Report: Sugar Causes Aging


wrinkles-oldWe all know eating too much sugar can contribute to diseases like diabetes and obesity, but now new research shows a diet high in sugar may also cause premature aging. CBS 2 HD found out the surprising reason eating too many sugary foods can cause wrinkles, and the steps you need to take to stop packing on the wrinkles.

Got a sweet tooth?

CBS 2 HD asked many people recently and the answers weren’t unexpected – ice cream, cookies, cake, you name it.

“You have to have some guilty pleasures in life,” Tara McLaughlin surmised.

Now there’s new research showing sugar can cause more than guilt and an expanding waistline. Eating too many sweet treats can actually cause you to age faster.

“Oh gosh, I can’t cut sugar out. I mean, you have to enjoy your food,” McLaughlin said.

“Aside from sugar being bad for your health, generally, now we find out that it actually ages your skin and makes you wrinkle and sag a lot faster,” Dr. Bruce Katz said.

Here’s why: harmful molecules called Advanced Glycation End Products — or AGEs — are created when our bodies process sugar.

“That’s what causes damage to collagen and elastic fibers in the skin,” Dr. Katz said.

“Consumer a diet that’s unnecessarily high in sugar and you are actually supercharging this chemical reaction,” registered dietician Nicolette Pace added.

So the more sugar you eat the more damage you’ll see, and it’s not just wrinkles, says Pace.

“The skin becomes tough, hard, maybe discolored, yellow, brownish,” Pace said.

“If anything with skin care I would think sugar and acne, you know, but never wrinkles,” McLaughlin said.

And it’s not just the obvious sweeteners — adding extra sugar packets to your coffee or grabbing a candy bar — it’s the hidden sugars added to packaged foods that health experts say is making a big difference.

“You’re going to find hidden sugar in sauces, in condiments, things across the board,” Pace said.

“There are a number of different ways to ward off the negative effects of these sugars,” Dr. Katz added.

Katz, a dermatologist, says you can offset the negative effects of having too much sugar in your diet by eating more foods rich in anti-aging, antioxidants.

“Tomatoes are very rich in antioxidants, orange and leafy vegetables,” Katz said.

And it’s equally important to exercise.

“It will help you utilize that blood sugar efficiently and get it where it belongs,” Pace said.

Just 10 to 15 minutes a day of brisk walking can help. Ultimately, you really want to keep your sugar down to 10 percent or less of your daily caloric intake. That’s less than one can of soda.

{WCBS-TV/Noam Newscenter}