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Is Soda Wrecking Your Face?

Posted 6/20/2018 by UHBlog

Cutting down on soda has a positive effect on your waistline – and your skin will thank you too! Ask us how to make giving up soft drinks easier.

Woman hand giving glass soft drinks with ice, on wooden table in restaurant

You may be using sunscreen, moisturizing and hoping to age gracefully, but you can’t ignore the importance of diet in your skin’s health. Chances are that if your diet includes soda and other sweetened beverages, there’s no hiding it: it’s written all over your face.

“Soda is very high in added sugars, which has been shown to increase inflammation inside the body,” says registered dietitian nutritionist Amy Jamieson-Petonic. “This inflammation has been associated with a number of negative health outcomes, including obesity, weight gain, heart disease and diabetes, as well as skin conditions.”

Drinking sugary drinks may show up on your face in the form of:

  • Sagging skin
  • Wrinkles
  • Acne
  • Dull skin

“On a cellular level, added sugars increase inflammation which causes proteins to break down collagen and elastin, two major components of healthy skin,” Jamieson-Petonic says.

Additionally, all those added sugars can increase acne and rosacea or exacerbate skin conditions like eczema.

According to Jamieson-Petonic, one 12-ounce can of soda will set you back 10 teaspoons of sugar, while a 20-ounce soda contains 17 teaspoons.

“The American Heart Association recommends no more than six teaspoons of added sugar per day for women and nine teaspoons of added sugar per day for men,” she says.

If you’re considering a switch to diet soda to avoid the added sugars, think again.

“Diet soda doesn’t provide any calories to your daily intake. But research has shown that beverages with non-nutritive sweeteners tend to lead to consuming additional calories through other foods because they don’t turn off the feeling of being full in the brain,” Jamieson-Petonic says.

Instead of soda, Jamieson-Petonic recommends experimenting with zero-calorie alternatives such as:

  • Flavor infused water - try strawberries, lemons, cucumbers or herbs.
  • Unsweetened tea
  • Sparkling water

For a little added sweetness, stevia is a healthier alternative to sugar. However, plain old-fashioned water – and plenty of it – is vital for skin health.

“Once you start to reduce your intake of added sugars, you’ll start feeling better quickly," she says. "However, it may take a few weeks to see an improvement in your skin.”

For more ideas on healthy beverage and diet choices, a registered dietitian can help. To make an appointment, call 216-844-1499.

Amy Jamieson-Petonic, M.Ed., RDN, CSSD, LD is a registered dietitian nutritionist at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. You can request an appointment with Jamieson-Petonic or any other healthcare professional online.

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