The 10 Worst Foods for your Skin
A peachy complexion isn’t just about the creams you slather on your face – it’s also about what you pile on your plate.
Some say the the best weapon against skin aging is your fork. Consuming the right foods feeds your skin with the nutrients it needs to produce new collagen, fight AGEs and look healthier and younger.
Sugar can cause damaging molecules called Advanced Glycation End products (or AGEs) to form in skin, causing premature aging.
But it’s not the only trigger, as experts warn saturated fat, dairy products and alcohol should be avoided.
Here are the top culprits that are ruining your skin…
Rice cakes, like any other unnaturally white foods, are refined carbohydrates, broken down into sugar by the body. This in turn triggers destructive molecules called Advanced Glycation End products (or AGEs) to form. Rice cakes were hailed as the favorite food of supermodels – who claimed their low levels of fat made them a quick route to a thin physique. But we now know rice cakes, like any other unnaturally white foods, are refined carbohydrates, broken down into sugar by the body.
Too much sugar in the blood causes glucose molecules to attach to the proteins in collagen – a protein that allows skin to stay supple – to form destructive molecules called Advanced Glycation End products (or AGEs).
These sticky brown compounds stiffen the otherwise elastic fibres in the skin, creating lines, blotches and wrinkles.
The more sugar a person eats, the more AGEs develop.
Blue cheeses such as stilton can wreak havoc with the skin, dermatologists warn. This is perhaps due to the fat content.
Stiltons and blue cheese tend to be the worst, perhaps due to the strength of them. Other rich foods such as Port can also have an affect like this. Researchers suggest one theory for this is that saturated fat increase levels of omega-6 fatty acids in the body, which compete with another type of fat, omega-3. If levels of these two fats are not balanced in the body, more inflammation and acne occurs.
WATERMELONS AND DATES
High GI foods, such as watermelon, can have an effect on acne because of the hormonal fluctuations that are triggered. Eating high GI foods (foods that are absorbed into the bloodstream quickly) is thought to have a direct effect on the severity of acne because of the hormonal fluctuations that are triggered. These foods include watermelons and dates, as well as the usual white refined sugar suspects. High GI foods cause a spike in hormone levels including insulin which is thought to instigate production of sebum, the oily substance which blocks pores, causing spots. A 2007 Australian study showed that young males who were put on a strict low GI diet noticed a significant improvement in the severity of their acne. A 2002 study published in the Archives of Dermatology found people living in the Kitavan Islands (off the coast of Papua New Guinea) and the Aché hunter-gathers of Paraguay do not suffer from acne and this is associated with their low glycemic diet, consisting mainly of fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.
Milk is thought to affect acne because of the hormones it contains. A 2007 study carried out by Harvard School of Public Health found that there was a clear link between those who drank milk regularly and suffered with acne. Interestingly, those who drank skimmed milk suffered with the worst breakouts, with a 44% increase in the likelihood of developing blemishes. It is thought that processing the milk increases the levels of hormones in the drink. A more recent study, published in 2012 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found the risk of moderate to severe acne ‘increased with increased milk consumption,’ with an odds ratio of 1.78 with a stronger connection seen between skimmed milk than whole fat milk.
Cereals are often marketed as a healthy breakfast, but they can contain up to 37 per cent sugar. A sugar content of over 15 per cent is considered to be high. Research is increasingly showing that sugar ages the skin as it makes the skin lose the plump, elastic qualities that underlie a youthful appearance. Scientists from the Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, and Unilever in the UK, measured the blood sugar levels of 600 men and women aged between 50 and 70. They then showed photographs of these people to a board of 60 independent assessors and found that those with higher blood sugar looked older than those with lower blood sugar. In fact for every 1mm/liter increase in blood sugar, the perceived age of that person rose by five months.
Sugar can also promote the growth of pore-clogging cell and trigger the body to promote more oil – both factors which can cause acne.
Red meat can cause the skin to flush and also trigger acne, dermatologists warn. Some experts believe red meat is linked to bad skin because it can increase levels testosterone in the body. People who are more sensitive to testosterone are more likely to suffer breakouts. This is because higher levels of the hormones lead to more skin cells growing, and more sebum being produced. This can, in turn, block pores and causes acne.
And of course…
Alcohol is the worst thing for skin without a shadow of a doubt. The alcohol and the sugar dry out the skin. Alcohol also causes flushing when it has been broken down. Studies have found high levels of alcohol consumption exacerbate the skin condition psoriasis, which often presents itself as reddish spots and patches covered with silvery scales. It also causing bloating and dark circles under your eyes and can lead to wrinkles and premature aging. The skin may also become dry and flaky because booze causes dehydration, and alcohol also depletes vitamin C in the body’s tissues, so bruises will show up more clearly.
Alcohol is the worst thing for skin without a shadow of a doubt!