What is Glycation?
Aging is an unfortunate yet imminent force of nature. We are all aware of the effects our diet may have on our health, but what is less commonly discussed is how what you eat also affects the aging of your skin and body. Glycation is the leading cause of accelerated aging at the molecular level. When we eat, our bodies break down the carbohydrates into sugar molecules to give us energy. Over time as we consume too many sugary foods, the sugars in our system bond with proteins to form Advanced Glycation End Products, or “AGEs”. The proteins in our skin that give us collagen and elastin are the most prone to glycation. When these proteins bond with sugar, they become weak and discolored, giving our skin wrinkles and a dull radiance.
What Accelerates Glycation?
The key is blood sugar. The higher the blood sugar levels, the increased amount of AGEs. Sugary foods are the main culprit. Many Americans consume almost 2.5 pounds of sugar every week. Foods with a higher glycemic index such as white bread, white rice, and white potatoes will spike insulin levels and create glycation. We all know that UV ray exposure contributes to aging skin, but exposure to UV rays will also increase the formation of AGEs. (doubling the amount of aging!)
How to Fight Back!
Glycation is a process that happens over our lifetime, but changing your diet and lifestyle can help slow down these effects on your skin.
Step 1: Cut Down on Your Sugar Intake
As mentioned before, sugar rapidly increases the glycation process. However, if you need to indulge your sweet tooth, try using a sugar alternative. Try using our zero calorie, sugar free MonkFruit Sweetener, and any of our other award winning products.
Step 2: Choose Low Glycemic Foods
Try to cut out white bread, white rice and other high glycemic foods, and replace them with nuts, lean meats, and leafy vegetables.
Step 3: Exercise and Maintain a Healthy Weight
As we age we lose muscle mass which can lead to increased AGEs. One of the greatest benefits of having muscles is that they consume glucose, which in turn results in less glucose available for glycation. The glycation process in our bodies can’t be completely stopped, but through conscious effort it can be slowed.