SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Do you want to look younger than your age? If so, what you eat, or in this case, do not eat, may help you reach this goal.

Simply put, eating excess sugar is a recipe for aging and avoiding excess sugar can help you look younger than your age.

Collagen and elastin in our skin keep it plump and youthful. According to a study published in the journal Clinical Dermatology, when we eat too much sugar, it binds to collagen and elastin. This causes damage and makes it harder for the body to repair skin, therefore, you look older. Sugar not only damages skin but makes you age in other ways, too.

According to a study at the University of California, people who drink more sugar-sweetened drinks like soda had shorter telomeres. Telomeres are in our cells. They start out long and get shorter as they grow older; when they get too short, cells die. Short telomeres are linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other age related diseases.

If you want to stay looking younger and healthier as you age, limit how much added sugar you eat. The sugar you can eat or drink in mere seconds, may make you years older.