There’s just no way to sugar coat this.
Except to say, if you burn the candle at both ends, eat too much of the bad things and don’t exercise, then you are going to become sugar-coated, quite literally, well, the proteins in your body are and that’s very bad news for your cells. Your cells, you know those things that make you, well, YOU.
Your cells need the energy to function properly, but this is almost impossible if the proteins in your body have become sugar-coated. It’s known as Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGE’s), and it’s when the glucose in your blood sticks to your proteins. It’s kind of normal, 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 will prematurely age both inside and out. For your skin, that means a breakdown in collagen 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 about this. I mean, as if there isn’t enough pressure. Look good, be productive, get creative, care for family, stay, have fun, be a great partner to your one and only, you’ve also got to stay out of the sun and still get enough vitamin D!! Now I go and blurt out 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.
So what to do about all these sticky sugar-coated cells.
Of course, giving up sugar is an option and an excellent one and if you are a regular visitor to my blog, then 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, let’s say 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 from sugars?
It’s all about where your glucose has originated from. 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, which is then followed by an awful sugar slump. Not a nice way to live and is the beginnings of sugar addiction.
You also gain energy; which converts to glucose in your body, from every other food you eat, the difference is that 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 AGE’s 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 your AGE’s.
Here are 10 things you can do to minimise your AGE’s
1. Quit Sugar.
You knew this was coming, so let’s just get it out-of-the-way straight up. If you can’t quit then at least find ways to reduce your intake. 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 of the compounds that cause AGE’s. The more often you eat fruits and vegetables raw the better you will feel and look and the better you will age.
3. Cut back or eliminate, white bread, flour & pasta.
Due to their processed, bleached composition, these foods are converted to glucose very quickly by your body. Too fast. Not only do they convert at lightning speed, but also contribute to weight gain by allowing too much glucose to circulate in your bloodstream where, if unused, is taken back by the liver and stored as fat. Personally, I love a beautiful piece of freshly baked sourdough bread, but not every day, in fact occasionally is best.
4. Eliminate processed foods whenever you can.
Most packaged and processed foods are loaded up with sugar, but that’s not the only problem. The whole activity of processing damages the food you eat 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 on a regular basis. I’m not saying all processed food is bad, just most of it and you will 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 still, it is worth it, and my suggestion is whenever possible cook low and slow. That means beautiful casseroles and stews and steamed vegetable instead of roasted.
6. Try poaching or steaming instead of baking or frying.
If you’ve ever tackled the poaching a whole chicken, you will know it is 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, but specifically, they provide you with Anthocyanin’s which are antioxidant flavonoid, which makes them especially useful in combating Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGE’s).
8. Do not smoke.
Does anyone still do this? Well, if you do, it might just be time to think about giving up. I know, it’s difficult, but you owe it to yourself and everyone who loves you to give up.
9. Increase your consumption of foods rich in Vitamin B6.
Chicken, Fish, Walnuts, Pecans, Avocado, Eggs and Carrots are all 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 like I do all day, then aim to get up at least every hour to move around as well as 30 minutes of continuous movement at least once a day. You’ll be controlling AGE’s, and you will feel so much better as well.
Can you skincare reduce AGE’s?
An excellent idea and if your skin care is full of antioxidants then you’ll be providing your skin with a pretty good arsenal against extrinsic ageing. But, the best solutions are in the diet and lifestyle changes you make.
Remember, Advanced Glycation End-Products are part of life and your body does have ways of dealing with them but, you do play a part in helping lessen the load. If you are 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 completely 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 useful or interesting, please share with your friends or if you’d like to leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you.
See you next time,