Food and Your Skin Part 2
Foods that are terrible for your skin
Some foods are excellent for your skin, whereas other foods can be pretty terrible for your skin. As the saying goes, you are what you eat, so if you are putting in the good stuff your body will reward you for it, if you are putting in the bad stuff then this will of course reflect in your body and it’s appearance too.
It is so important to take care of your skin, and there are some incredible foods you can indulge in which will help to give you that glowing complexion. Have a read through the below list to see which ones you have been over indulging in and which ones you might need to start getting rid of!
Risky Refined Carbohydrates
Do you have oily or acne-prone skin?
When it comes to bad skin, the biggest contender for a bad complexion seems to be refined carbs. Sugar has been known to contribute to bad skin and acne, if you have a diet high in sugar and refined carbs, it could well be that this choice is contributing to your bad skin. This increased risk may be explained by the effects refined carbohydrates have on blood sugar and insulin levels.
So what are refined carbs?
Refined carbs are mostly sugars and refined grains such as bread, crackers, cereal or desserts made with white flour, pasta made with white flour, white rice and rice noodles, sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages and sweeteners like cane sugar, maple syrup, honey or agave.
Studies have shown that refined carbohydrates are absorbed quickly into your bloodstream, which rapidly raises your blood sugar levels. When blood sugars rise, insulin levels also rise to help shuttle the blood sugars out of the bloodstream and into your cells. High levels of insulin are not good for those who suffer with acne and bad skin. Insulin makes androgen hormones more active and increases insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). This contributes to acne development by making skin cells grow more quickly and by boosting sebum production, an oily substance which can block pores causing breakouts.
Processed sugar can also age your skin prematurely by creating molecules called “AGEs” (advanced glycation end products). This process is known as glycation, a major factor in premature aging. Investing in a good exfoliating scrub like the ones we have here can help to combat blemished and excess oil in the skin. Ensure you invest in a good skincare regime starting with an excellent quality cleanser to rid your skin of all those blocked pores.
What to eat instead: Whole Grains and slow digesting carbohydrates. Natural sweeteners such as raw honey, maple syrup, apple sauce, green leaf stevia and coconut nectar are low glycemic sweeteners that don’t spike your insulin levels.
Dairy is well recognized and promoted as a great source of calcium to help give you strong bones and teeth. On the flip side though, research has deemed the dairy food group to be a pro-inflammatory food, this type of food can aggravate or worsen existing inflammatory skin conditions, such as acne, rashes, and eczema.
Another reason dairy can be detrimental for your skin is that growth hormones and antibiotics are often found in conventional dairy products such as milks and yoghurts, this is because the animals are fed a mixture of hormones so they keep producing milk for the production of dairy products.
Such hormones and antibiotics can interfere with your body’s natural hormonal balance. When it comes to bad skin and a dull complexion, excess estrogen (the female growth hormone) in your system is suspected to contribute to hormonal cystic acne however, there’s a lack of research to confirm the link between acne and estrogen dominance.
What to eat instead: There are a number of calcium-rich plant milks available such as almond, soya and coconut milks. See where you can substitute a milk product for a plant-based product because these alternatives are hormone, antibiotic and lactose-free.
Fear the Fast food
Fast food addicts aren’t known for their healthy, glowing skin. Fast food isn’t a great choice for your body or your skin. Fast food is usually rammed full of fats, oils and refined carbohydrates, none of which are good for your waistline or your skin. If you are loading your body full of nutrient-void foods then you can expect it not to function correctly.
Due to the oils and fats present in fast food choices, there are a lot of free radicals present. Free radicals have been shown to destroy your cells including healthy skin cells and can contribute to premature aging.
Because of the usual, high carbohydrate content of fast food, your body responds by cranking out more insulin, which increases the production of skin oils and contributes to the clogging of follicles leading to breakouts and unhealthy looking skin.
What to eat instead: Ideally, try to avoid anything which is deep fried and has a high saturated fat content. Try to keep takeout to a minimum. When you know you’ll be eating on-the-go, avoid deep fried foods altogether by keeping protein bars, nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables in your car glove box, desk or purse.
Alcohol the Enemy...
You may be a little sad to see this on here, but unfortunately alcohol can be dreadful for your skin for a number of reasons.
Alcohol is usually sugar and calorie-laden and can dehydrate you causing dry, brittle and dull looking skin as well as preventing your skin from retaining moisture and can cause dark circles around your eyes. If you have got dark circles indulge in some quality eye serum to help reverse the damage.
Red wine may be hailed as a good source of antioxidant, but alcohol may actually be worse for your skin when it comes to acne and anti-aging. Alcoholic choices such as cider, wine and flavoured spirits contain a lot of sugar, which spikes blood sugar levels and may contribute to aging by depleting your natural collagen levels. Alcohol is also dreadful for weight gain adding pounds to your waistline!
What to have instead: Try to limit your drinking to as little as possible, ideally once a week and opt for the lower calorie, purer, distilled and filtered choices such as a good quality gin and vodkas with diet mixer choices.