For many years, most experts did not recognize that there was a link between diet and acne. Now, although opinions are still divergent, many believe that there are foods that can help us fight acne and others that will create obstacles for us.
Acne: What foods to avoid
Milk and dairy
We might have grown up with it and not pass a day without going to school without first drinking a glass of milk, but now times have changed, so has the quality of dairy products.
Recent meta-analysis of epidemiological surveys in 78,529 children, adolescents and young adults comes to confirm that milk and dairy products, such as cheese and yogurt, are associated with an increased chance of developing acne in people aged 7 to 30! (1)
Although many scientists are still trying to figure out why this happens, milk itself does not trigger acne, but hormones found in it, produced by cows, are the ones that actually cause the excess oil and sebum secretion ( 2).
More specifically, these are hormones produced during the pregnancy of the animal ending up in the milk we drink! People with high levels of these hormones in their blood tend to have more acne (3). It is not known at present whether the injectable hormones in the cow can cause a difference in the level of hormones found in its milk. (2)
High glycemic index foods
Sugar and in general simple carbohydrates increase blood sugar sharply. Thus foods containing them are considered to be of high glycemic index. Such foods are sweets, soft drinks, white bread, white rice and whatever contains them in large quantities. Among them are foods that most people consume daily, e.g. breakfast cereals with sugar, snacks, pretzels, crackers, biscuits, popcorn etc.
So it seems that those who consume foods from this category are more likely to have acne. This is because when the body is forced to produce more insulin in order to lower increased blood sugar levels, other hormones are affected which enhance sebum production in the skin.
It may be the first thing someone will tell you to cut off and you still stubbornly ignore it! Chocolate has built many myths and truths around it and is often called “sweet sin” not unjustly! The cause, however, does not appear to be its essential ingredient, cocoa, but the milk and sugar it contains. So avoid it as much as you can, and prefer a warm mug of cocoa (without milk) to make you feel good!
Acne: What Foods Will Help Me?
Omega-3 rich foods
Omega 3 fatty acids are a key factor in acne. Their anti-inflammatory action helps reduce the inflammation associated with acne. It is also no coincidence that societies whose diet is based on fish and other Omega 3-rich foods have low acne rate!
So go for fatty fish such as sardines, salmon, mackerel etc., seeds such as flaxseed, Chia seeds, sesame seeds, as well as raw unsalted nuts. Omega 3 supplementation is a good option, especially at a young age, as it can help with memory and concentration in exams.
Zinc is almost synonymous with skin health, as it is one of the first things you need to increase in your diet if you want to see your skin improve. In fact, most people with acne appear to be deficient in zinc.
Zinc-rich foods are oysters and generally shellfish, meat, legumes, seeds and nuts. Nowadays, many dermatologists in cases of severe acne recommend supplements with zinc. In order not to overdose, the expert should determine the dose according to gender and age. Copper intake should also be taken into consideration, as these two elements should be in proper proportion to each other.
Fiber is a valuable helper in the problem of acne! Foods rich in them have a low glycemic index, which seems to improve the symptoms of acne. So go for whole grains, as well as fresh fruits, vegetables and legumes.
Let’s not forget that there are many factors that can lead to acne. Hormonal changes, lifestyles, psychology, heredity, all play a small or a big role in dermatological problems. So look at it calmly and optimistically, make some changes to your daily routine, and consult a specialist!