Most popular questions I get:
Does sugar age my skin?
Should I avoid chocolate?
Is there any correlation between sugar and acne?
There are good news and the bad news about the sugar.
The good news: brown sugar used topically makes a great exfoliant. In addition to brushing of aged skin cells, Brown sugar contains glycolic acid that helps to eliminate bacteria and it is a natural humectant, which helps to moisturize the skin.
The bad news: Yes, sugar does play a big role in aging the skin, when consumed internally. Sugar, can permanently attach to the collagen present in the skin and cause Glycation. It creates inflammation in the body and it provokes aging of the skin. Glycation causes the cross-links formed between sugars and proteins, makes tissue stiff, inflexible and shows up as wrinkles on the surface. Sun exposure is not the only reason why brown spots appear on the skin, Advanced Glycation may also cause skin discoloration (Hyperpigmentation).
If that wasn’t bad enough, sugar also feeds yeast overgrowth known as Candida! Candida overgrowth symptoms include:
- Skin: acne, eczema, athlete’s foot, skin rashes, hives, dry brownish patches, psoriasis, ringworm, rough bumpy skin on sides of arms, diaper rash.
- Allergies: to foods.
- Difficulty to loose weight.
- Increased appetite (always craving some food).
- Poor digestion (constipation or diarrhea, gas, bloating, stomach pain, cramps, heartburn, nausea, gastritis, colitis, etc.)
- Neurological: carbohydrate cravings, irritability, mood swings, headaches, migraines, “fogged-in” feeling, inability to concentrate, poor memory, confusion, dizziness, M.S.-like symptoms (slurred speech, loss of muscle co-ordination, vision affected), depression and/or anxiety, paranoia.
- Vaginal infections, menstrual difficulties, impotence, infertility, prostatitis, rectal itch, urinary tract infection/inflammation.
- Frequent colds, flue, hay fever, mucous congestion, nasal drip, asthma, bronchitis, chest pain, frequent clearing of throat, mucus in the throat.
- ADD, ADHD, hyperactivity, aggressiveness, RESPERATORY problems (chronic ear infection, tonsillitis) or GI problems (colic).
- Cold extremities, arthritis-like symptoms, etc.
Those who don’t know me, I eat organic food, am vegan for few years and occasionally eat at healthy restaurants. I don’t use sugar while cooking. Keeping all that in mind, once I did the Candida test, I had quite extreme Candida overgrowth. Which make so much sense why I had number of the symptoms, including difficulty to loose weight, no matter what I tried.
Here is a link where you can take a test to see if you may have Candida overgrowth Take the Candida Test
Many of my clients when I mention sugar, told me: ” I don’t eat that much sugar”. My suggestion to that is, try to eliminate sugar from your diet for 10 days. To achieve that challenge, you will have to read every single food label and NOT eat at any restaurant. The sugar is hidden in everything: breads, pastas, sauces, salad dressings, yogurts, milk, dried fruits, juices, any other drinks, meats, cheeses, snacks, energy bars, alcohol, any prepared foods…
My kids and I made a shopping game. We go grocery shopping together and they read the nutrition labels and ingredients. It’s fun and shocking what we learned! For example: organic dried cranberries contain 31 grams of added sugar per serving. Yes, don’t forget, the grams are per serving not per package. I highly recommend watching a documentary Fed Up http://fedupmovie.com/#/page/home (it’s streaming free on Netflix). It’s a great educational movie. My kids (7 and 10 years old boys) loved it too. It is easier to make any dietary changes, especially for kids, if they know why.
I wanted to share with you my own research, challenge and success with Candida diet. Most Candida diets that I found were extremely strict. They recommended to avoid all sugar and grains, including honey, fruits and sweet vegetables. Then they say that it will take months to stay on this diet. Well, I do not agree, that sugar (white, brown, raw, organic, cane…) has the same effect on the body as raw unfiltered honey, fruits and vegetables.
Raw unrefined Honey is inverted sugar, is full of antioxidants, enzymes, and so for it does not act as refined sugar in the body. After I gathered as much information as I could find, I came up with my own plan. For 10 days I consumed 0 sugar and 0 grains. Also, excluded low digestible foods, like beans. Foods that take longer time to digest, start fermenting in the stomach and that feeds the Candida.
I had lots of salads, soups and other home made foods in these 10 days. Made Ice cream with coconut cream and honey, Raw Cashew cake, so kids did not feel deprived of deserts. I did eat all kind of berries, added raw unfiltered honey to my morning Super-food Smoothie and used carrots and beets in my vegetable juice. Brain needs glucose and fructose for proper functioning. Interestingly enough, I was not hungry. I lost almost 10 pounds in 10 days without extra exercise or starving. I had so much more energy. My sleep was deep and restorative.My skin looked more plump.
My boys also decided to do 10 day no sugar challenge. My younger son lost 4 pounds from around his belly. My older son had a red bumpy rash around his nose and lips, it was gone after few days on no sugar diet. After those 10 days we brought back some of the products that contain sugar (ketchup, spaghetti…), but are way more aware and read all the food labels carefully.
I will finish with great news for many people! Chocolate is good for you! Of course it depends on a quality. Dark chocolate, at least 70%.
Even better if you can use raw cacao Powder and make yummy and healthy power snacks.