Diet is a huge part of our health and it has been proven to play a role in acne development. However, a healthy diet is not just about avoiding junk food, but also eating well to get a variety of nutrients that can keep you away from diseases such as scurvy.
1. High Glycemic Load
Historically, researchers have linked diet with acne. Chocolate, sugar and fatty foods were considered culprits. The connection began to dissipate after the 1960s, but recent research suggests that certain foods may contribute to breakouts.
Diets high in glycemic load promote increased insulin production and influence the synthesis of androgens which induce sebum production. This vicious cycle contributes to the formation and exacerbation of acne.
A number of studies have indicated that the dietary glycemic load and frequency of dairy intake may be related to acne vulgaris. However, it is difficult to determine the exact role of diet in acne because observational studies using food diaries and dietary questionnaires have significant biases and randomized controlled trials are required to verify these associations. In addition, the effects of diet on acne appear to be dependent on sex and ethnicity. Therefore, future research should focus on incorporating these considerations into studies of acne and diet. In addition, more precise measurements of glycemic load should be used in future studies such as repeated 3 day food records and externally validated dietary surveys.
2. Dairy Products
Dairy products are known to be difficult for many people to digest, especially if you’re lactose intolerant, and some studies show dairy can contribute to acne breakouts. For example, one study showed that adolescent participants who regularly ate low-fat milk had more acne than those who ate full-fat milk. This may be due to the manufacturing process of skim milk where fat-soluble vitamins A and D are removed from the product.
Another theory is that the hormones found in cow’s milk cause an increase in sebum production, which leads to clogged pores and more acne. However, more research is needed on this theory because everyone reacts to dairy differently. If dairy triggers your acne, try substituting it for plant-based alternatives like soymilk or yogurt. You can also get your needed protein and calcium from foods like kale, sardines and pineapple. And don’t forget to try anti-inflammatory foods that help to keep your skin clear, like turmeric and tomatoes.
3. Oily Foods
The popular belief that acne is caused by greasy foods like French fries and chips has never been proven to be true. While greasy food may increase the amount of oil your skin produces, it does not cause the pimples that appear on your face. These pimples are actually the result of hormone fluctuations that stimulate your sebaceous glands to overproduce oil. This excess oil clogs your pores with dead skin cells and bacteria, causing inflammation that leads to a breakout.
The best way to reduce the number of breakouts you have is to avoid consuming high-glycemic foods. High-glycemic foods cause a spike in insulin production, which causes your glands to produce more oil. These foods include desserts, candy, soda and junk food.
Instead, eat a diet low in sugar and fatty foods. Studies have shown that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and fish is good for your skin. These types of diets are also associated with a reduced risk of acne.
It’s well established that certain foods can promote acne. A high glycemic diet is one such example; foods with a high glycemic load increase blood sugar levels quickly, which triggers excess insulin and can also trigger hormones that boost oil production in the skin.
A high glycemic diet is found in food like soda, candy and white breads, which can cause the skin to produce more oils and lead to blemishes. These foods also make it harder for the body to eliminate oils and waste, which can lead to clogged pores and acne.
A diet low in glycemic foods is important for acne prevention, as is getting plenty of sleep and drinking lots of water. Smoking can also exacerbate acne, as it can interfere with the body’s ability to regulate hormones, and can reduce vitamin A intake, which helps keep the skin hydrated. Smokers also tend to have less healthy diets, and are more likely to eat fast food or processed foods than non-smokers.