a reaction: the same reaction happening within our bodies. [1]

 

Unlike bananas, we frequently consume table sugar made of glucose and fructose, and fructose accelerates that “browning” reaction in the banana by seven times. This happens from the inside-out in our bodies. 

 

Our skin is made of collagen and elastin, which both help to keep our skin supple and soft. When we eat sugar, the collagen molecules start to cross-link, which causes our skin to lose elasticity and become stiffer—leading to aged-looking skin, which we all want to avoid, right?!

 

Other Ways Sugar Affects Your Skin

 

Aside from triggering direct aging effects in your skin, sugar and aging are also linked through other skin factors. Sugar can cause acne, accelerate the appearance of wrinkles, sagging skin around your neck and chin, dark spot development, and slower healing of cuts and scars. 

 

While all of these things happen naturally, sugar speeds up the process and adds to the problem. Sugar and aging also interact through your DNA: sugar speeds up the shortening of telomeres, the little caps on the ends of DNA strands, aging your skin in the process. [3] I, for one, want to stay looking as young and healthy as possible for years to come, so I try to avoid eating high amounts of sugar as much as possible. 

 

Sugar Affects Your Gut Health

 

Your internal health is so important, especially in terms of aging. Sugar and aging both have consequences on your gut health, which has ripple effects on different parts of your body and overall wellness and can have you feeling sick.

 

Your gut microbiome keeps your digestive system healthy, but sugar actually can harm a healthy gut microbiome and negatively impact your overall gut health. Sugar is inflammatory, which causes a lot of overall dysfunction but also harms the diversity and functionality of key bacteria in your gut. [2]

 

Plus, when your diet is high in sugar, you might also be missing out on other key nutrients your body and digestive system need, like fiber and vitamins. All of which are imperative for your body to function well, detoxify, and slow the aging process. 

 

Fiber alone is so important to your health and specific to sugar, also helps regulate blood sugar levels for energy, and helps reduce your risk of diabetes. I have the kids, and I sneak this fiber into pretty much everything we bake or anything that we eat that can mix it in. No taste; health game changer! High-sugar diets can also lead to weight gain, which has aging effects on your body and overall wellness. 

 

Sugar feeds yeast and other harmful bacteria, damaging your intestinal wall and creating a “leaky gut.” It’s important to protect your gut health for so many reasons, so cutting back on sugar is essential for good health. 

 

Your Age Changes How You Process Sugar

 

Although men and women process sugar in the same way as they get older, our metabolic rates change as we age. For example, your body is able to use much fewer calories in a certain period of time, which leads us to have unprocessed calories for longer times. This means that sugar stays unused in our bodies and can lead to negative consequences down the road.

 

In order to (hopefully) reverse some of the effects of rapid aging, you’ll need to focus on reducing the metabolic effects like diabetes or obesity by cutting back on sugar. However, skin damage from sugar and aging are permanent, so be sure to focus on making changes now to prevent future sped-up aging! 

 

 

How to Eat Less Sugar

 

There are clearly a slew of science-backed effects that link sugar and aging. So how do you actually cut back on sugar in a realistic way? 

 

I find that we have the best results if I simply don’t buy it at the grocery store. If it’s in the house, I eat it! 

 

If you are going to be using a sweetener, try using local raw honey as the best alternative to table sugar—but even honey should be eaten in moderation at 1 tsp. per serving a few days per week. 

 

You might be wondering about how fruit affects your diet. If you’re trying to slow down aging and protect your overall health, berries are the best choice. Fruit has lots of natural sugars, but berries are rich in nutrients and lower in sugar. Make sure to consume fruit in the morning if possible, and try not to combine with other food types like carbohydrates. 

 

One last tip: a huge amount of our sugar consumption comes from drinks. Try to stick with water when you can—hydration is important on its own and has tons of benefits, but you’ll also eliminate tons of sugar found in soda and other beverages. 

 

When it comes to alcohol, vodka and gin generally have a lower sugar alcohol content than others. When you can’t avoid sugar, the predicament I will be in when the girls bake me my 42nd birthday cake on Monday, then make sure to have plenty of fiber and water the day prior, day of, and the following day! 

 

If you want to kick your sugar cravings for good, I highly recommend a gut healing regimen, which will balance your microbiome yeast and bacteria to allow your body to achieve digestive balance and crave the nutrients you need instead. We have changed so many peoples’ relationship with food and health with our 30-day gut class!

 

Sugar and aging are inextricably linked, but luckily, cutting back on your sugar can help slow down some of the negative effects. From harming your gut’s microbiome to triggering acne and the production of wrinkles by stiffening your skin’s collagen, sugar speeds up aging and takes away from your overall health. By eliminating some of the sugar from your diet, you’ll take back a lot of control over your health and wellness!

 


Health Benefits of Thorne Supplements

 

Our bodies rarely acquire all the vitamins and minerals that we need to stay healthy and strong due to diet and lifestyle. This, unfortunately, can cause sickness or dysfunction over time. Thankfully reputable supplements are a good option to make sure you’re getting all the right amounts of nutrients that you need. Because you should only put third-party tested, clean ingredients in your body, I am picky about my vitamin sources, but Thorne is one of my trusted sources. They offer natural, clean, safe, and high-quality supplements to give you confidence that you’re taking the best care of your body.

 

I use many of their products and love them so much! I want to make sure you have access to making good/clean supplement choices too! I’ve been able to negotiate savings for you to help you on your health journey. My readers can use this link for 15% off every purchase so you can feel better about purchasing directly from the manufacturer, ensuring quality, and get started living a healthier life today! Comment below with any questions, I’m always happy to help!

 

Resources 

[1] Livewell. (2020). Why Your Sweet Tooth Makes You Look Older. Retrieved July 2, 2020, from https://www.unitypoint.org/livewell/article.aspx?id=6ee15a58-5dc8-4615-bbc9-94c0c34ecf0d#:~:text=Sugar%20causes%20cross%2Dlinking%20of,our%20skin%20starts%20to%20suffer.

 

[2] Breus, M.J. (2019, 15 December). The Connection Between Sugar and Your Gut. Retrieved July 2, 2020, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sleep-newzzz/201912/the-connection-between-sugar-and-your-gut

 

[3] Danby F. W. (2010). Nutrition and aging skin: sugar and glycation. Clinics in dermatology, 28(4), 409–411. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clindermatol.2010.03.018.

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Disclaimer: This Blog/Web Site is made available by the publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give general information & understanding regarding the industry. It is not to be used as specific medical advice or to replace consulting with your doctor. You should always consult with your doctor. By using this Blog / Web Site you understand that this Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor. 
 

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