How Acne and Diet Relate to Each Other

Understanding the relationship between acne and diet can help get rid of unsightly pimples

There are many disproven links between acne and diet. For example, growing up you may have heard the myth that 'chocolate causes acne.' It doesn't. There is nothing in chocolate that makes your body have a knee-jerk reaction and decide to produce more oil in your skin.

However, there is reason to believe that your diet and the foods you ingest can have an affect on your acne. And while some may argue that foods are not causes of acne, there is plenty of evidence to the contrary.

So why don't I hear more about it?

There are a number of reasons that doctors and dermatologists usually don't list an acne diet as a method of controlling the oil levels in your skin. First of all, an acne diet is an oxymoron because it won't be the same for everyone. Different people will find that different foods trigger their skin problems.

In addition, studies show that acne can be related to allergies. You might not realize you're allergic to a food, but eating it may cause your body to go into overdrive producing, among other things, increased oil levels in your skin.

And from a cynical point of view: if you try to treat your acne with a healthy diet, you're not making any money for the skin care industry.

Finding out the relationship between diet and acne

Although individual causes of acne vary, there are some things that seem to cause universal problems. These are good places to start if you want to try changing your acne through diet, and they include:

-Limiting saturated fat. Chocolate, incidentally, does contain saturated fat, which could be where the myth originates.

-Increasing protein. Unfortunately, many sources of protein are also sources of saturated fats, so you really want to be careful about eating lean protein, not deep fried chicken.

-Avoiding refined carbohydrates. We eat too many carbs in North America anyway. Obviously you shouldn't cut them out of your diet, but if your meals consist of 75% carbohydrates, that's too high. Also, refined carbs are the absolute worst -- they wreak havoc on your entire system. When it comes to carbs, the whiter it is the more it's been refined.

-Increasing water, fruits, and vegetables. This is just a good health tip in general, but it also provides necessary vitamins and minerals your skin needs to stay healthy looking.

More tips for diet and acne

There is some evidence that vitamin supplements, green tea, and zinc can have a positive affect on acne. Further, there's evidence that iodine (i.e., salt) encourages your body to produce more oil, leading to further outbreaks. If you want to treat acne in a healthy, natural way, these are great places to start.

The tips in this article relate to basic nutrition. Even if they don't clear up your acne, they'll improve your overall appearance and health. So before you buy expensive soaps and creams, remember these links between acne and diet.

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