Words by Belinda Mann

Just as those in the medical profession are waking up to the importance of diet, so should those interested in beauty. When I worked in the financial industry in London I saw a lot of girls spending up big on crème de la mer only to be eating jam on toast and scoffing haribos at 3pm. If you are investing in beauty creams and treatments but not your diet then you are short changing yourself and unfortunately some “healthy” options aren’t what they seem.

More and more studies are now showing the importance of diet in being youthful. For a long time now dermatologists have been warning that sugar causes wrinkles. Furthermore a recent study explained a balanced diet changes expression of a gene touted as the “youth gene”. The lead scientist of the study explains “Both low-carb and high-carb diets are wrong. But a low-carb diet is closer to the right diet. A healthy diet shouldn’t be made up of more than one-third carbohydrates (up to 40 per cent of calories) in each meal, otherwise we stimulate our genes to initiate the activity that creates inflammation in the body.”

The inflammation they refer to is known as ‘metabolic inflammation’. The result is your skin becomes slightly redder, your body stores more water, you feel warmer, and you’re not on top mentally.

What are you feeding your genes?
We have all heard the adage, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but unfortunately for many it’s often the worst meal. Even many so called healthy breakfast options are surprisingly high in sugar, which can result in the effects of ‘metabolic inflammation’ as described above. Earlier this year Which? ran a report on the sugar content of the leading breakfast cereals in the UK. Anything over 12.5% sugar is considered high. Surprisingly Kellogg’s All-Bran Flakes has 22% sugar and Special K 17%. Both popular choices for women, marketed to those wanting to be healthy or lose weight.

KISS – Keep it simple
In my opinion a diet full of unprocessed whole foods is always going to be the best choice. Remember low fat products tend to have higher carbohydrate content, so if you are confused by nutritional labels and don’t want to worry about added sugar, salt and additives stick to wholefoods.

Keep life sweet – without the wrinkles
Just by changing breakfast alone most people could improve their health and their anti-aging capacity enormously. Home cooked breakfast classics such as oat porridge and scrambled eggs are always good choices. A breakfast smoothie with hemp protein powder and nut milk is great if you are in a hurry. And if you are a real cereal fan considering making your own so you know there is no added sugar. A fun alternative is chia seed porridge. Keep it sweet with a mix of raw cacao and bee pollen.