Sugar, fructose, glucose, maltose, honey, high fructose corn syrup, agave syrup, brown sugar, glucose, dextrose, maltodextrin: the great cellulite creators
Sugars, such as the ones mentioned above, are the most important causes of cellulite today. Hormonal contraception (i.e. contraceptive pill, patches and injections), and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle are the two other most important reasons behind the widespread prevalence of cellulite today.
Although cellulite has existed for thousands of years, especially in overweight or genetically"unlucky" women, historically the appearance of the word "cellulite" coincided with the increase in sugar consumption, sedentary living and the use of the contraceptive pill in western societies, roughly at about the middle of the 20th century.
Furthermore, cellulite has especially become a concern for the vast majority of women only in the beginning of the 21st century, when sugar consumption and the use of computers at home and at work has sky-rocketed.
[Note: For the remainder of this article we will use the collective term "sugar" for all the sugars mentioned on the title of this paragraph. Obviously, the information below applies not to sugars per se but also to foods that contain high amounts of sugars, such as desserts, muffins, cup cakes, croissants, ice cream, chocolate, cakes, doughnuts, biscuits, cookies, milk shakes, fizzy drinks, fruit juices, juice drinks etc.]
Six reasons why sugar causes cellulite
Why is sugar so bad for your skin smoothness and firmness? There are no less than six reasons why sugar directly causes those cellulite fatty lumps on your thighs and bum:
- Calorie load: Like all carbohydrates, sugars contain 4 calories per gram and are converted into glucose before entering the bloodstream. Unless immediately utilised for energy, excess glucose is converted into fat (triglycerides) and deposited into your adipose cells (fat cells), including the fat cells found in your cellulite tissues.
- High Glycaemic Index: Unless you exercise a lot, the high GI of sugars ensures that sugars are typically used for fat storage instead of energy.
- Direct conversion of fructose, honey, agave syrup and HFCS into fat: Fructose and fructose-containing substances such as honey, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and agave syrup does not become glucose in the blood, so it can not immediately be used for energy. Instead it is converted straight into fat (triglycerides) in your liver, even before entering the general circulation. Not very good for your cellulite...
- Addictive nature: Sugar quickly raises your glucose levels making you feel "hyper". This sudden increase in blood glucose levels abruptly raises insulin levels in the body. In turn, high levels of insulin severely lower your blood glucose levels, leaving you feeling "low". These highs and lows leave you drained, needy and addicted - not unlike street drugs and cigarettes - and perpetuates your consumption of sugar.
- Inflammation: Sugar increases inflammation in the body, affecting your blood vessels, skin and cellulite. Inflammation is an important aspect of cellulite.
- Glycation: Excessive sugar and starch consumption increases protein glycation. Glycation results in the deterioration and ageing of proteins in your body. Given that connective tissue, including skin, and blood/lymph vessel walls are made of protein, you can understand that sugar ages/damages your blood and lymph vessels, skin and connective tissue in general. Cellulite is characterised by poor blood/lymph vessel function (which results in water retention), loose skin and deformed connective tissue, and glycation plays an important role in the causation of all those processes.
A note on bread, white rice and beer
Almost all types of bread, as well as white rice and beer have similar, if not identical, effects on your body to those of sugar. Due to their high glycemic index and glycaemic load those foods behave in exactly the same manner as sugar in your body, despite being classified as complex carbs/starches. For this reason, beer, white rice and bread cause as much cellulite as sugars do.
Artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose etc.) and natural sweeteners (stevia) are not a solution
Both natural and artificial sweeteners, such as stevia, aspartame and sucralose, only temporarily trick your brain into believing that you consumed sugar. Soon your body realises that you have not consumed sugar and responds with a craving for sweets. Therefore, the solution is not tricking your body by consuming more and more sweeteners throughout the day, the solution is to get rid of your sugar addiction altogether and liberate yourself of cravings, mood swings, inflammation, ageing and excess fat.