By shahnaz husain:
Do you love desserts, pan, sweets after hearty meal? If you can’t do without sweets and sugar laden food items then chances are you are unknowingly damaging your skin. While you might consider yourself to be following a reasonably healthy diet, the average person in Indian Metropolitan cities currently consumes a whopping 300 teaspoons of sugar each week - often without even knowing it. Indeed a large proportion of our deadly sugar intake is hidden within seemingly innocent snacks and foods such as soups, yoghurts and ready to eat packed meals. There are lots of factors that ruin your skin. Your penchant for sweet treats is probably one of the worst offenders for outright aging your face and body. While it is general belief that excess sugar leads to serious health consequences like heart disease, obesity, diabetic, weight gain but sugar intake also has beauty ramifications. Weird breakouts? Fine lines rolling deep? You could blame it on Your Sweet Tooth.
Most of us blame excess eating of pizza, chocolate, and other fatty junk foods for tooth decay, acne and other skin problems. But it is sugar not fat in those foods that’s the culprit behind everything from breakouts to eczema to premature aging. Modern medical research has concluded that besides sun exposures, excess glucose in the bloodstream can cause skin issues, such as wrinkles, brown spots, yellowing skin and sagging, among others. I have always said that the skin is a reflection of our internal health, our habits and lifestyle. What we eat affects our body, including our weight, energy, skin, hair, etc. Those who want to lose weight, start cutting down on sugar. The well known dermatologist, Dr Nicholas Perricone has said that simple carbohydrates, including refined sugar leads to “a burst of inflammation throughout the body”. When we have high-glycemic foods, that is foods laden with sugar, our insulin levels are suddenly raised. The other effects of this are congested tissues, increase in oil-gland activity and even visible signs of premature ageing.
The digested sugar causes a breakdown of collagen and elastin, which leads to sagging skin and wrinkles. The inflammation in the tissues, as well as the increase in oil gland activity can lead to clogged pores, breakouts, pimples and acne. Not only that, as the body develops resistance to insulin, there can be other effects on the skin, in terms of dark patches and even excess facial hair growth. Therefore, it is essential to understand glycemic index and select foods accordingly, controlling your intake of foods containing refined sugar. Although so much information is available, we continue to eat refined foods that are high in starch and sugar, but low in nutrition.
These dietary faults begin to manifest themselves in terms of disease, overweight, low vitality, premature aging and many skin and problems that detract from an attractive appearance. So, take a good look at your diet. Begin by reducing your intake of sugar and foods containing simple carbohydrates, like cakes, pastries, candy, mithai, jam, ice-cream, white bread, pasta and so on. Increase your intake of wholegrains and eliminate refined cereals and flour. Cut down your intake of sugar, starch and fried foods and increase your intake of raw salads and sprouts. You can get all the natural sugar you need from fruits. A part of your daily diet can consist of fresh fruits and vegetables, eaten raw, with the skin, as far as possible. Yoghurt is also a wonderful beauty food, while skimmed milk and paneer can be included. Vegetables should be lightly cooked. Take enough green leafy vegetables, like spinach. Fruit and vegetable juices, freshly extracted are ideal. They not only ensure a supply of valuable nutrients, but are assimilated and absorbed by the body very easily.
They also help to cleanse and purify the system and prevent the accumulation of toxic residues. Fruit and vegetable juices are best taken freshly extracted, with the addition of water. However, if you have any health condition like diabetes, you should consult your doctor for dietary advice. As for your sugar cravings, you can have fruits to subdue them and gain health in terms of vitamins, minerals, bioflavonoid and other beneficial food elements. So, when you crave for a rich dessert, cakes or pastries, reach for fresh fruits instead. Stay away from aerated drinks, as they contain a lot of sugar. Have fresh fruit juices, without sugar. Certain foods are also said to control sugar cravings, like oats, fruit salad made with yogurt, crumbled paneer (cottage cheese), unsweetened fruit smoothies, etc. It is also a good idea to do an appraisal of your eating pattern and the kind of foods you crave for. Some people need a sugar high when they are anxious and need to relieve stress.
It may be difficult to control this snacking urge, so it is better to look for substitutes like fresh fruit, fresh fruit juices, vegetable soups, salads and sprouts. Choose foods from skimmed milk, yoghurt (curd), cottage cheese (paneer), leafy and other vegetables, chicken, fish, whole wheat, unpolished rice, sprouted cereals and pulses, fresh fruit and vegetable juices (unsweetened), lassi (unsweetened) and clear soups.