Is your diet causing acne?

The way your body reacts to food may be causing those pimples—let’s take a deeper dive into how.

It’s conclusive: Research proves that what you eat can affect skin and acne.

How are diet and acne connected?

The biggest connection between food and acne has to do with blood sugar spikes. After consuming food (healthy or unhealthy), your blood sugar increases. This is normal.

However, when you eat foods that cause this increase too quickly, the body must then produce more insulin, which in turn creates too much androgen, a hormone that triggers the skin to produce more oil and clog pores.

The result? Acne.  


Foods to avoid

We suggest avoiding foods that cause blood sugars to spike (increase too fast), otherwise known as high-glycemic foods. These include:

  • high-sugar foods (cakes, sugar, chocolate, etc.)
  • foods high in saturated or trans fats (fried foods, dairy, etc.)
  • “simple” or high-glycemic carbohydrates (white rice, white breads, etc.)

Skipping these foods allows your body to function optimally, without the excess hormones that clog pores and without the sugar crashes that leave you reaching for more unhealthy, acne-causing snacks.


Foods to choose, AKA the “Non-comedogenic” Diet

Try replacing the “foods to avoid” with those listed below. We can call these “non-comedogenic” foods, meaning they won’t create excess oil and block pores.

  • legumes (beans, lentils, etc.)
  •  unprocessed fruits and vegetables
  • whole grains (brown rice, barley, whole wheat, etc.)
  • minimally processed soy products (tofu, tempeh, soy beans, etc.)
  • foods high in vitamin A (carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, etc.)
  • foods high in vitamin E (nuts, seeds, leafy green vegetables, etc.)
  • foods high in zinc (nuts, seeds, lentils, etc.)
  • foods high in omega 3s (nuts, seeds, fish, etc.)


The takeaway

Acne is a multifaceted problem caused by a variety of factors, and food can play a key role in controlling breakouts. In addition to your acne care routine, boost your skin health by eating a diet full of unprocessed fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy protein (lean meats, legumes, soy) and by minimizing processed carbs and high-fat foods.

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