How Sugar Effects Your Skin

Making sure your body gets enough of the right kind of nutrients is easy during the summer months when bikini season has everyone focused on health and fitness. But if you're like most people, by the time November rolls around, your diet is less about salad and more about sugar cookies!

And who can blame you? During the holidays sweet treats like cakes, cookies, and candy are everywhere. And on top of that, holiday stress caused by doing too much, indulging too much, and spending too much can easily make you break the good habits you spent all year cultivating.

But throwing caution to the wind when it comes to your diet can negatively impact how you feel (sluggishness anyone?), and how you look. Consider this:

    According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in 2007 Americans consumed 84.3 pounds of high fructose corn syrup and sugar combined per capita—that's about a 15% increase since 1982

    A diet high in refined sugar increases glycation, or the process of sugar attaching to proteins in your blood stream to form new molecules called Advanced Glycation End Products (AGES)

    AGES damage proteins like collagen and elastin which are responsible for keeping skin plump and firm.

    AGES also deactivate your body's natural antioxidant enzymes, making you more vulnerable to sun damage.
So for more supple skin this holiday season, think less gingerbread men and more antioxidant rich foods like berries, nuts, and sweet potatoes.

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