Acne & Diet

I remember as a teenager going to the dermatologist for help with my acne. My mother was always telling me to cut back on chocolate and sugary foods so she mentioned this to the dermatologist. Strangely enough my dermatologist disagreed and said that diet isn’t linked to acne.

I’m not so sure this is true. Perhaps in many cases such as when you’re having hormonal fluctuations, acne is inevitable, but the food we put into our bodies does have an overall effect on our health and so of course it will have an effect on our skin too. Everything we eat makes up who we are, our skin, hair, nails, and even the way we think and feel.

I’m not saying in your case your diet is the direct cause of your acne but in many cases it does play a role. Recent research at Colorado State University showed that high insulin levels due to excess sugar in the body led to a release of higher levels of androgens (male hormones) in the system. Androgen triggers excess sebum production which can lead to acne. Therefore reducing insulin levels can help acne and oily skin.

The way to reduce insulin levels is by reducing the amount of sugar you eat. By sugar we don’t just mean things like donuts and candies. Unfortunately, sugar is found in processed carbohydrates such as white bread, crackers, and any white flour products. The best thing you can do is switch to whole grain carbohydrates as these don’t raise your insulin levels in the same way the white flour products do.

And watch out for hidden sugars in processed foods and canned foods as well. By eating a diet full of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean meats your skin should look better and you’ll also be taking care of the rest of your body, you’ll look and feel great.

I’m glad to say that years later I’m acne free but my diet is also much, much healthier these days. However, there are still times during the year like the holidays when I eat extra sugar and chocolate and without a doubt I start noticing a few small blemishes here and there. Once I stop my overindulgence the blemishes clear up.

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