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The average American consumes roughly 40 teaspoons of sugar per day: 32 teaspoons of added sugar and 12 teaspoons already in the food we eat. This equals to 600 calories a day, just for sugar.

Consuming too much sugar is not just about your waistline. It also increases the risk for cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Additionally, sugar dulls the skin and causes wrinkles. This means the extra few processed cookies and your morning crawler are aging you.

How does it do so? At blame is a natural process that's known as glycation, in which the sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to form harmful new molecules called advanced glycation end products (AGE). The more sugar you eat, the more AGEs you develop. As AGEs accumulate, they damage adjacent proteins. It then damages collagen and elastin in the deep layers of the skin, which are the protein fibers that keep our skin firm and smooth.

Sugar can also affect the type of collagen you have, and how resistant your skin is to wrinkling. There are three types of collagen that are most existent in your skin: I, II and III. Type III is the longest lasting while Type I is the weakest. Sugar turns type III into Type I, and therefore creates wrinkles.

Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that the body converts into glucose and uses for energy. To understand sugar better, we need to break down the types of sugar: natural sugar and refined sugar. 

Natural Sugar: found in fruit as fructose and in dairy products (milk, cheese) as lactose. 

- provides essential nutrients to the body 

- helps keep the body healthy and fight disease

Refined Sugar: comes from sugar cane or sugar beets, which are processed, and found as sucrose (combination of glucose and fructose). 

- Often used to sweeten cakes, coffee, cookies, cereals, etc. 

- Most food companies add chemically-produced sugar with very high fructose corn syrup to most drinks and food. 

- Has no nutritional value and are very harmful.

As Americans we consume more refined sugar than our grandparents did due to the manufactured food in grocery stores for mass production, which didn’t exist generations ago. To eliminate refined sugar, start by eliminating added sugar to your coffee, soda drinks, juices, tea, etc. Eating plenty of protein, nuts and vegetables will help supplement the hunger associated with eating sugar. Drink plenty of water, a minimum of eight glasses a day. 

The good news is that the damage to the skin from sugar can be reversed. Building collagen with protein and applying retinoids, hyaluronic acid, and drinking water can help bring back the complexion of the skin. When you’re 50-years-old, you’ll regret the sugars you ate when you were 25. Put down the bowl of sugar and enjoy eating whole grain and natural foods so you look as beautiful as you feel!

~Rochelle Langere, Founder of Pearlesque Box