There is plenty of material available concerning what you need to know about anti-aging nutrition. While the information about what you should and shouldn’t eat might vary, there’s one piece of anti-aging advice that virtually all health and nutrition experts will agree on—that consuming too much sugar can be dangerous to your health and well-being, especially as you get older.
There are an abundance of reasons why you should follow this anti-aging advice and cut back on the amount of sugar you’re eating. For starters, excessive sugar can make you gain weight. The sugar that isn’t used for energy turns into fat when it’s metabolized in your body. These fat cells are then deposited into your bloodstream and end up getting stored in other parts of your body.
Furthermore, listening to the anti-aging advice about reducing sugar intake might actually help you live longer—eating too much added sugar can increase your risk of fatal heart disease, according to a study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. The findings from this 15-year study revealed that people who consumed at least 25% of their daily calories from sugar more than doubled their risk of dying from heart disease, compared to participants who consumed less than 10% of added sugar. Overall, the more sugar individuals consumed, the higher their risk was, regardless of age, fitness level, gender, or body-mass index.
If a slimmer physique and improved health aren’t enough to convince you that sugar is dangerous, what about younger-looking skin? Excess sugar in the body has been shown to damage collagen and elastin fiber proteins, which is what your skin needs in order to retain its youthful firmness and elasticity—without healthy collagen and elastin levels, your skin will look more dull and will eventually develop more sagging and wrinkles. According to a study in the British Journal of Dermatology, these effects can begin as young as 35 years old and only increase more rapidly as you get older.
With all these hindrances to aging well (and we didn’t even touch on all of them here), it doesn’t come as much of a surprise to hear that the World Health Organization (WHO) recently released new guidelines advising adults and children alike to further cut down on their daily consumption of added sugars. WHO recommends that our daily sugar consumption be no more than 10% of total energy intake, which works out to about 12 teaspoons—below five percent, or six teaspoons, would be even better.
The concerns stems from the “hidden” sugars that are being added to an increasing number of processed foods and beverages, as opposed to the naturally-occurring sugars found in fruits and vegetables. This latest recommendation, which was ranked by WHO has being “strong,” comes after an extensive analysis of recent scientific evidence showing the many health risks associated with consuming too much sugar.
Statistics show that Americans are, on average, getting about 13% of their daily calories from added sugar, so following WHO’s anti-aging advice would mean slashing the average consumption by approximately two-thirds. While it might be hard to get down to that five percent mark, reducing sugar intake down to 10% of your daily calories is doable if you really wanted to, simply by cutting back on sugary drinks, cookies, cereals, and other processed foods. Instead, focus on natural whole foods, and naturally sweetened fruits, which come with additional nutritional value.
It’s no surprise that sugar is added to virtually everything these days, which is why it’s so hard for people to keep track of how much they’re actually eating. That’s why in addition to keeping track of your diet, it’s also essential to adopt a fitness routine to balance it all out. What you need to know about anti-aging nutrition, but what people often leave out, is that nutrition works hand-in-hand with fitness—combining both can greatly increase your chances of maintaining weight, aging well, and living a longer, healthier life.
Cheng, M., “Westerners need to slash sugar intake by two-thirds: WHO,” CTV News web site, March 4, 2015; http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/westerners-need-to-slash-sugar-intake-by-two-thirds-who-1.2263352.
Corliss, J., “Eating too much added sugar increases the risk of dying with heart disease,” Harvard Health Publications web site; February 6, 2014; http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/eating-too-much-added-sugar-increases-the-risk-of-dying-with-heart-disease-201402067021.
Repinski, K., “Face Facts About Sugar,” Prevention web site, November 3, 2011; http://www.prevention.com/beauty/beauty/how-sugar-ages-your-skin.
“WHO calls on countries to reduce sugars intake among adults and children,” World Health Organization web site, March 4, 2015; http://who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2015/sugar-guideline/en/.