“Excess sugar in our bloodstream can cause glycation, a natural chemical reaction that happens when sugar levels in the bloodstream spike. Glycation affects the part of our skin that keeps it ‘springy’ – collagen and elastin," said Dr Ishaan Sardesai, aesthetic practitioner, ENT and Hair Transplant Surgeon
You may love your pastries and doughnuts, but you must know that these sweet treats not only affect your health but also your skin. That is because sugar is known to cause inflammation and acne, and can also damage the collagen of your skin making it age faster. As such, is jaggery — considered to be a healthier alternative to sugar — beneficial for the skin, too?
Taking to Instagram, Dr Ankur Sarin, comparing the two sweet items shared that while both of them are rich in calories, jaggery is still a better alternative to sugar. “Unlike sugar, jaggery is rich in minerals and nutrients, making it a healthier option for your body. Plus, it’s absorbed more slowly, causing less of an insulin spike.”
The harmful impact of sugar on the skin
Refined sugar is not good for your skin. Dr Ishaan Sardesai, aesthetic practitioner, ENT and Hair Transplant Surgeon told indianexpress.com, “Excess sugar in our bloodstream can cause glycation, a natural chemical reaction that happens when sugar levels in the bloodstream spike. Glycation affects the part of our skin that keeps it ‘springy’ – collagen and elastin”.
Explaining further, he added that collagen and elastin are vital for the skin to look and feel healthy. “When these two proteins get linked with sugar molecules they become weaker, and when these essential skin building blocks are impaired, the signs of aging become more apparent; skin becomes drier and less elastic, causing wrinkles, sagging moreover making skin appear dull. It also causes inflammation in the body which results in increased oil and sebum production and this can lead to acne,” he said.
Sugar vs jaggery
Despite sugar and jaggery both being derived from sugarcane juice and having high caloric content – jaggery is a much better alternative to sugar for your skin. “It is the processing procedure that distinguishes these two products, and indeed, jaggery is often regarded as a healthier alternative,” Dr Rinky Kapoor, Consultant Dermatologist, Cosmetic Dermatologist and Dermato-Surgeon, The Esthetic Clinics told this outlet.
Praising jaggery, she added, “Jaggery will lighten your skin tone, eradicate spots, and provide the appearance of clear skin. This works because jaggery contains glycolic acid, which exfoliates the skin and aids in the healing of acne”.
Dr Amit Deshpande, MD Agnivesh Health Care Centre added that consuming jaggery over refined sugar is a healthier choice as the former is abundant in “antioxidants and minerals”. He, however, cautioned, “eating too much sugary food, whether natural or refined, is never a wise choice. Moderation is always the key. People with diabetes should be cautious before indulging in sugary foods of any kind”.
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