Keep these foods away from your diet to avoid acne
Acne is a common skin condition that affects nearly 10% of the world’s population, causing irritation, pain, self-confidence problems and many others.
There are many factors that contribute to the development of acne, including sebum and keratin production, acne-causing bacteria, hormones, blocked pores, and inflammation. However, our diets also play a major role in affecting our skin.
In this article, we will review 7 foods that can cause acne, and see how the diet quality is hugely important for our skin health.
Refined Grains and Sugars
A study showed that people who frequently consumed added sugars had a 30% greater risk of developing acne, while those who regularly ate pastries and cakes had a 20% greater risk, and here is why:
Foods with a huge amount of carbohydrates affect blood sugar and insulin levels, as refined carbohydrates are absorbed quickly into the bloodstream, which rapidly raises blood sugar levels.
When blood sugars rise, insulin levels also rise to help shuttle the blood sugars out of the bloodstream and into your cells. However, insulin is considered one of the main causes of acne, as it makes androgen hormones more active and increases insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). This contributes to acne development by making skin cells grow more quickly and by boosting sebum production.
So here are the foods with rich in refined carbohydrates:
- Bread, crackers, cereal, or desserts made with white flour.
- Pasta made with white flour.
- White rice and rice noodles.
- Sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages.
- Sweeteners like cane sugar, maple syrup, honey, or agave.
Although studies that linked between milk products and acne have not been of a high-quality, yet two studies have found that young adults who regularly consumed milk or ice cream were four times more likely to suffer from acne.
However, those studies have focused mainly on teenagers and young adults and have only showed a correlation between milk and acne, but not a cause and effect relationship. So more research is needed to determine if there is a specific amount or type of dairy that may aggravate acne.
As it is not clear yet how milk may be an affecting factor of the development of acne, here is two common theories:
Milk is known to increase insulin levels, independent of its effects on blood sugar, which may worsen acne severity.
On the other side, cow’s milk also contains amino acids that stimulate the liver to produce more IGF-1, which has been linked to the development of acne.
As mentioned previously, refined carbohydrates is one of the most important factors in acne development. And what is the richest source of it? Yes, of course, it is fast food.
One study on over 5,000 Chinese teenagers and young adults found that high-fat diets were associated with a 43% increased risk of developing acne. Regularly eating fast food increased the risk by 17%.
While a separate study on 2,300 Turkish men found that frequently eating burgers or sausages was linked to a 24% increased risk of developing acne.
Even though it is not clear why eating fast food may increase the risk of developing acne, but some researchers propose that it may affect gene expression and alter hormone levels in a way that promotes acne development.
However, you may want to stand away from fast foods, not just because of the acne problem but also for your over-all body health.
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