How Sugar Ages You

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We all know about sugar’s link to diabetes and weight gain, but it may surprise you to know that it can also contribute to how old you look.

According to Meriden, CT, dermatologist Dr. Nicholas Perricone, MD, processed and refined sugars play a pretty significant role in inflammation and advanced aging. “Glycation is the long-term effect that sugar has on the body,” he says. “High-glycemic foods are loaded with sugars that, when released, bind to proteins in the cells and to collagen in the skin. This sugar-protein bond also produces free radicals, which drive the production of inflammation. This glycation makes it difficult for cells to function properly, resulting in destructions to all organ systems, including the skin.”

Even though it’s hard to omit sugar entirely from your diet, natural sugars are thought to not cause a quick spike in blood sugar (since they help the body absorb sugar) like refined and processed sugars can, although any amount of sugar can cause it to climb somewhat.

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