Sugar Free = Anti-Aging
Aging is something we are destined to do from the moment we are born, though some people manage it more gracefully than others. Yet even though we are yet to discover a magic pill that could halt this aging process, there are certain lifestyle choices we can make that will help slow it down.
Many of these lifestyle choices are things we are made aware of from a young age, such as avoiding smoking and excessive drinking, protecting ourselves against harsh sunlight, ensuring that we get enough sleep, eating healthily and exercising on a regular basis.
What scientists have only discovered in more recent years though is the significant role that sugar plays in speeding up the aging process.
Sugar is a short-chain soluble carbohydrate that is found in the majority of products that you put in your shopping basket, including fruits, dairy, vegetables, and grains. However refined sugars, such as glucose, fructose and high-fructose corn syrup are added to many of the processed foods available, even those that don’t taste all that sweet. Refined sugar is especially high in soda, fruit juices, yogurts, cereals, sauces as well as many other products that claim to be ‘healthy’.
So how does sugar speed up the aging process?
Sugars react with amino acids found in protein, in a natural process called ‘glycation’. When glycation occurs it produces advanced glycation end products, or what aptly abbreviates to ‘AGE’s’. These AGE’s then go on to damage other proteins, in particular collagen and elastin, which are responsible for keeping the skin firm and elastic. The more sugar you eat, the more AGE’s are formed, which results in the skin becoming dry, saggy and eventually forming wrinkles.
It isn’t just the skin that can be damaged by AGE’s. An excess of sugar in your diet will contribute to weight gain which can trigger diabetes, increase the risk of cancers and brain disorders.
AGE’s are also believed to contribute to the worsening of many age related degenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's, diabetes, stroke and cardiovascular disease. Because AGE’s are pro-inflammatory mediators, they have been linked to nerve death, tissue damage, eye damage, joint stiffness and even vascular stiffening with many of these degenerative diseases.
How can sugar be avoided?
Because of the numerous studies that have proven the negative health effects of sugar in the diet, many people have now opted to reduce their sugar intake, or even remove sugar from their diet altogether.
Unfortunately though, going completely sugar free can prove to be more challenging than you might think, because sugar is found in so many naturally occurring foods, as well as most processed ones.
A good place to start is by removing all added refined sugar from your diet. This means no longer adding it to tea or coffee, or on top of cereals, or to add flavor to soups or sauces. Other basic steps would be to avoid high sugar foods such as desserts, fruit juices, soda, sauces and most cereal. When planning your meals or snacks, always opt for fresh, whole foods as opposed to processed and pre-packaged ones.
If you are interested in trying a sugar free diet, contact the studio and we can add you to our nutrition mailing list. In April 2016, the studio is going on a 30 day sugar diet/cleanse! Join us! 216.320.9446 or firstname.lastname@example.org.