Foods that cause acne – what to avoid for less breakouts
Did you know what you’re eating may be effecting your acne. Well it could well be. As 90% of us could be effected by acne at some point or other during our lifetime it’s hardly surprising that what we eat might contribute to what triggers the condition. There’s plenty of research to suggest that there are certain foods that cause acne that are best avoided if you suffer from the condition.
As many of you all to well know it can be a really difficult problem to get under control, even if you have tried all the best products for acne out there, so it may be worth considering taking a look at some of these common food triggers for acne and seeing if cutting down on some of them or even eliminating them completely from your diet could help.
Sugar and carbohydrates
We all love a sweet treat now and then but some of us more than others! You know who you are! Studies and research has shown there is a link between sugar and acne. When we eat sugar rich foods we get a spike in our blood sugar levels, this causes our bodies to produce more insulin to regulate our blood sugar. Insulin causes our sebaceous glands within our skin to produce more sebum. This is the oil responsible for acne when it mixes with dead skin cells and bacteria.
When we overproduce sebum our pores will clog resulting in more breakouts.
Sugar comes in the form of complex and simple carbohydrates so it’s not only the obvious white granules we add to our cuppa that we need to keep an eye on (although these are really important) but any sweet confectionery such as cakes, pastries ,biscuits and chocolate bars,(chocolate containing high coco solids over 80% are usually OK as they contain much less sugar)
Avoid anything made with white flour and potatoes, like bread and pasta, highly processed foods and fizzy drinks.
A recent study showed you are actually 30% more likely to develop acne if you add sugar to your food and drinks and 20% more likely to develop acne if you consume a lot of cakes and pastries.
For me it’s a no brainer if you have tried most things skincare wise and are still suffering with acne you need to reduce your sugar intake.
There is some research to suggest dairy can play a part in triggering acne flare up’s although it is not as strong as for sugar and more still needs to be done.
It is suggested that the natural growth factors and hormones in milks can trigger acne flare-ups and for many people this certainly does seem to be the case and when eliminating diary from their diet they have seen a reduction in their breakouts.
The only way to see if dairy is a trigger for you is to try eliminating it and see if it works for you, make sure you replace your calcium with a supplement or calcium rich foods such as seeds, almonds, tinned fish beans and lentils.
You may also find you get more breakouts when you eat a lot of take aways and fast food, some research suggest individuals that only consume a diet high in calories, fat and processed sugars rich in omega 6 such as vegetable oil, meat and eggs, this is because they are known as a precursor to inflammation. Often these diets are also lacking in omega 3 and are therefore at a higher risk of developing acne.
Its definitely worth cutting down on the take outs and trying to increase your omega 3 which comes in the form of fatty fish like salmon.
What to eat instead
Try eating wholegrain bread and pasta which has a higher glyceamic index so is less likely to raise blood sugar levels.
Omega 3 is considered really good at high levels at reducing sebum levels so increase your intake of oily fish or try an omega 3 daily supplement.
Probiotics encourage good bacteria and help reduce bacteria so try to eat more sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles and kombucha.
Eat more antioxidant rich foods
Free radicals in our bodies attack our cells resulting in damage to our skin and breakouts, helps neutalise free radicals with an antioxidant rich diet full of berries, green tea and dark leafy greens.
Zinc is definitely known to be lacking in acne sufferers so make sure you’re getting plenty in your diet, zinc rich foods include almonds, cashews, lentils, chickpeas, seeds beans and whole grains.
It may be worth reviewing you diet to see if you are having excess sugar or diary and whether when you do is this when you tend to breakout more.
Start by introducing more omega 3 and zinc into your diet and antixidant rich foods as well as probiotics, all theses are really great for you anyway so you have nothing to loose but potentially could be looking forward to much clearer skin.
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