Want glowing skin? Cut down on sugar!
Even those who don't consider themselves to have sweet tooth likely take in far more sugar than recommended. Currently, experts advise adults not to exceed 30g a day, but when fruit, juices and condiments are all full of the stuff, it can be hard to stick to the guidelines. But it really does pay off to curb your sugar intake, because overdoing the sweets can have a real impact on your teeth, waistline and even your complexion.
"Consideration for our sugar intake should be a priority in every woman's beauty regime, particularly when you consider how dramatically it affects the skin and the rapid deterioration of the skin’s elasticity," Hala El-Shafie BSc Hons Nutrition & Dietetics, Consultant Nutritionist Director at Nutrition Rocks, explained to Cover Media.
"Poor nutrition combined with excessive sugar and refined carbohydrate intake is particularly damaging to the elasticity of skin due to a process called 'glycation', which is directly affected by sugar intake and its effect on ageing, which occurs when blood sugar levels become excessively high."
Unfortunately collagen and elastin molecules in the skin are very susceptible to sugar, meaning they become brittle when attacked, leaving skin wrinkled, saggy and dull.
As Denise Rabor, international make-up artist and founder of WOW Beauty, points out, excessive sugar intake can also cause acne, spots and rashes, as it dehydrates the skin.
She recommends avoiding the main offenders like alcohol, simple carbohydrates and foods that are pro-inflammatory, high-glycemic or high in saturated fats.
"Look out for hidden sugars in your food; things like ready meals can be particularly high in sugar," Denise explained.
"Avoid adding sugar to your diet, trust me you will see a difference in your waistline if you cut out on bad sugars. Opt for complex carbohydrates, like brown rice and vegetables, because these are broken down into glucose at a slower rate.
"Low-glycemic options, like beans, nuts and whole grains, as well as fibrous foods, all delay sugar absorption and help to control blood sugar levels. Do your best to follow an anti-inflammatory diet of healthy fats by including foods such as avocados, lean protein like salmon, fibre such as broccoli and cauliflower and antioxidants like berries if you want glowing, youthful skin. Why not even try adding in supplements to your diet too, these will give your skin an added boost."