Wrinkles, the reason you need to cut your sugar intake

How much added sugar in your diet is OK? Last year, the World Health Organization lowered its recommendation to 5 percent of total calories. (Thinkstock)

Kristi King, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Sugar comes in so many foods and in so many forms people might not realize how much they’re eating. But did you know that too much sugar might damage skin and cause wrinkles?

Sugar can jump start a process called glycation, dermatologists tell Prevention.com.

Dermatologists recommend limiting sugar to 10 percent of your calories. For a woman of average height and weight in her mid- 40s, that’s roughly or 10 teaspoons or 160 calories. Ten teaspoons of sugar equal about what’s in a can of cola or six Hershey’s Kisses.

The naturally occurring glycation process starts a chain reaction that allows sugar to attach to proteins, creating harmful molecules that break down collagen in the skin, experts say.

Damaged collagen leads to wrinkles and sagging. Skin also can become dull.

Glycation also changes the type of collagen you have, another factor in how well your skins resists wrinkling.

Prevention offers five tips to keep from getting wrinkles.

  1. Eat less sugar. Opt for whole grains fruits and veggies. Avoid high fructose corn syrup and other sugars (dextrose, fruit juice concentrate, maltose, etc.) hidden in foods.
  2. Take vitamins B1 and B6. A multivitamin will give you the 1.1 mg of B1 and the 1.3 mg of B6 you need.
  3. Wear sunscreen – SPF 30 – every day.
  4. Eat foods rich in antioxidants.
  5. Use products that contain aminoguanidine and alistin, which block advanced glycation end, the harmful molecules created by glycation.

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