It’s easy to place our focus on topical solutions when it comes to how best to prevent or counter the major signs of aging on our skin.
But in doing so we overlook one of the most important factors of all; lifestyle.
I’ve come to realise it’s completely disingenuous to talk about anti-aging without highlighting that you can try every treatment under the sun and it would still be very hard to achieve natural-looking, healthy, youthful skin if you aren’t keeping active and eating well.
What eating well looks like for me is following more of a Mediterranean diet rich in vegetables, salads, fruits, nuts, fish, I eat a little meat too, and healthy fats like virgin olive oil.
But I also have a very sweet tooth and so the biggest challenge for me has been to cut back on sugar – still a work in progress.
It’s not something I can afford to let up on though because from all the research I’ve done on how to age well, it has become increasingly clear that balancing our blood sugar levels is absolutely crucial to protecting your health and to slowing the negative effects of aging.
That’s because it’s the sudden spikes in glucose that come with eating higher carb meals and snacks, along with sugary treats and drinks, even fruit juice, that can accelerate aging.
Why? Because in the short-term glucose spikes cause us to feel more hungry, experience energy dips and tiredness, and contribute to poor sleep, headaches and brain fog.
But left unchecked, and particularly as we age, if we allow glucose to routinely flood our cells it can cause inflammation and a build-up of fat (most obviously around the belly) and can lead to more serious health issues including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s.
All those years of counting calories and grams of fat and it turns out that sugar (along with processed food) is a major culprit we should be paying big attention to.
The good news is, we don’t have to go to dieting extremes or turn into cavemen to do something about it.
Jessie Inchauspe is a biochemist who has carried out a lot of research into how best to manage blood sugar levels and wrote a brilliant book, called Glucose Revolution, that provides an easy guide to how food impacts your health and straightforward changes we can make to our diet and lifestyle to balance our blood sugar and reduce the risks from age-related disease.
Doing that will also have a visible effect on our skin, and on our whole body, and is the most positive change we can make head to toe.
One of the tips, for instance, is to go for a walk or get active (even 10 minutes helps) after eating carbs or sugary meals and snacks and this in itself will help flatten your sugar spike.
She also suggests eating your veggies first to create a viscous mesh in our gut that helps lessen the absorption of sugar into our blood.
It’s following simple but life-changing tips like this that could dramatically improve our health and how we age.
But first we have to join the revolution.
Glucose Revolution, by Jessie Inchauspe.
You can buy the book here on Amazon.
Follow Jessie on Instagram @glucosegoddess