Despite what brands tell you about using "healthier sugar", sugar is still sugar.
Sugar comes in many forms in bird's nests, including rock sugar (冰糖), honey rock sugar (石蜂糖), chinese red sugar (红糖) and many others. Honey, which has been widely advertised to be a "good" substitute of sugar, is still sugar, consisting of fructose and glucose. No doubt, there may be some health benefits in some of these sugar derivatives. However, consistently taking sugar every day will lead to both beauty and health issues.
Why do we insist on no sugar in our bird's nests? Is sugar really that bad for you?
Saggy Skin & Wrinkles
Sugar has shown to accelerate skin aging process, as high-glycemic foods increases the breakdown of collagen and elastin. Both collagen and elastin are responsible for keeping your skin healthy and plump. Consuming excess sugar therefore leads to premature aging, shown in wrinkles and sagging skin.
Skin Yellowing & Spots
Collagen breakdown isn't the worst thing that can happen. Advanced glycation end products (AGEs), the sugar by-product, can also cause many skin problems such as acanthosis nigricans. This causes a dark discoloration in body folds and creases.
The digested sugars also attaches itself to collagen in the skin, which aggrevates inflammation problems such as acne and rosacea. Sugar also exacerbate excessive production of oil through increasing the amount of testosterone in the bloodstream.
Excess Hair Growth
Insulin resistance from constantly ingesting high levels of sugar can manifest itself as hirsutism. Hirsutism is the excessive growth of dark and coarse hair in women, due to increased male hormones such as testosterone. This is most noticeable in areas like the chin, upper lip, inner thighs and chest.
Sugar is an empty calorie, adding extra calories to your food without any nutritional value. Consuming excessive sugar, especially in the form of fructose, is linked to an increased amount of visceral fat. This is what the term "skinny fat" means!
The many health risks associated with consuming excessive sugar, especially added sugar, includes chronic diseases, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases amongst many others. The good news is that this process is not completely irreversible. As long as you actively cut added sugar out of your diet and choose to low glycemic index food, your body will start to repair itself and your skin will look much healthier. The first step to beauty also starts within, from what we consume!
Check out our other article to understand why we use monk fruit (罗汉果) in our bird's nests.