Beating acne isn’t just about the beauty products you use. What you eat and don’t eat affects your acne breakouts too.
Acne isn’t pretty; and all of us want to avoid it as much as we can. Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States. Although it is not a serious condition, it can affect a person’s confidence, and thus be a distressing occurrence. This skin problem most commonly affects teens and young people, but it can occur in older people too. Acne, which causes pimples, occurs when hair follicles under your skin become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. The most common areas of your body that acne affects are the face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders.
Acne is a persistent condition, and its outbreak can range from mild to intense in different people. If it is severe, acne can leave permanent scars on you while also causing much emotional distress. However, there are treatment options available to deal with this condition, and the earlier you start treatment, the better the chances you have of preventing acne flare-ups. In addition, certain home remedies and lifestyle changes can help you handle acne symptoms to a considerable extent.
Another effective, yet much-debated, way of controlling your acne problem is by making the right dietary modifications. New research has shown that diet is indeed strongly linked to acne, and can have a positive or negative effect on this skin condition depending on what a person consumes. Here are some dietary modifications that you can make to get acne-free skin the natural way.
First, let’s get to what to avoid— here is a list of the foods that often play a significant role in making your acne problem worse.
High-glycemic foods: Foods that have a high Glycemic Index (GI) rating, like carbohydrates, are broken down by the body quickly and result in a considerable rise in blood glucose levels. This in turn usually encourages the pancreas to release insulin in large quantities, as well as causes inflammation and hormonal fluctuations—things that promote acne. In contrast, low-GI foods take a longer time to digest and cause just a small and slow rise in your blood glucose and insulin levels. Insulin is important for your body in order to use glucose for energy, but an overload of insulin in your bloodstream can cause reactions that are associated with the outbreak of acne. High-glycemic foods include white bread, white rice, cookies, potato chips, processed breakfast cereals, and cakes, etc. In a study conducted to research the effects of such foods, one group of young men were asked to follow a regular teen diet that contains several high-glycemic foods, while the other group was put on a high-protein, low-glycemic diet. The latter groups showed an improvement in their acne problem by over 50 percent in the course of the 12-week trial.
Dairy products (especially cow’s milk): Research has strongly suggested that people who consume dairy products in high quantities are more likely to have aggravated acne problems. In addition, a study conducted in 2010 found that there is an association between the consumption of cow’s milk and acne. Although scientists are not sure exactly why this happens, there are different theories regarding it. One is that cow’s milk raises blood sugar levels, which can lead to pimples. It also increases the levels of insulin in the body, which encourages the production of sebum (skin oils). Milk is also known to have some growth hormones that can promote the overgrowth of skin cells, and this is likely to block the pores of your skin. An earlier research had found that people who drank more milk when they were teenagers were more likely to have severe acne as compared to people who had less or no milk as teens.
Sugar: Most people already suspect that consuming sugar is related to acne flare-ups. Now, some clinical studies suggest that there might indeed be a link between these two. However, this does not mean that you will get pimples if you just take a bite of a cookie; it all depends on the quantity of sugar you consume in a day and the quantities at any particular time. For example, if you have a couple of candy bars and a soda together, you could have an acne breakout after a few hours.
Junk food: Similar to sugar and dairy products, consuming junk food can lead to acne as it spikes your blood sugar levels and creates hormonal imbalance. Moreover, greasy fast foods create inflammation and can lead to pimples. So if you are working toward clear skin, stay away from such foods and instead opt for a salad or yogurt when you are eating out.
High amounts of iodine: Excessive amounts of iodine in your diet can make the pores irritated and result in outbreaks of acne in some people. While iodine is an essential trace mineral for your body, too much of it is unnecessary as the body requires only a small quantity. But many food items are known to exceed the recommended daily intake of iodine by a high margin. Some of the foods that are high in iodine include eggs, sea vegetables such as kelp, and strawberries.
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