An inflammatory skin condition known as Acne affects nearly 10% of the world’s population. Acne is caused by bacteria, hormones, blocked pores, sebum, and keratin production inflammation.
Researchers claim that diets can contribute to acne development. In this article, seven diets that promote acne will be discussed. Also, we will consider the importance of eating healthy food.
Refined Grains and Sugars
People who suffer acne (pimples)outbreak eat more refined carbohydrates than people with no or little acne.
The following are a list of diets that contain refined carbohydrates.
All foods made from white flour such as Cereal or desserts, bread, crackers,
Pasta produced with white flour, Noodles, and white rice.
Sugar-sweetened beverages and sodas. Some of them are; Maple syrup, cane sugar, honey or agave.
According to studies, regular consumption of added sugar leads to a 30 percent increased risk of pimples, while regular consumption of pastries and cakes has a 20% associated risk.
This is because of the effects refined carbohydrates have on blood sugar and insulin levels.
Refined carbs are easily absorbed into the bloodstream and quickly raises blood sugar levels. Once blood sugar increases, insulin levels increases and shuttle the blood sugars out of the bloodstream into your cells.
Nevertheless, high levels of insulin are dangerous for those with pimples outbreak.
Androgen hormones tend to be more active when the level of insulin become high and lead to an increase in insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). It contributes to the development of acne by causing rapid growth of skin cells and boosting sebum production.
However, low-glycemic foods are known to reduce acne severity by decreasing insulin or blood sugar level.
According to researchers, more research is needed to understand how refined carbohydrates cause pimple outbreak.
Consumption of refined carbohydrates is not recommended for people who suffer acne. Refined carbs raise blood sugar and insulin levels which aids the development of acne.
Studies prove that there is a link between dairy products and acne severity in teenagers.
According to studies, young adults who frequently consume milk or ice cream are 4% more likely to suffer pimples outbreak. However, the study is not regarded as a high-quality study.
At present, the study has focused mostly on young adults and teenagers. It has proved that there is a reciprocal relation between milk and acne, not a cause and effect relationship.
How dairy product contributes to pimples outbreak is not yet clear, but there are several proposed theories.
Diary product is known to raise insulin levels, independent of its effects on blood sugar, which may worsen pimples. Again, the amino acids present in cow milk causes the liver to produce more IGF-1, which leads to the development of acne.
However, the link between milk and acne is yet unclear. Further research is still needed to know whether there is a specific amount or type of dairy milk that aggravates acne.
Regular intake of milk products increases the development of acne. Thus, it is not clear whether there is a specific amount or type of dairy product that causes the break out of pimples.
Foods rich in refined carbohydrates, fats, and calories are strongly associated with the development of acne.
The pillar of a typical Western diet such as nuggets, hot dogs, sodas and milkshakes, french fries and burgers are the main fast food items. They increase the risk of acne development.
A study conducted on more than 5,000 Chinese teenagers and young adults proved that high-fat diets have 43 percent increased the risk of pimples outbreak. And frequent intake of fast food has a 17 percent risk.
Another study of 2,300 Turkish men proved that regular consumption of burgers or sausages is linked to a 24% high risk of acne.
Again, it is not yet clear how the consumption of fast food leads to an increased risk of acne development. However, many researchers suggested that it may affect gene expression and hormone levels in a way that increase acne development.
Most researches on fast food and acne were conducted using self-reported data. This kind of research shows only patterns of dietary habits and acne risk and does not show that fast food increases the risk of acne. Hence, more research is needed for further proof.
Frequent intake of fast food has been linked with an increased risk of acne. But it is not clear yet and more study is required.
Foods Rich in Omega-6 Fats:
Foods with high content of omega-6 fatty acids, such as typical Western diet, have said to increase the level of inflammation and acne.
The reason might be because Western diets have a high content of corn and soy oils, that are rich in omega-6 fats, and few diets which contain omega-3 fats, such as fish and walnuts.
The omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids force the body into an inflammatory condition, that worsens acne severity.
Conversely, omega-3 fatty acids supplement is recommended to reduce the level of inflammation and acne severity.
There is no clear evidence yet that omega-6 fatty acids cause acne. More research is needed on this topic.
Since the 1920s, it has been believed that eating chocolate spark acne. But the agreement is yet to be reached.
Several informal surveys have connected the consumption of chocolate with a high risk of developing acne. Thus, there is no solid proof that chocolate increases the risk of acne development.
One recent study shows that men who consume 25 gms of 99 percent dark chocolate per day are prone to acne just within two weeks.
Some other study showed that men who were given capsules of 100% cocoa powder per day had significantly more acne bound after one week compared to those given a placebo.
The reason why chocolate might increase acne is unknown yet. However, a study shows that consuming chocolate increased the responsiveness of the immune system to acne-causing bacteria.
Though researchers agreed that a link exists between chocolate consumption and acne, yet, it is still not how chocolate actually causes acne.
Studies show that there is a connection between the intake of chocolate and acne development, but the reasons and strength of the connection are unknown.
Whey Protein Powder:
Whey protein is used to increase protein in the diet.
It has a high content of amino acids leucine and glutamine. Amino acids lead to the rapid growth and quick division of the skin cell, which may contribute to the formation of acne.
Amino acids in whey protein can also trigger the production of higher levels of insulin, which causes the development of acne.
Studies have proved that there is a connection between the intake of whey protein and acne in male sportsman.
Another study shows a reciprocal relation between acne severity and the duration of whey protein supplements.
Though some studies agreed that there is a connection between whey protein and acne development, more research is required to know if whey protein actually causes acne.
Acne is an inflammatory disease. Therefore, an anti-inflammatory drug, like corticosteroids is effective in severe acne treatment. People who suffer acne have high -flown levels of inflammatory molecules in their blood.
Food sensitivities also called delayed hypersensitivity reactions is the major way food causes inflammatory disease.
Hypersensitivity reactions often happen when the immune system mistakenly regarded food as a threat and launches an immune attack against it.
It leads to high levels of pro-inflammatory molecules circulating throughout the body and may aggravate acne.
The immune system can react to many foods, which is dangerous to people who suffer acne. So the best way to handle it is by completing an elimination diet under the supervision of a registered dietitian or nutrition specialist.
Elimination diets are temporarily limiting the number of foods in your diet, in order to find out the triggers and achieve symptom relief. And consistently adding foods back while tracking your symptoms and looking for patterns.
MRT (Mediator Release Testing ) is a food sensitivity testing, it can be used to determine the foods that cause immune-related inflammation. It can also state a clearer starting point for your elimination diet.
More research should be conducted for a clearer understanding of how food, the immune system, and inflammation affect acne development.
Delayed hypersensitivity reactions can cause an increase of inflammation in the body, which theoretically may worsen acne.
What to Eat Instead:
Since there are a lot of diets which can trigger acne as considered, there are also foods and nutrients which promotes healthy skin.
Omega-3 fatty acids:
Frequent consumption of Omega -3 fatty acids supplement decrease the level of inflammation and reduce the risk of developing acne. Omega -3 fatty acids is an anti-inflammatory.
Green tea has a high content of polyphenols which help in the reduction of inflammation and lowered sebum production. Green tea extracts also decrease acne severity when applied to the skin.
Probiotics help to build a healthy gut and balanced microbiome which reduces inflammation and decreases the risk of developing acne.
Turmeric has a high content of anti-inflammatory polyphenol curcumin, that regulate blood sugar, promote insulin sensitivity and suppress the development of acne-causing bacteria, which may reduce acne.
Zinc and Vitamins A, D, E
These nutrients play vital roles in the immune system and skin to inhibit the development of acne-causing bacteria.
These diets are abundant in lean meats, dairy and legumes, fruits, vegetables and nuts and low in grains. They decrease blood sugar levels and insulin levels.
Development of acne can also be reduced through Mediterranean-style diets. This diet is rich in fish and olive oil fruits, legumes, vegetables, whole grain, and low in dairy and saturated fat
Eating foods rich in probiotics, green tea, omega-3 fatty acids, fruits, and
vegetables may fight against acne development. Vitamins A, D, and E, and zinc may also serve as a protection against acne.
The most important factors
Though researchers have claimed that certain diets have a high risk of developing acne, it is important to keep the bigger picture in mind.
The dietary patterns will likely have an impact on your skin.
You’re not advised to totally keep away from the diets mention in this article that is linked to acne. However, balance them with other nutrient-dense foods discussed above.
Researches on diet and acne are unable to recommend particular dietary at this time, but will in the future.
Is advisable to find out the effect of the foods you consume on your skin.
A registered dietitian can assist you for personalized advice.