Giving in to a serious sweet tooth
Excess sugar in your diet loiters in the blood and causes trouble by glomming onto protein molecules. This process, called glycation, causes cellular aging in several ways.
1. It slows the body's repair mechanisms. In the skin, sugar molecules gum up the collagen making skin less elastic.
2. It creates oxidative stress. Oxidation eventually leads to build up of toxins called AGEs. AGEs damage the mitochondria, your body's cellular engines. This can give rise to loss of memory, hearing, vision, and stamina. It is also related to Alzheimer's, arterial plaque and Parkinson's.
THE FIX - Cut back on processed sugar as much as you can. Choose naturally sweetened foods as they tend to contain other whole-food ingredients beneficial for reducing sugar load. Use less sugar in recipes at home. Add less to coffee or tea. Don't swap sugar for artificial sweeteners. They can do as much or more damage to your health in other ways.
Waiting to eat until you're famished
When the stomach is empty, its secretion of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, doubles. Going for a long period without food and then gorging is the textbook way to gain weight. Crashing & spiking blood sugar can create hormonal havoc.
1. When you gorge, you eat more, your blood sugar spikes higher and your body stores more calories for later. Blood sugar spikes are linked to insulin resistance and inflammation.
2. Insulin resistance adds to aging. Over time, we get metabolically less flexible, meaning our bodies have difficulty using insulin to shift micronutrients from the bloodstream into cells. This hastens aging by zapping a person's vitality, strength and sex drive.
THE FIX -Tune in to your body and get to know what it feels like to be moderately hungry. This is your sweet spot. Eat a healthy mix of proteins, fats, and nonstarchy carbs for long-lasting energy. Try hummus & veggies, nut butter & apple slices, or nuts mixed with a little dried fruit.
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