There’s just no way to sugarcoat this.
If you burn the candle at both ends, eat too many of the bad things and don’t exercise, then you’re going to become sugarcoated; quite literally, well, the proteins in your body are, and that’s terrible news for your cells. Your cells, you know those things that make you, well, YOU. It’s known as Advanced Glycation End-Products.
Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGE’s) is when the glucose in your blood sticks to your proteins. Your cells need the energy to function correctly, but this is almost impossible if the proteins in your body have become sugarcoated. It’s a normal process, but your body can get overloaded, and this is when trouble strikes quicker than you can say Advanced Glycation End-Products.
If left unchecked, you’ll prematurely age both inside and out. That means a collagen breakdown for your skin, leaving you with wrinkles way, way, way before your time. Not to mention the risk AGE’s has on your heart health, the health of your bones, increased risk of developing diabetes and all its complications as well as dementia, kidney damage and chronic inflammation. Yikes!
I almost feel bad writing this. Look good, be productive, get creative, care for family, stay youthful, have fun, be a great partner to your one and only, stay out of the sun and still get enough vitamin D!! I mean, as if there isn’t enough pressure.
Now, something else you’ve got to worry about? Advanced what? Yeah, well, I know. I’m sorry. But still, I can’t help it; I have to speak up. You need to know.
So what to do about all these sticky sugarcoated cells.
Of course, giving up sugar is an excellent option, and if you are a regular visitor to my blog, you know I live a sugar-free life and proudly. But, just giving up sugar is not enough because the truth is when it comes to your body, well, you’re just one big sugar bowl. Well, to be clear, a big bowl of glucose, and it’s just as well because, without glucose, we all cease to exist. You see, everything you eat turns to glucose to fuel you and your cells.
But doesn’t my body need glucose for energy?
Well, it’s all about where your glucose has originated. You can gain energy by eating sugary foods all day, and if you’ve ever done this (although I would never recommend it), you know the feeling of a sugar high, followed by an awful sugar slump. Not an excellent way to live and is the beginning of sugar addiction.
You also gain energy, which converts to glucose in your body, from complex carbohydrate foods such as vegetables, whole grains and fibre rich foods.
If you eat a meal of high-quality protein with a bowl of salad or steamed vegetables, the conversion and release of glucose into your bloodstream is steady and balanced.
Your pancreas secretes just enough insulin to ensure your cells receive their much-needed supply of glucose. In other words, eating high-quality whole foods stops the unnecessary burden that simple sugars can put on your body and activate too many AGE’s. All is well with the world. Almost.
There are other factors at play when it comes to Advanced Glycation End-Products and seeing as I’ve ruined your day with yet another thing to worry about, I want to make amends with a few simple solutions to minimise AGE’s.
Here are ten things you can do to minimise your AGE (Advanced Glycation End-Products).
1. Quit sugar.
You knew this was coming, so let’s get it out of the way up front. If you can’t quit, at least find ways to reduce your sugar intake and its derivatives. Go here for my tips on this.
2. Eat more raw fruit and vegetables.
Unlike cooked or processed fruit and vegetables, eating them raw contains fewer compounds that cause Advanced Glycation End-Products. The more often you eat fresh and unprocessed fruits and vegetables, the better you’ll feel and look and the better you will age.
3. Cut back or eliminate white bread, flour & pasta.
I love a beautiful slice of fresh-out-of-the-oven sourdough bread, but not every day. Due to the processed and bleached composition, your body converts simple carbohydrates into glucose very quickly. Not only do they convert at lightning speed, but they also contribute to weight gain by allowing too much glucose to circulate in your bloodstream, where, if unused, it’s taken back by the liver and stored as fat.
4. Eliminate Advanced Glycation End-Products by eating less processed foods.
Most packaged and processed foods have sugar added, but that’s not the only problem.
The whole activity of processing damages the food you eat and makes it less than it was nutritionally, and sadly these days, there are so many “numbers” listed on packaged foods that are potentially synthetic. It’s frightening!
It’s hard to know what is real, so best NOT to consume regularly.
I’m not saying all processed food is terrible; just most of it, and you’ll have to spend a lot more time checking the ingredient list. You do not have time for that, do you? Learn to love whole, unprocessed, organic food wherever possible.
5. Cook your meals low and slow instead of grilling or browning.
You may struggle with this, but it’s worth it, and my suggestion is to cook low and slow whenever possible. That means beautiful casseroles and stews and steamed vegetables instead of roasting.
6. Try poaching or steaming instead of baking or frying.
If you’ve ever tackled poaching a whole chicken, you’ll come to know it’s a perfect way to eat chicken. As for fish, poaching or steaming can be just as delightful, if not more so, than when grilled over an open flame.
7. Eat more Antioxidants.
By eating blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and cherries, you’re loading up on Antioxidants. These fruits are very high in their capacity to protect you from free radicals. They provide you with Anthocyanin’s antioxidant flavonoid, making them especially useful in combating Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGE’s).
8. Do not smoke.
I know it isn’t easy, but you owe it to yourself and everyone who loves you to give up for good.
9. Increase your consumption of foods rich in Vitamin B6.
Chicken, Fish, Walnuts, Pecans, Avocado, Eggs and Carrots are excellent sources of this AGE protecting vitamin.
10. Every day, in some way, exercise.
Move your body, walk, dance, stroll, run, ride. Regular movement will help control excess AGE’s and balance your blood sugar levels. If you work in an office or toil away at a computer as I do, then aim to get up at least every hour to move around and 30 minutes of continuous movement at least once a day. You’ll be controlling AGE’s, and you’ll feel so much better as well.
Can you skincare reduce Advanced Glycation End-Products?
Combating Advanced Glycation End-Products with skincare is worth considering as every little bit helps. If your skincare is full of antioxidants, then you’ll be providing your skin with an arsenal against extrinsic ageing. But, the best solutions to reduce AGE’s are in the diet and lifestyle changes you make.
Advanced Glycation End-Products are part of life and your body does have ways of dealing with them but even so, you play a part in helping lessen the load. If you’re looking for ageless beauty it’s a matter of finding balance so your body can do the wonderful, restorative job that it does so well. Minimising the impact of excessive AGE’s is a very good start.
You made it to the end!! Good on you! I hope I’ve shed some light on the problem with AGE’s and how you can take small steps to minimise your AGE’s every day. It doesn’t mean living a life that is entirely void of any fun; it just means thinking about the choices you make when it comes to your diet and lifestyle and making a few subtle but significant changes along the way.
If you found this article helpful or interesting, please share it with your friends, or if you’d like skincare advice, you can make an appointment here.
See you next time,