7 Foods to Avoid to Prevent Acne Breakouts

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Acne breakouts is not something that only teenagers experience. Anyone can have a nasty case of acne flare-ups, especially if you have a naturally oily skin.  Some factors that cause the skin to produce more oil than usual are genetics, hormonal imbalance, puberty, birth control pills, menstruation, and wrong skincare products. However, a recent study concluded that our diet also plays an important role in keeping a healthy and acne-free skin. With that said, here are 7 foods to avoid to prevent acne breakouts

✵  Dairy Products  ✵


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Dairy products have always been linked to acne breakouts and other skin conditions. This is because butter, milk, cheese, and other dairy products contain high levels of hormones, such as testosterone, which can cause blocked pores and increased oil production of the skin. Studies have also shown that milk chocolate can make the condition of your skin worse. However, a good quality dark chocolate should have no negative effect on your skin. In fact, it might even be good for your overall health.

You don't have to entirely eliminate dairy products from your diet--because that would just be sad. What you should do, however, is to reduce or limit your intake of dairy. But, if you want to go dairy-free, I'm not gonna stop you. To make sure that your calcium intake is not affected, you can eat more nuts, vegetables, and fruits that are rich in calcium, such as almonds, leafy greens, and oranges. 

✵  Refined Carbohydrates  ✵


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Refined carbohydrates are highly processed grains--and when grains are processed, they lose fiber and other key nutrients. These are considered as high glycemic index foods which is not a good thing as they have a high impact on our blood sugar. They also encourage acne as they trigger inflammation and hormonal fluctuations. Example of foods with high glycemic index are processed breakfast cereals, white bread, white rice, potato chips, pretzels, cookies, and cakes. Substitute these foods with low glycemic index such as whole grains, vegetables, sweet potatoes, oats, brown rice, and most fruits.  

Inflammatory Fats


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Inflammatory fats such as saturated and trans fats are known to be harmful to our health. In fact, the NHS warns us against eating too much saturated fats as they can increase our risk of heart disease as they increase cholesterol levels in the blood. Did you know that saturated fats can also encourage your skin to produce excess oil? They are usually found in red meats such as lamb, beef, bacon, and sausages. Other sources of saturated fats are pastries, cakes, pizza, butter, pies, cheese, and cream. You should also avoid fried food, especially the deep-fried ones like doughnuts, fries, and chips as these also contribute to the production of excess oil. 

Trans fat is another harmful type of fat. It is formed when oil undergoes a hardening process called hydrogenation--this is why it is also called hydrogenated fat. Some processed foods contain trans fats so you better carefully check the ingredients of the foods you buy at the supermarket.

Healthy alternatives to inflammatory fats include lean poultry, fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, avocado, and unseasoned nuts. And instead of frying, why not try other forms of cooking that don't require the use of cooking oil such as baking, grilling, broiling, and poaching? But if you really have to fry, swap highly processed vegetable oils with olive oil when cooking. 



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Everybody is entitled to a sweet treat or two every now and then. Take note of the key phrase "every now and then". If you eat too much of this, you are increasing your risk of diabetes. But, did you know that too much sugar consumption can also cause acne breakouts? It's true. Recent studies suggest that there is indeed a link between eating too much sugary foods and acne flare-ups. Well, you can still enjoy a sweet treat--just don't overdo it. 

To get your daily sweet treat fix without damaging your health, you can try these healthy and delicious fruits for dessert or snack time: mangos, bananas (frozen or fresh), berries, and fresh lemon. And if you really can't live without chocolate, get yourself a high-quality dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate.  

Salty Foods


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Salt (sodium) is essential for a healthy body. However, excess intake of salt has many health repercussions you may want to avoid. Aside from that, it can also directly affect the overall health of the skin as it can cause water retention, eye bags, and swelling. As a result, you may look rather bloated. It also encourages the skin to produce more oil as it tries to combat the dehydration caused by the salt.  

Instead of salty foods, try snacking on healthier alternatives such as apple slices, unsalted nuts, homemade soups, and boiled or baked vegetables dipped in low-salt dips. 

Junk and Fast Food


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This one's a no-brainer. Junk foods are called that way for a reason, you know. You won't get any nutrients from these kinds of foods at all. In fact, you are even hurting your health by eating junk food. Aside from the obvious effects such as increased blood sugar levels and hormonal imbalances, they are also bad for your skin. Fast food is yet another type of food you should be avoiding for a clearer skin. This is because most fast foods are greasy and greasy food encourages inflammation in the body. Inflammation in the body can cause childhood asthma and may even lead to pimples. 



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Alcohol is technically not a food but it is still something that we consume that's why it is added on this list. It's no secret that alcohol--when consumed--dehydrates the body which prompts it to produce more oil to compensate for the lack of water.--which often leads to acne breakouts. 

Instead of alcohol, drink a low-sugar virgin cocktail and other clearer alcoholic drinks such as vodka. However, it is still best if you just drink plain water. 

So now that we've tackled the foods you shouldn't be eating, how about the foods that you should eat? Here is Dr. Jaishree Sharad to tell us more about the proper diet when you have oily skin.

Video Credit: Skinfiniti with Dr. Jaishree Sharad via Youtube

Final Thoughts

Making any changes to your diet is not easy, especially if you try to do it all at once. You can gradually make changes to your eating habits by replacing a food item one at a time. And, who knows, you might even discover a new favorite food. 



Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful day ahead of you and keep smiling. :)

Written by Chineyes for bitLanders

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About the author


A software tester by profession, a mother by heart, and a writer by passion.

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