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by Koko Hayashi

Have you heard glycation? It’s a process that leads to skin aging by damaging cells.

Sugar molecules attaching themselves to protein molecules leads to a breakdown of collagen fibers, needed for taut and supple skin. Once healthy collagen fibers lose their elasticity, they become rigid, more brittle, and prone to breakage. The resulting glycated tissue is tough and inflexible, and most visible as wrinkled skin, but it is also damaging to internal organs. Minimizing aging requires reducing glycation.

How do you minimize glycation?

By reducing your intake of simple carbohydrates and sweets, and choosing foods with low glycemic indexes. Also, by avoiding foods cooked at temperatures above 250 degrees, as high temperatures cause glycation in cooked meats which further stimulate glycation in our own bodies when eaten.

Eating foods in the following order also can help substantially:

  1. Vegetables (ideally raw veggies) or fiber rich foods
  2. Proteins
  3. Carbohydrates

Why is that?

  • If your stomach is digesting vegetable fiber, carbohydrates, which you eat after veggies and proteins, gets covered with this fiber, and slows down insulin spikes and the speed of sugar transported into blood.
  • By eating vegetables first, the veggie’s fiber is increased by the water in your stomach, making you feel full more quickly. This helps you eat less.
  • High fiber vegetables force you to chew more, which leads you feeling fuller more quickly as well.
  • Raw vegetables, have a digestive enzyme which aides in the digestion of proteins.
  • Protein is hard to digest in general, so if you eat proteins first, they stay in the stomach too long. This forces other foods to remain in the stomach, slowing down the digestion of all the food.

You don’t have to eat all of each type of food (vegetable, protein and carb) to go on to the next one, but you should start with vegetables and then go on to protein. After that, you can go on to the carbohydrate, or return to the vegetable. The most important thing is vegetables go in first!

If you don’t follow this eating order, you may be prone to more glycation and skin damage. If you want to maintain healthy, youthful skin, start with your vegetables today!