Our skin is the largest organ of our body and we all want it to look healthy and beautiful. You must have heard the saying “you are what you eat”. This is true on many levels. Everything that we eat or drink leaves either good or bad effects on our skin.
If you eat junk or unhygienic food, and do not let your skin get proper nutrition, it will result in poor skin conditions like acne, blackheads and early signs of aging whereas, a healthy diet will help you get a flawless skin.
Patricia Farris, MD, a dermatologist and author of The Sugar Detox explains that a poor diet is casts as bad effects on your skin as smoking cigarettes does. We all know that cigarette smoking results in wrinkles and other signs of aging. Just like that, an unhealthy diet causes inflammation. This inflammation causes oxidative stress that ends up damaging the collagen and DNA that makes you look old.
These are the 10 foods that you should totally avoid if you love your skin.
1. Rice Cakes
There was a time when rice cakes were preferred by super models as they have a low fat content and were thought to be fat erasers. But now, people need to be aware that rice cakes are not healthy at all. Their nutrition levels are very low and they increase the blood sugar levels in our body that is not good for us.
Rice cakes have simple carbs in them and our body metabolizes them by converting them into glucose; just the way it metabolizes the sugar. Valori Treloar, MD, dermatologist and author of The Clear Skin Diet says that this conversion damages our wrinkle fighting proteins like collagen.
No matter how much you love candy, you know that it is not healthy to eat at all. Fariss says that in our culture, where eating candy is quite common, we relate adolescence with pimples.
Every second person gets pimples in his adolescence whereas in countries where they do not eat food that has a high amount of processed sugar, kids do not get acne while going through puberty. It’s not just puberty; there is a possibility that the reason behind your adult breakouts can be the chocolates and sweets that you eat.
The worst thing is that sugar does not only cause pimples, it also damages collagen and elastin, the proteins that keep skin soft, flexible and elastic. This results in early aging as well.
3. Healthy Cereal
Packaged food is never healthy for your body as you cannot trust them with what is inside. We all know that whole grains are a lot healthier than white ones as they are low on the glycemic index (a measure that determines how food affects our blood sugar level).
But, we should know that packaged cereals are refined and have a lot of sugar added in them. Treloar says that this can result in wrinkles and other signs of aging.
Milk is known to have a lot of beneficial effects on our body. We know how it is rich in calcium, protein and helps improve our bone health. But when it comes to skin, milk is not really that good for it.
Treloar explains that milk contains a lot of growth hormones and growth factors that are not deactivated even after pasteurization. According to different studies, these travel up to your blood stream and target insulin. This causes inflammation and increases the oil production. That ultimately results in skin breakouts and your skin starts getting those nasty pimples.
You can use organic milk instead of using the skimmed varieties as the organic varieties are free of added hormones and contain only regularly occurring hormones. However, we still cannot be hundred percent sure that organic options do not have any negative effects on skin.
Agave is used as an alternate for sugar and is made from agave plants. This should be avoided as well as it contains a lot of fructose in it. Even more than the fructose present in corn syrup.
Farris says that our liver metabolizes fructose and converts it into fat. Not only this, it damages our collagen even more than the regular sugar. This clearly shows how switching to agave from sugar is not a good idea at all.
Either it’s the midnight cravings or the hunger pangs during work; everybody prefers a light snack when it’s not your meal time. Everybody has their own favorite flavors in different kinds of chips and we eat them without any regret. Most of us do not know how bad a little packet of chips can affect our skin.
Chips have a lot of refined carbs in them that cause inflammation and result in oxidative stress that badly affects our DNA and collagen. Fariss says that eating chips gradually results in early aging, fine lines and wrinkles. Another thing that we are supposed to know is that according to a study published in The Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, in 2014, the main reason behind the adult acne cases are refined carbs. You definitely need to stay away from them if you love your skin.
7. Secretly Sugary Smoothies
Americans consume about 22 teaspoons of sugar every day. That is a lot more (around three times) of the recommended amount. Most of this sugar comes from hidden sources and one of the biggest sources is smoothies.
The natural sugar present in the fruits is not harmful at all. The problem is actually caused by the bottled smoothies that they sell at the stores or the smoothies that they make at the restaurants. These may contain frozen yoghurt or juice etc. in them that contains a lot of sugar in it.
The best option to drink smoothies is to make them at home only with the ingredients that are good for you, like unsweetened nut milk or yoghurt.
8. Juices and Soda
Most of us know that many juices and soda contain a lot of sugar that is not good for our health at all. But, it’s not just the sugar present in the juices that makes them unhealthy for us.
The absence of fibers in juices makes them unhealthy for our skin as fibers are very important to prevent the swings in the blood sugar levels that result in early ageing. Without fibres, you will end up getting wrinkles and fine lines on your skin.
9. Fast Food
No matter how much we love fast food, we all know that it is not good for us in so many ways. Not only it makes you fat and increases the cholesterol levels in your body, it also affects your skin badly. Western diets usually contain fast food and have a high GI. According to a study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Western diets were associated with more skin breakouts and acne problems as compared to high-protein and low GI diet.
You should totally avoid taking margarine in breakfast if you love your skin. Fats do play an important role in maintaining your skin’s suppleness but some of them, like trans fats are not good for your skin at all. They decrease the skin’s hydration levels and according to a study published in the Journal of American College of Nutrition, a higher intake of margarine resulted in an increased skin wrinkling.
If our skin reacts to some foods badly, it means that they are not good for our body. Skin issues signal us to stop eating the foods that are creating problems in our body. Many of the above mentioned foods are consumed by us on a regular basis and affect our skin slowly. Prevention is better than cure. You must take care of your diet if you want a healthy skin and a healthy body.