Submitted by Julia Parsons from the Baylor College of Medicine….
Everyone wants to age gracefully but they may not know that certain foods cause “sugar sag,” which results in wrinkles and loose skin.
Sugar sag is essentially a loss of elasticity in the skin that occurs from elevated levels of blood sugar, explains Dr. Rajani Katta, professor in the department of dermatology at Baylor College of Medicine. Naturally over time everyone’s skin will begin to lose elasticity, however eating certain foods over time can accelerate the process.
While many think of sugar itself as the main culprit, any foods that raise blood sugar, including simple carbohydrates, such as white bread and white rice, can cause collagen fibers to become brittle and not function as well.
“Research has shown that elevated blood sugar can lead to changes in the collagen and elastic fibers of the skin via a process known as glycation,” Katta said. “This results in cross-linking of the skin fibers, causing increased stiffness and reduced elasticity.”
These changes promote wrinkles, and once wrinkles are formed, there is no natural remedy to reverse it.
However, it is possible to counteract it, says Katta.
She recommends that people incorporate more fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices into their diets as a way to prevent sugar sag and its negative effects, like wrinkles and jowls.
These foods keep the skin healthy and slow the process of visible aging on the skin.
“The idea behind preventing sugar sag is ‘better skin from the inside out,’” said Katta. “What you eat affects your skin.”
Katta says adopting better eating habits, protecting skin from the sun and not smoking are the best proactive ways to care for skin and age gracefully through life.