Sugar and ageing
We all know that as we get older, our bodies undergo certain changes, such as getting more wrinkly skin, going grey or losing our hair, and getting more forgetful. But there’s more to ageing than just the things we see on the surface; many changes occur in different parts of our body, as they get less efficient at doing their jobs.
Some aspects of ageing are only skin deep, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t care about them.
Healthy, supple skin requires certain proteins to function properly, which the body makes an effort to maintain and repair. However, sugar can damage these proteins through a process known as glycation (sugar damage).
It has been known since 1945 that high sugar diets increase the levels of sugar in both the blood and skin, permitting higher levels of damaging glycation.
How are ageing and metabolism linked?
Most of the quintessential diseases of old age, such as cancer, Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease, have a metabolic component, meaning they are influenced by how well the body processes its fuels.
Type 2 diabetes is a classic example of a metabolic disease: the body is unable to regulate its blood glucose levels and this leads to a number of health issues and complications, such as kidney disease, cardiovascular disease and nerve damage.
What can we do about this?
We’ve all seen advertisements from health companies claiming that their supplement slows down the ageing process, and indeed, there’s a lot of foods and supplements that have been shown to be beneficial in some manner.
However, good health requires more than just popping a pill every now and then. Arguably the most important thing is to eat a diet that promotes metabolic health.
This means cutting down on sugar consumption, as a diet that is high in sugar promotes poor metabolic health and is known to cause insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Furthermore, as poor metabolic health and ageing are both factors in the quintessential diseases of the modern age (cancer, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s), reducing sugar intake is likely a good strategy for reducing the risk of these developing.
If you’re interested in structured education and support to help you attain better metabolic health, then why not sign up for our Low Carb Program and join over 370,000 people working to improve their health and wellbeing?