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6 Stealth Skin Agers
Indulging a Sweet Tooth
Cupcakes and candies have a place at office birthday parties and as occasional afternoon pick-me-ups. But if you fill up too often on such foods that are loaded with sugar, or foods that are high on the glycemic index, like white bread and pasta, you may eventually find that your skin looks older than it should.
What exactly does sugar do to the skin? After you indulge in a sweet treat, sugar breaks down into glucose, which "eats away at collagen and elastin, the structural proteins that make up the skin," says Jessica Wu, MD, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at USC medical school and the author ofFeed Your Face.This process, called glycation, causes collagen to harden over time, and this, in turn, makes your skin less supple and its texture worse.
Avoiding sugar is easier said than done — it's a common ingredient in many foods, not just desserts — so your best bet is to try to eat a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Dr. Wu suggests staying away from added sugars and such simple carbohydrates as white bread and white rice. It's also helpful to read labels and lists pf ingredients carefully and to scan for hidden sugars, such as high-fructose corn syrup. If you do eat carbohydrates and sugar, "balance them with protein, like nuts, beans, or chicken, to slow the harmful effect on your blood sugar levels," Wu says.
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