Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

Diet to Avoid Acne

Diet to Avoid Acne Diet to Avoid Acne

Overview

The primary causes of acne are hormones, the P. acnes bacteria that lives on human skin and over-production of oil, or sebum, in the skin. However, other factors can contribute to breakouts, such as diet. Since the discovery that acne is nearly nonexistent among some tribes living in remote areas whose diets typically don't include beef, dairy, wheat and sugar, some dermatologists are giving more weight to the idea that dietary changes may help avoid acne.

Eat Whole Grains, Not Refined Carbs

Hormones play a key role in the development of acne and can also make acne worse. For instance, during times of chronic stress, hormones such as insulin increase. According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, some overweight women with acne have higher insulin levels. Refined carbohydrates, such as sugar and products made from white flour, cause blood glucose levels to rise rapidly, and in turn, insulin levels. Switching to whole-grain, cereals, breads and pastas, and to natural sweeteners such as stevia instead of sugar, may help to stabilize insulin levels to control breakouts.

Evidence

In a study published in the July 2007 issue of the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition," a team of Australian and Finnish researchers investigated the effects of a low-glycemic diet on acne in male patients between ages 15 to 25. A low-glycemic diet is characterized by high-fiber foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes. Study participants on the diet experienced improvement in insulin sensitivity --- which is your body's ability to use insulin effectively --- and a reduction in acne lesions.

Reduce Dairy Intake

Milk is rich in protein and calcium, which you need for overall health, but it can also contain high levels of hormones, as most dairy cattle are pregnant, notes the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. As the college points out, it's possible that hormones in dairy foods can exacerbate acne. Instead of consuming dairy foods for protein, try foods such as soy, fish, whole grains, nuts, seeds and sea plants such as spirulina. Also, fish with small bones such as sardines and salmon, green leafy vegetables, soybeans and calcium-fortified foods, instead of dairy products, can provide the calcium you need.

Considerations

If you have a medical condition, consult your doctor before making dietary changes. Also, a nutritionist or dietitian can provide more advice on making healthy food swaps and choices to ensure that you do not compromise your nutritional needs to fight acne. Finally, dietary triggers for breakouts can differ from person to person. For instance, nuts are triggers for some people with acne but not all, notes the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. It's a good idea to create a food diary to track what you eat, which might help you to notice any connections between your diet and your breakouts.

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