Acne is a very common and chronic skin condition in the UK. In fact, it is common in many modern westernised societies. With almost all adolescents and around half of adults affected. And, the numbers of affected people appears to be increasing.
Acne affects areas of the skin with the most sebaceous glands. Typically these are the face, back and chest. The condition ranges from mild, with just one or two occasional spots or pimples. To severe, with inflamed skin, cysts and scarring. Though acne affects men and women equally, men are more likely to have the severe form.
What causes acne?
There are likely to be several factors that promote acne. Comparing westernised societies with non-westernised societies shows clear differences. Research shows people in non westernised societies have much lower rates of acne. We can speculate that it is not only due to a genetic predisposition. The environment must also have some influence. And when we are talking about a person’s environment this includes what that person eats. In other words, this is another case of the diet affecting how a person’s genes are expressed.
What not to eat
Given the differences between diets in certain parts of the world and the incidence of acne. Much research has focussed on suspect foods. Trying to find foods that cause or exacerbate the problem. For instance, a typical western diet is rich in refined carbohydrates and dairy products. Both of which increase rates of acne.
Interestingly, this study suggests that skimmed milk is associated with acne. While consuming full-fat milk is not. One theory is that skimmed milk undergoes changes during the processing that result in more acne
So, the first foods to eliminate would be the refined carbohydrates. Minimise the high glycaemic load foods such as processed grains.
- sugar and flour
- white potatoes
- some fruits – bananas, grapes, cherries, raisins
- baguettes and bagels
- breads and rolls
- breakfast cereals and puffed grains
- biscuits and cookies
- crackers and pretzels
It is also a good idea to avoid dairy products, but especially skimmed milk and skimmed milk products.
In fact, the best elimination diet to try is my body reset diet. The guidelines in this plan provide your body with nutrient-dense, healthy foods. Try it for 30 days and see how your skin improves.
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