My name is Sami and I am a sugar addict. Yes I know that sounds a little dramatic but cakes, chocolate, biscuits and desserts are a major WEAKNESS of mine, so much so that it's starting to affect my my skin and overall health... Eeep. Lately my complexion has become really dull and lifeless. I've upped my skincare regime and brought out my super strength serums but nothing seems to be able to give it a much needed boost - it must be my diet. To break it down and give you all and idea, this is how much sugar I consume on an average day; I'll have two spoons of sugar in my morning coffee, a couple of biscuits (chocolate, always chocolate), 2-3 chocolate bars or some sort of cake and then in the evening if I go out for dinner I'll most likely order a dessert after. In fact, as I write this I'm eating my second Lindt chocolate bunny and I've just polished off a packet of Mini Eggs (maybe Easter wasn't the best time to write this...?)
Everyone knows that sugar is bad for you but how many of us are actually aware of HOW bad it is? I decided to do a little research to find out how what effect it can have on skin and if a sugar fiend like me could ever be reformed...
Sugar: Skin's worst enemy
Skincare specialist Dr Perricone explains: "Sugar in all of its forms (corn syrup, cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc.) is extremely damaging to the skin. It causes sudden spikes in blood sugar levels, resulting in the release of insulin into the blood stream, that then cause us to store, rather than burn fat. As these sugars are eaten, they cause a burst of inflammation throughout the body. The sugar molecule can also permanently attach to protein, such as the collagen present in our skin and other parts of the body.
"When our blood sugar and insulin levels rise, whether from a poor diet or from stress, we experience a serious increase in inflammatory chemicals. This causes inflammatory diseases such as acne to worsen dramatically."
Dal Dhaliwal, personal trainer and beauty therapist (www.bodyperfectpt.com), also explains how sugar can cause wrinkles to form prematurely: "One of the many, many effects of sugar on the body is the way it damages the collagen and elastic protein fibres in the skin, which is used to keep it firm and healthy. Once this springy and resilient collagen is damaged it’s elastin properties become dry and brittle, causing skin to become dull, loose and wrinkled."
Cutting down on sugar is easier said then done, especially if you have as much of it in your diet as I do. Dr Perricone suggests swapping it for a sweeter alternative. "It's best to avoid all forms of refined sugar as well as chemical artificial sweeteners. There are natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables that should be our only source of sugar. These foods are high in anti-inflammatory anti-oxidants, help stabilise blood sugar, and nutrients that promote beautiful skin and a healthy body."
I'm not keen on fruit and the thought of swapping my Dairy Milk for an apple already has me feeling panicky and hysterical, but then again fruit doesn't have to be the usual boring apples and 'nanas - I like pineapple, papaya, kiwis and other tropical fruits. Then there's the morning coffee - I could slowly adjust my tastebuds to having one spoon of sugar and then eventually get rid of it all together. And I've already swapped my morning almond croissant for porridge and honey or Greek yoghurt and granola, (granola is DIVINE- how did I not know about it before?!)
|A healthy start...|
Of course this is just baby steps. Cutting down something like sugar from your diet is NOT easy but you can start by slowly cutting down on things or swapping it for a healthier (and tasty) alternative. I might do a 'Lesson's Learned' post in a few weeks time to share more tips and advice, providing that I don't fall off the wagon... Ha!
I want to hear your thoughts on SUGAR. Are you as addicted to the sweet stuff as much as I am?!