Excess sugar intake means disaster for your weight and waistline. But did you know that over indulgence on sugar such as bread, pasta, cakes and candy could cause you to age faster?

The damage happens through a process called glycation. Glycation is a process by which protein and certain fats and sugar tangle together making tissues stiff and inflexible. This is a big problem to organs where flexibility is important; heart, kidney, skin and eyes.

Once glycated, the tissues produce glycotoxins, which produce free radicals and increase inflammation, causing damages to cells and tissues. Glycation and glycotoxins are the horrible side effects of diabetes. They cause increase in heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease and eye problems.

Glycation processes happen gradually and accumulate over years. There is strong implication of glycation as the contributor to diseases of aging such as dementia, vascular disease, eye degeneration and wrinkles in the skin.

How can you control glycation?

There are 3 main ways you can control glycation:

1) Control blood sugar

From your fasting blood test, blood sugar level should be below 100mg/dL or hemoglobin A1c should be less than 7%. Hemoglobin A1c is glycated hemoglobin, which is a marker for long-term blood sugar level. It measures the level of age accelerating glycation reaction in the body. Any readings above these numbers indicate that glycation occurs more readily.

To control blood sugar level, avoid starchy carbohydrates and high Glycemic Index food such as bread, potato, cakes and sweets. These foods are easily digested and cause spike in blood sugar level.

Eat more complex carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables and whole grains. They take a longer time to digest and helps to maintain a steady blood sugar level.

2) Cooking method

Food preparation method can cause glycation and produce glycotoxins. Consuming food high in glycotoxins promote the formation of glycotoxins in the tissues. Thereby, increasing inflammation and free radicals formation that cause further damages to cells and tissues.

Avoid high temperature cooking such as frying, grilling and roasting. Most processed foods are manufactured under high temperature. Go for raw, steamed, stewed or poached way of preparing food. Researchers found that consuming a low glycotoxin diet can lower LDL cholesterol by 33%.

3) Supplementation

Take supplements of antioxidants to quench free radicals and inflammations created glycotoxins from the glycation process in the body.

Benfortiamine is a fat-soluble form of vitamin B1. Regular vitamin B1 being thiamine is water-soluble. Benfortiamine protects against damage to nerve or blood vessel caused by glycation. You can find Benfortiamine from garlic, onion, leeks and shallots.

Carnosine is a combination of 2 amino acids alanine and histidine. It shield protein from being attached by glycation. L-carnosine is found naturally in the brain, muscle and eye. But the amount of L-carnosine decreases as we age. Fish, dairy and animal protein are rich in carnosine.

If you want to age gracefully with minimum diseases, you would do well to follow the 3 simple ways to reduce glycation processes in your body.

What are you doing to address glycation in the body? Share with me in the comment box below.

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