You don’t have to be diabetic to experience an inflammatory response from sugar. Even a healthy body is damaged by sugar in a phenomenon known as glycation. When foods rapidly convert to sugar in the bloodstream, as high glycemic carbohydrates do, they cause browning, or glycating of the protein in your tissues. Glycation is a process long known to discolor and toughen food in storage. Glycation can occur in skin as well, creating detrimental age-related changes to collagen — and that means deep wrinkles.
Healthy collagen strands normally slide over one another, which keeps skin elastic. If a young person smiles or frowns, creating lines in the face, the skin will snap back and be smooth again when she or he stops smiling or frowning. But excessive eating of sugar causes collagen fibers to bond to one another, destroying the ability for the skin to snap back and smooth out. Those deep grooves remain, because that is where the sugar molecules have attached to collagen, making the fibers stiff and inflexible.
Besides being visible in our face, we can easily see the aging properties of carbohydrates in the laboratory. Fibroblasts are the cells that produce collagen and elastin fibers, the strands of tissue that give skin its strength and flexibility. If just a drop of sugar is added to a cell culture of fibroblasts, within a minute or two we can measure a sharp rise of inflammatory chemicals in the cells. Glycation takes place in all parts of the body and can destroy other vital organs, including your kidneys, lungs, and brain.
So here’s the takeaway: Sugar is not a sweet, innocent compound. It’s highly reactive and can cause great structural damage to critical proteins and fats. Once structurally damaged, these proteins and fats cannot function properly.
So what can you do to protect yourself? First, start off by eating less sugar. Then, also consider food products containing natural sweetener alternatives like Stevia and Lo Han. Sticking to a high protein, low carb diet such as the Dukan Diet will help keep your waistline trim and your skin smooth as you reach and maintain your True Weight.