I recently gave up sugar…. well processed sugar - which was by no means easy as I realised I have the sweetest tooth! I took it out of my coffee, off my toast, and everywhere else I was eating it - sometimes without even realising it. I had a headache for the first three days, which I swore if it didn't go away I would start eating sugar again just to be rid of the pain. It did, however, disappear on the 4th day and my head felt really clear… amazingly clear actually and I was not zapped with constant tiredness. (The reason I had wanted to give up sugar in the first place as I had a feeling it was the source of my tiredness). The cravings for sweetness took a few weeks to go and when I felt like something sweet I would eat dates as they satisfied that craving.
I brought the book I Quit Sugar For Life and found the replacement for sugar was rice malt syrup, which has now become a staple in my cupboard. The book has become my go to for dinner and dessert recipes, ( the choc mint slice is pretty hard to go past) and I no longer crave sugary snacks.
The other thing I noticed when I gave up sugar besides not being constantly tired, was my skin became so much clearer and better looking. I even had a waitress in a restaurant comment on how good my skin looked. I had always had a problem patch on my face that would break out constantly and no matter what I did it wouldn't stop the flare ups. But that patch has now gone and only comes back strangely enough, if I treat myself to a Messina ice cream every now and then (they are definitely hard to give up). The texture of my skin has changed and the fine lines on my face have started to look finer. ( Of course that could also be my failing up close eyesight)
It got me asking the question….. does sugar age the skin? And the answer apparently is yes. Obvious answer I know, but it had never occurred to me that the amount of sugar I was eating was directly related to the ageing of my skin. Had I known that I would've given it up years ago.
It turns out that the way our cells recognise and use sugar may speed up the body's ageing process. Scientists have found the higher the blood glucose, the older a person looks. Sugar sabotages the growth of good skin cells -reducing the quality of collagen in the skin. Sugar encourages type 111 collagen to become type 1 which is more brittle, causing the skin to break down and become thin and more lined…..therefore a diet high in sugar is a disaster for the face!
Refined carbohydrates such as white flour is included in this category too and should be kept to a minimum. I have replaced ordinary white flour with coconut flour or almond meal recipes instead… just as delicious and I no longer eat pasta, replaced instead with grated cauliflower… delicious!
The good news is if you change your diet and eliminate or cut down on sugar you will see results very quickly. The odd treat here and there is not going to do any harm and I actually think , necessary every now and then….. life still has to be lived! The aim is to see if you can keep sugar intake down to 10% of your diet and your skin will definitely thank you. :)….. not to mention your overall health.