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Sugar - Why It Is Bad For Your Skin?

Dr. Ravindranath Reddy 90% (322 ratings)
Diploma in Medical Cosmetology, MBBS
Dermatologist, Hyderabad  •  39 years experience
Sugar - Why It Is Bad For Your Skin?

Almost every person salivates over desserts and sweets. One does not need a special occasion to get their sweet tooth going. While the lip smacking sugary delight might impress the taste buds, it is sure to affect the health in a big way. If you thought that sugar was only bad for your waistline and general health, then you need to know that it is equally harmful for your skin. In fact, it can lead to serious dermatological conditions.

Harmful effects of sugar on the skin

A lot of what we eat reflects on our body externally. A number of internal changes can influence the external appearance of the body. Excessive intake of carbohydrates, starch and sugar can have an adverse effect on the skin. It can also accelerate the ageing process. But what triggers these complications needs to be understood and discussed in detail.

Carbohydrates can be simple or complex. Simple carbohydrates (cake, bread; to name a few) break down and convert to glucose rapidly. Increased glucose level implies increased insulin level, and causes inflammation, which affects the whole body. The enzymes produced during inflammation breaks down important proteins, namely elastin and collagen, leading to wrinkles and saggy skin.

Acne problems mainly arise from Glycation (the process through which digested sugar attaches permanently to the collagen). Glycation plays a significant role in accelerating the ageing process.

Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, is good for health. When ingested, complex carbohydrates break down at a much slower rate. As a result, there is no abnormal increase in the insulin level.

Corrective measures to check the harmful effects of sugar on the skin:

With a little care and preventive measures, the deleterious effects of sugar on the skin can be minimised.

  1. Supplement your diet with foods rich in antioxidants. Lean proteins, fibrous foods and diets rich in good fats are highly recommended. Include beans and nuts that have low glycemic value in your diet. Drink plenty of water.
  2. Food items containing high amount of saturated fats (cheese, ice creams, fried foods; to name a few), and with high glycemic value should be strictly avoided.
  3. Do not compromise with your sleep. A sound sleep and a stress-free life is the mantra to a glowing and youthful skin.
  4. Practice meditation and yoga diligently. The rewarding and positive outcomes will leave you in awe.
  5. Do not skip your meals or indulge in overeating. Have small servings at regular intervals.
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