6 "Healthy" Foods that Can Make Acne Worse
Choosing foods that nourish your body and skin can be confusing! You have to sift through masses of contradicting "expert" opinions, decipher marketing tactics and throw out bad scientific practices that have been twisted to fit a particular brand's narrative... Truly, it's a jungle out there!
As a board certified nurse practitioner who specializes in holistic skin health - I wanted to share my list of "healthy foods" which may be doing more harm that good.
Some of these may be shocking...especially #4! But hear me out and consider making some swaps to your diet.
1. Lowfat Milk/Yogurt
Low fat dairy products have the cream portion removed. This makes them lower in fat but higher in milk sugars. It also means there is a higher concentration of a hormone called IGF-1. This hormone has been show to increase acne in acne-prone patients.
Weight gain has also been linked to consuming large amounts of low-fat dairy. In addition, many low-fat yogurts also have loads of added sugars, gums or "natural flavours" to make them more appealing and attractive for consumers.
2. Fruit Juice
Many of my patients have swapped out soda for an equally disruptive beverage...fruit juice! Fruit juice may contain less chemicals than soda, but it has a ton of sugar which can spike your insulin levels.
Insulin spikes contribute to a myriad of health problems. I highly recommend the book "Why We Get Sick" by Dr. Benjamin Bikman to learn more about this.
In short, insulin triggers inflammation in the skin, oil production and excess skin cells which can clog the pores.
Fructose can also burden down the liver and make it's job more difficult. Limiting fruit juice AND fruit itself to 1-2 a day (or any other sugar containing beverage) is your best bet for clear skin.
3. Sunflower Oil
This sneaky oil is in EVERYTHING these days. While sunflower seeds are OK in moderation, when you press and extra oils from the protected seed form they can easily become rancid. Rancid oils are highly oxidizing. In addition, sunflower oil is high in omega-6 fatty acids. This is an inflammatory fatty acid.
Omega 6 in moderation is acceptable, but when many of our food products contain sunflower oil - it can add up to an imbalance.
Your best bet is to avoid added sunflower oil and look for avocado oil, olive oil, coconut oil or even better ghee butter instead. Check packages carefully!
Yes that's right! Many people are shocked to find out oatmeal IS not as healthy as they thought it was. Here's why:
Oats are the highest pesticide crops. So that means you will be getting a side of glyphosate (Round Up) in your bowl of oatmeal unless it's strictly organic.
Another thing is that rolled oats are steamed and dried before being packaged for months on the shelf. This means that the delicate oils are exposed to oxygen and will mostly be rancid by the time you consume them. An intact grain like whole oat groats or steel cut oats are a better option.
Finally, oats are mostly starches. Eating a bowl of oats with brown sugar and raisins will spike your blood sugar first thing in the morning creating a sugar crash after lunch. This will leave you tired and hungry. You can avoid this by eating organic whole oats with protein like an egg or protein powder and healthy fats.
5. Salad Dressing
Salads are known as a foundational healthy food. And they are great! But salad dressings are often toxic. They contain lots of inflammatory oils like canola oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, and vegetable oil. They also contain added sugars.
Dress your salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar. If you do choose a pre-made salad dressing, choose one that is Whole 30 approved.
For years we were told to avoid butter and opt for margarine. Sadly this was dead wrong! Margarine is usually made with soybean, canola, or vegetable oils. These inflammatory oils can cause a cascade of hormonal reactions which will lead to acne and oily skin.
Choose ghee or grass-fed butter like Kerrygold butter or use olive oil instead.
How to clear your skin for good?
Healthy eating is just one part of the equation when it comes to clear skin. There's always more to the story! I cover ALL of this information and much more in my best-selling The Clear Skin Code course. It's a life changing course packed with valuable information! If you have any questions regarding my course or my 1:1 packages - please email me at [email protected] and I'll personally get back to you!