"A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips." A quote we're all too familiar with --or at least those of with brothers who always seems to remind us as we're about to indulge in the best dessert. Clearly a sore spot for me -I digress :P

K seriously though, we know the effects of sugar and weight (whatever we don't use up gets stored as fat). But did you know that excess sugar can also age you??

Don't get me wrong, sugar is needed by the body; the body uses sugar in the form of glucose and it is the fuel which our body uses to do basically everything. As with most things in life, the problem with sugar arises when we overdo it. And the way it affects aging is via a process called glycation. 

Soo wtheck is glycation?? It's when sugar that's floating around in your body attaches to protein molecules and then then as it builds up, it starts damaging nearby structures. And then it keeps going creating basically a domino effect of damage.

And guess which proteins are the most susceptible to this kind of damage?? ELASTIN AND COLLAGEN! If you're not familiar with what those are; those are the proteins found in skin that keep it smooth and firm. 

So lets recap: Lot of sugar --> glycation products get created --> damage to collagen/elastin--> faster aging. (Both on the outside and on the inside!)

Moral of the story? Avoid added sugars!

Some tips: Take some time to review your diet.. how much sugar is in it? Most people only factor in desserts when assessing their sugar intake but it's also bread, rice, pasta, fries. Basically the body breaks down all carbs into sugar. Your view of sugar-intake just got a little more real, didn't it? Eat whole foods (foods that don't come in packages) but if you do buy something in a package, read your nutrition labels. Pay attention to servings per container, look at sugar content, read ingredients and keep an eye out for "high fructose corn sugar" "cane sugar" "from concentrate."