Foods that prevent acne – Myth or Fact?
You’ve probably heard many times that eating too much chocolate will give you pimples or that greasy food will cause a breakout of zits on your face. But is this true? Medical students at an Australian University in Melbourne studied people’s beliefs about what causes acne, and discovered people really do think that foods high in fat and sugar are mostly to blame. However, although rumours about greasy food causing pimples abound, there is little evidence to support them. Dermatologists say that it isn’t eating oil that gives people blackheads, but if you get grease on your face from touching your skin with greasy hands, then you may leave oil and bacteria on your face that could clog pores and lead to blackheads.
Recently a book was published by the dermatologist Dr Nick Lowe – Perfectly Clear: The Perfect Guide to Clear Skin – that suggests refined and processed carbohydrates such as sugar, white rice and white pasta are far more likely to be linked. Additionally, various researchers have suggested that diets high in dairy can make acne worse.
Why might food high in refined sugars cause acne then?
It’s thought to be all to do with hormones (no surprise there then!) associated with your blood sugar. Eating food containing lots of sugar (including dairy) causes your blood sugar to spike. To process the sugar in your blood, your pancreas produces more insulin to help maintain the balance of blood glucose. Too much insulin triggers androgen hormones to be released into the body which, in turn, makes your skin produce too much sebum, clogging pores and causing blackheads and whiteheads and skin inflammation.
No-one seems to talk loudly about foods that prevent acne though.