The science bitAs Lisa Chothia, a London-based nutritionist for UrBod Nutrition, explains, eating too much sugar can be very ageing for the skin. When you eat sugary foods or refined carbohydrates like white bread, white pasta, white rice and crisps), the body quickly breaks these down and your blood sugar levels can rise as a direct result. If there is excess glucose (sugar) in the blood, the body must get it out in any way that it can, so it coats the proteins that are leaving the blood, says Chothia. This isn't necessarily a good thing, as sugar-coated proteins can't function properly. The end result is the creation of Advanced Glycation-End products (AGEs), which cause further damage to proteins like collagen and elastin and contribute to the wrinkled, lined and "saggy" skin that we associated with the ageing process.
If you're finding this hard to get your head around, Chothia has a visual image to demonstrate: "A topical metaphor would be the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico. Here, the oil is the excess sugar coating anything that it comes into contact with and disrupting the normal function of the sea and surrounding environment. You hear reports on the news of the environmental scars that will be left by the oil, and this is similar to the damage caused by the excess sugar that we often see as ageing."