One of the best things you can do for your skin is to adopt a healthy diet. After all, it is the nutrients in food that determine your body’s overall health.
With the skin being the body’s largest organ, it is usually one of the first places to show the effects of your diet – whether healthy or unhealthy.
Did you know that some healthy food options can also be responsible for common skin woes? Here is a list of healthy foods that you might have to avoid:
Milk and other dairy products
Milk and other dairy products are frequently promoted as one of the healthiest foods available. Milk is full of wonderful nutrients: calcium for strong bones, protein for robust muscles, potassium for healthy blood pressure, and many more.
When it comes to nutritious foods that affect your skin, however, dairy is one of the worst offenders. Studies show that the consumption of dairy products, such as milk, has been linked to acne, skin outbreaks, and ageing.
Why? According to experts, milk is high in hormones like progesterone and insulin growth factors, which can cause inflammation, skin breakdown, ageing, and acne.
One of the largest and longest studies on women’s health looked at 77,761 nurses over the course of 12 years and discovered that those who drank more milk as teenagers had more severe teenage acne than those who drank less. Even more perplexing, skim milk was discovered to be worse for the skin than full-fat milk.
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If you suffer from acne and cannot quite pinpoint the cause, it might be a good idea to stop consuming milk and other dairy products. If you like milk in your tea or coffee, consider going for problem-free alternatives such as almond or coconut milk.
Fruit smoothies are delicious and healthy. They can help you meet your daily requirements of vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Fruit smoothies are a snack that you can have at any time of the day. However, that is where the good news ends.
Fruit smoothies, whether freshly squeezed or pre-packaged, have high sugar content. The majority of that sugar is in the form of fructose, which is known to harm the skin. In a study done on rats, researchers found that those fed on high-fructose diets had higher glycation (sugar molecules binding to proteins like collagen and causing damage), peroxidation, and other skin damage.
If you like having your smoothies, there is no need to give them up altogether. But instead of fruits, switch to green vegetables. While vegetable smoothies may not be as delectable, they contain all the nutrients your skin needs – minus the harmful fructose.
Whey protein powder
Whey protein powder is a popular supplement among fitness enthusiasts. Whey protein contains amino acids leucine and glutamine – which help in speeding up cell repair and division. However, the same amino acids can lead to acne breakouts.
Whey protein’s amino acids can also cause the body to create more insulin, which has been linked to acne. There are various studies that have shown that the severity of acne correlates to the number of days athletes took whey protein.
If you are a fan of whey protein and suffer from frequent acne outbreaks, it might be a good idea to switch to other protein sources. Try eating more seafood (such as tuna and shrimp), nuts and seeds, eggs, quinoa, lentils, and Greek yoghurt.
Low-fat food options
The ‘low fat’ claim on processed foods might easily dupe you into buying foods that are high in artificial flavours and sugars – which are harmful to your general health and to your skin. Low-fat options tend to be less satisfying, which can lead to consuming larger quantities.
If you are used to eating low-fat processed foods like cereal, flavoured yoghurt, and low-fat cookies, as well as low-fat salad dressings, you might want to switch to full-fat options.
Dermatologists and other health experts advise skinny people to eat healthier fats and oils. To retain moisture, your skin needs a healthy fat layer, especially in air-conditioned or heated conditions.
Instead of low-fat foods, opt for whole, unprocessed foods that are high in fat. To maintain your skin’s healthy glow, add oils and fats to your diet by eating fish, nuts, and avocados, and cooking with healthy vegetable oils.