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Diet and acne: How eating the right foods can clear your skin

The medical community used to think there was no link between diet and skin. That kind of thinking is falling to the wayside with new research that shows eating a low-glycemic diet rich in leafy green vegetables and whole grains is beneficial to the skin and can help prevent acne breakouts.


Do

Do eat low-glycemic foods

In a recent study, followers of a low-glycemic, low-carbohydrate diet were found to have reduced acne breakouts. The study showed that 80% of South Beach Diet followers enjoyed a noticeable improvement in their skin within three months of beginning the popular low-carb, low-glycemic diet. While a whopping 91% of the South Beach Diet followers were even able to decrease the use of their acne medications while on the diet.

Do cut down on your dairy consumption

Dairy consumption may release hormones in the body that lead to acne. Milk contains a substance that is testosterone-like that can stimulate the skin’s oil glands and potentially cause acne.

Do load up on vegetables

Veggies contain antioxidants which can help cut down on inflammation in your body. Acne is actually caused by inflammation.

Do eat smaller meals throughout the day

Eating a small meal about every 3 hours a day helps to keep your blood sugar and insulin levels in check. A 2007 study showed that high insulin levels could contribute to acne.

Do eat a diet rich in Omega-3s

Foods that are rich in omega 3s can help fight inflammation within the body. An overabundance of inflammation can present on the skin as acne.


Don't

Do not load up on foods that are high in sugar

Foods that register on the high-glycemic scale can cause a sharp increase in their blood sugar levels. Research has shown that when blood sugar levels increase dramatically, it could lead to acne breakouts.

Do not skip meals

Again, it’s all about keeping your blood sugar at steady levels with no peaks. By eating small meals throughout the day, you can keep your insulin and blood sugar levels steady.

Do not skimp on the veggies

Vegetables are nature’s medicine. They provide numerous vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that contribute to clear skin.

Do not overdose on simple carbs

Simple carbohydrates, such as white bread, cake, cookies and sugared cereal can lead to acne breakouts.

Do not gain too much weight

Research has shown that people who are overweight are more likely to breakout than those who remain at a healthy weight.


Summary
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You may have heard that diet does not play a role in the health of your skin, but new research is proving that theory wrong. Sticking to a diet of mostly fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains will not only make you feel good, it will also help your skin stay acne-free. What’s more, remaining at a healthy weight has also been shown to reduce acne breakouts.


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Eric Schweiger, M.D.Dermatologist

Eric S. Schweiger, M.D. is the founding dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City. Dr. Schweiger practices cosmetic and general dermatology, with a particular focus on laser and light based treatments, aesthetic enhancements ...

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