We know that excessive sun exposure and smoking will age our skin. But did you know that another major skin ager is sugar and high glycemic foods? Most people associate these foods with only weight problems, but if you’re concerned about wrinkles and sagging skin, you need to decrease the simple carbohydrates in your diet.
Excess sugar in the bloodstream can stick to proteins forming Advanced Glycation End Products or AGEs. These molecules have not only been associated with aging but also with heart disease, diabetes and more. Another way AGEs are increased in the body is by consuming foods that already have high levels of them. Browned meats have some of the highest levels.
Suggestions to protect yourself from AGEs:
- Decrease sugar consumption; but do not substitute with artificial sweeteners.
- Avoid all packaged foods that contain high fructose corn syrup. This is one of the worst offenders.
- Decrease high glycemic index foods such as breads (any kind except sprouted grains), pasta, white rice and, of course, things like cookies.
- Cook any meats at a low temperature in water, such as in a slow cooker. This will reduce the number of AGEs produced. Also remember not to add sweet sauces to it.
So, again, we have another reason to eat more vegetables. Why don’t we stop fighting it and just do it! Personally, I have gone on a mission to find new ways to prepare delicious veggie main dishes. Beans and brown rice are also a good choice. In the future, I’ll try to post some of my favorite dishes.