Sugar and Your Skin
As humans we are biologically programmed to want sweet foods. Since excess sugar eventually turns into fat, natural foods with sugar (fruits, honey, dates, etc.) were ideal in ancient times when food was scarce. Now we have better access to food year round but many Americans are eating processed foods with added sugar. Over the years consumption of sugar has increased and most Americans consume almost three times the recommended amount. Below you will learn the truth about sugar and your skin.
Sugar Effects Your Skin and Hormones
An excess of sugar can trigger skin flare ups and inflammation to occur in the body. Since it causes a spike in your blood sugar it can throw off the balance of your hormones. Estrogen and Testosterone are hormones that directly influence your skin’s appearance. Since estrogen promotes collagen production it can be compromised because sugar breaks it down over time. This leads to premature aging. Testosterone assists in sebum (oil) production. As a result of producing too much oil, acne can occur. Along with that it can dehydrate your body, trigger allergies and cause hair loss.
Types of Sugar
First let’s start with going over natural and added sugar. Natural Sugar is found in fruits, some vegetables, honey, dates and more. Due to nutrients and fiber in in these foods they assist in reducing the impact of sugar. Added Sugar is added to sweetened beverages, packaged foods, condiments and more. They tend to have little to no nutrients in comparison to foods with natural sugars.
Next are two common categories of sugar. Refined Sugar is processed and stripped of minerals and nutrients. For example granulated (white) is refined. Unrefined Sugar is unprocessed to maintain its natural sources of iron, magnesium, copper and more. Sources of this include maple, coconut and date sugar.
Identifying Added Sugar on Nutrition Labels
Names including Corn, Malt, Beet, Syrup, and Cane
- High Fructose Corn Syrup and Corn Syrup
- Barley Malt
- Evaporated Cane Juice
- Maple and Brown Rice Syrup
- Beet Sugar
Names ending in “Ose”
Limiting Your Sugar Consumption
It is important to note that there are 4 grams of sugar per teaspoon and the recommended serving per day for an adult is 6 teaspoons. Therefore it is best if you consume less than 25 grams of sugar per day. For this reason it is best to buy unsweetened food when possible. You can then add your own sugar to control how much you are having.
Additionally you want to be mindful of the type of sugar you are consuming. Although sugar is sugar no matter the source, it is wise to choose ones that will provide you with some nutrients. A few examples are fruits, maple syrup, coconut sugar and dates.
With limiting sugar can come cravings or even detox symptoms (if you are dramatically decreasing your intake). Focusing on having sweet vegetables can reduce cravings. These include sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, beets, and peas. Along with that remember that it can take at least three days for any detox symptoms (headache, irritability, sleep issues) to settle down. In addition to that it can take about 28 days for your skin to reset and up to three months to notice it’s maximum changes.
Do you think sugar could be causing skin issues for you? What is your favorite food that contains natural sugars? Share your thoughts and follow @RayMadeWay on Pinterest & Instagram if you want see more on Holistic Health, Skincare and Wellness!
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