In the last post we talked about some simple methods to help you fight acne before it happens. In this post we are going to talk more about diet, high glycemic foods, allergies and how they affect your acne.
You are what you eat! Chances are you have heard this statement sometime during your life, whether it was from your Mom, your Grandmother or your great Aunt Susan!
Whether or not the diet that you consume has a large impact on your acne breakouts has been a topic of debate and research for many years. In your last post we talked a little bit about why having a few sweet treats or snacking on some chips won’t necessarily have an impact on your acne breakouts. We also covered the topic of why eating a healthy diet may not cure your acne completely, but it can help reduce the amount of breakouts you experience.
While some people believe that certain foods lead to breakouts there has been no real proof to back up this claim. However, many people with food allergies experience breakouts that manifest themselves as acne and never consider the possibility of an allergic reaction.
As we have discussed before, your skin is the largest organ of your body and it’s job is to eliminate waste and toxins by excreting them through your pores. When you eat a food that you are allergic to, a toxic reaction occurs which leads the immune system of your body to set up defend against the attack. Your body then starts expelling the toxins from the food leading to inflammation on the skin in the form of papules and pustules.
Over the last several years there have been many studies that indicate that there is a link between high-glycemic foods and acne. For the most part these studies have not been proven conclusive, however many people have stated that switching to a diet containing more low glycemic foods has helped alleviate their acne symptoms.
The science behind this is that high glycemic foods lead to a high an increased production of insulin by the body, which quickly raises hormone levels. This rising of hormones leads to the excess production of sebum in the body which ultimately leads to clogged pores thereby causing more acne breakouts.
Unfortunately, foods such as processed food, white bread, french fries and potato chips are the main culprits according to the glycemic index. The glycemic index was developed in the early 1980s to help people with diabetes better understand and predict how foods containing carbohydrates influence their blood sugar levels.
Consuming more low glycemic foods has been said to be better for you because it takes the body longer to process them and break them down into sugar. The longer this process takes the less affect it has on your blood sugar levels and the amount of insulin produced by your body. Insulin is the main hormone that creates the acne cycle. When we consume excessive high glycemic foods we are perpetuating that cycle and preventing our body the chance to heal itself.
Here are a few examples of some low glycemic foods:
- Whole-grain cereals that contain bran, barley and oats
- Plenty of fresh vegetables (think of all vegetables as low G. I.)
- The recommended daily allowance of fresh fruits, not prepackaged (avoid bottled fruit juices because they contain high amounts of sugar)
- Plenty of water, herbal teas and avoid sugary beverages like soda
- Whole grain and some multigrain pasta and noodles
- Whole grain and some multigrain breads
- Lean meats and fish
You can find out more about low glycemic foods by visiting the glycemic index website: http://www.glycemicindex.com They have a handy search index that will help you determine where your favorite foods rate on the glycemic scale.
While the link between consuming a low glycemic diet and acne has yet to be proven conclusively, it is a good idea to reduce the amount of high glycemic foods in your diet, especially if you believe they are leading to more frequent breakouts. Remember a healthy, well-balanced diet keeps your body healthy on the inside and that radiates on the outside!
In the next post, we will be talking about some common ingredients in acne treatments, so that you know what to look for when choosing the right products and treatments for your acne prone skin.