7 Foods that Cause Acne, According to Evidence-Based Studies

  • Recent research has shown that diet can significantly affect acne development.
  • You may want to avoid foods that contain refined carbs, milk, and omega-6 fatty acids to reduce your risk for acne.
  • You can instead replace these foods with more nutritious ones or consult with a registered dietitian for more personalized advice.

Acne can be caused by several factors, but recent research has shown that diet can significantly affect acne development.

If you’re struggling with acne, you may want to avoid these 7 foods that can cause acne:

1. Refined Carbs

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Some of the foods rich in refined carbohydrates include: processed grains, sugary foods and beverages, and sweeteners.

Frequently consuming added sugars can increase your risk for acne by 30%, while frequently eating pastries can increase your risk by 20%.

This could be because refined carbs rapidly raise blood sugar levels, leading to higher insulin levels. This then leads to rapid skin cell growth and increased sebum production.

Try to reduce your sugar intake as much as possible to reduce acne severity.

2. Dairy Products

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Studies have found that teenagers and young adults were four times more likely to suffer from acne if they regularly consumed milk products.

Milk can also increase insulin levels, which may worsen acne.

3. Fast Food

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A high-calorie diet loaded with fat and refined carbs — such as a fast food diet — has been strongly associated with an increased risk for acne.

Regularly eating fast food is believed to affect gene gene expression and alter hormone levels in a way that promotes acne development.

4. Foods Rich in Omega-6 Fats

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The Western diet, which usually contain large amounts of corn and soy oils rich in omega-6 fatty acids, has been linked to increased levels of inflammation and acne.

You can try to counter this by supplementing your diet with omega-3 fatty acids from fish and walnuts.

5. Chocolate

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Chocolate has long been labeled an acne trigger, though the exact reason and relationship remains unclear.

One study found that chocolate consumption increased the immune system’s reactivity to acne-causing bacteria.

6. Whey Protein Powder

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Whey protein is a popular dietary supplement for men seeking muscle gains.

While the amino acids it contains increase skin cell growth and division, it may also contribute to higher insulin levels and acne.

7. Foods You’re Sensitive To

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Acne is believed to be an inflammatory disease, therefore it only makes sense for you to avoid foods that can trigger sensitivities and inflammation if you want to avoid acne.

This is why anti-inflammatory drugs, like corticosteroids, are effective treatments for severe acne.

If you want to figure out your specific food triggers, you may want to consider completing an elimination diet or food sensitivity testing under the supervision of a registered dietitian or nutrition specialist.

What to Eat Instead

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Load up on the following foods and nutrients that can help clear your skin: omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, green tea, turmeric, and Vitamins A, D, E, and zinc.

Try to fill your diet with fruits, vegetables, and fish while reducing your consumption of grains, dairy, and saturated fats.


Source: healthline

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