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Potential acne triggers include sugary foods, warn scientists
By roselidell // 2021-02-17
Not everyone is blessed with blemish-free skin. Teenagers and even some adults struggle with acne, but research suggests that improving your eating habits may help. According to a study, following a balanced diet and avoiding sugary foods can help prevent acne breakouts.

Acne and poor dietary habits

Research has found that acne is the eighth most prevalent disease worldwide. In fact, it affects one in 10 people globally. People of all ages suffer from acne, and there are many commercial and home remedies that claim to get rid of pimples. But in a study, scientists discovered that the best way to prevent acne naturally does not involve expensive creams, lotions or face wash. According to research findings presented at the 28th EADV Congress in Madrid, bad eating habits, particularly the excessive consumption of sweets, is a major factor that causes acne. For the study, researchers examined data from 6,700 volunteers from six countries in North America, South America and Europe. The scientists tried to find out which external and internal factors were most associated with acne. According to the findings:
  • At least 48.2 percent of volunteers with acne consumed dairy products, a link that has been studied before.
  • At least 37 percent ate pastries and chocolate.
  • Around 35.6 percent of the participants drank soda juices or syrups.
  • At least 29.7 percent of the volunteers consumed sweets.
The volunteers consumed these foods and beverages on a daily basis. Earlier studies linking food to acne suggest that foods with a high glycemic index can trigger breakouts. The results of the current study imply that what you eat and your skin health are indeed deeply connected.

Skin health and smoking

Aside from sugary foods and beverages, the researchers also studied potential links between skin health and tobacco use. While smoking is linked to health problems like cancer, hip fractures, erectile dysfunction and Type 2 diabetes, results showed that tobacco wasn't a potential acne trigger. Additionally, 11 percent of the volunteers with acne consumed whey protein products, suggesting that you should be careful when choosing a protein powder. Dr. Brigitte Dreno, the study's lead researcher, explained that acne is one of the most common reasons why people with skin problems consult dermatologists. "Its severity and response to treatment may be influenced by internal and external factors, which we call the exposome. For the first time, this study allows us to identify the most important exposome factors relating to acne from patient questioning prior to any treatment prescription," concluded Dreno. To keep your skin clear and blemish-free, cut down on soda and avoid eating too many sweets. Avoiding processed sugar and dairy products won't just help prevent acne, it will also ensure that you maintain a healthy weight and avoid health problems linked to obesity. If you're craving something sweet, snack on a piece of fresh fruit instead.

What to avoid to prevent acne

Eating certain kinds of food will raise your blood sugar more quickly than others. When blood sugar rises quickly, it makes your body release insulin. Having excess insulin in the blood can make the oil glands produce more oil, which increases your risks of acne. The following foods trigger spikes in the blood levels of the hormone insulin:
  • Pasta
  • Sugar
  • White bread
  • White rice
Aside from dairy products, other foods included in a "Western diet" or "standard American diet" can also trigger acne. The Western diet includes a lot of :
  • Dairy
  • High-glycemic carbohydrates
  • Saturated fats
  • Trans fats
Dairy and carbs can stimulate the production of hormones that may cause the secretion of excess oil by oil glands. Additionally, a Western diet is linked to greater inflammation, a condition that can also cause acne.

What to eat for better skin health

Eating low-glycemic foods made of complex carbohydrates can help reduce your risk of developing acne. Legumes, unprocessed fruits and vegetables and whole grains contain complex carbohydrates. Foods that contain antioxidants, the mineral zinc and vitamins A and E are thought to boost skin health since they can minimize inflammation. To keep your skin healthy, consume the following superfoods regularly:
  • Beans, lentils and peas
  • Blueberries
  • Brown rice
  • Dark green and leafy vegetables like spinach
  • Mackerel, salmon and other kinds of fatty fish
  • Nuts
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Quinoa
  • Tomatoes
  • Turkey
  • Whole-wheat bread
  • Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables (e.g., apricots, carrots and sweet potatoes)
Before making any significant changes to your diet, consider that everyone’s body is different. Eating certain foods can trigger acne, so consult your physician before adding more of a certain food to your regular diet. Also, take into account any food allergies or sensitivities you may have before changing your dietary habits. Sources: